Swinton leads the way

John Roberson reports on the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta

Tuesday January 27th 2009, Author: John Roberson, Location: United Kingdom
Local skipper Keith Swinton has made his intentions clear on the first day of the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, by going through the day undefeated, against a line up of the best young match racing skippers that Australia and New Zealand has to offer.

The 22 year old from South of Perth Yacht Club, who is now ranked 22nd in the world, is showing the benefit of the experience gained during a year on the world circuit, since this event last year.

The young skipper was very dejected after finishing a disappointing 7th last year, but 12 months and 14 international events later he is showing a maturity that seems to indicate he can put his name on this prestigious trophy this week.

Commenting on his big year he said, “obviously just doing lots of sailing helps, you learn lots at every regatta and you take that forward into the future which we’ve done.”

Of his opposition today he said, “I think they were all equally tough, but we had a pretty good one against Brett Sharpe, we let him get the jump on us at the start, and he did a good job to lead for most of the race, then we managed to get ahead of him just before the last mark, so we were probably a little bit lucky there.”

Robert Gibbs another local skipper, from Royal Perth Yacht Club who are hosting the event, shares second place on the leaderboard, his only defeat at the hands of Swinton, while Kiwi Phil Robertson also has 5 wins and 1 loss.

The surprise package of the first day has been the Auckland skipper Reuben Corbett from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who came to the event ranked 91st on the world ladder and is holding equal fourth place, having taken some impressive scalps on the first day, including that of club mate Phil Robertson, currently ranked 51st.

Sharing fourth place is Sydney skipper Evan Walker, who is the current Australian champion.

The regatta is in memory of the late Warren Jones, who was the mastermind behind Australia II’s America’s Cup victory in 1983, and is being sailed on the Swan River’s Matilda Bay.

Leaderboard:
1= Keith Swinton AUS (SoPYC) Win 7 Loss 0
2= Robert Gibbs AUS (RPYC) 5 1
2= Phil Robertson NZL (RNZYS) 5 1
4= Reuben Corbett NZL (RNZYS) 4 2
4= Evan Walker AUS (CYCA) 4 2
6 Stuart Pollard AUS (RSYS) 3 3
7= Matt Steven NZL (RPNYC) 1 5
7= Peter Nicholas AUS (RFBYC) 1 5
9 Nicky Souter AUS (RPAYC) 1 6
10 Brett Sharpe AUS (RFBYC) 1 7

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