Aussies set to rule the roost
This year ten skippers ranked between 22nd and 1,083rd in the world, will be tacking and gybing, ducking and weaving all over Matilda Bay on the Swan River, while giving their all to get their name on this prestigious trophy. Currently, after six editions of the event the honours are evenly split between Australia and New Zealand - though other nations have participated - and of the Australian victories, two go to W.A.’s Torvar Mirsky, with Sydney’s Michael Dunstan claiming the other.
This year sees three Kiwi crews crossing the Tasman, while three Sydney teams are crossing the Nullabor, to take on four boats of W.A. sailors. The competition will be hot and strong, with South of Perth Yacht Club’s Keith Swinton highest ranked at 22nd in the world. Evan Walker from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club is down the ladder at 41st place, but won the Alf Barbagallo Australian Match Racing Championships here in September.
From the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron comes Phil Robertson, on the 51st rung of the world ranking ladder, and winner of last year’s Youth International Match Racing Championships in Auckland. Nicky Souter representing the Royal Prince Alfreds Yacht Club on Pittwater, north of Sydney is 10th on the Women’s Ranking ladder, and the current Australian Women’s Champion.
Every one of the skippers and crews competing are potential stars of the future, and for four days at the end of this month they will be on the launch pad, right here on the Swan River.
Keith Swinton AUS (SoPYC) Rank 22nd
Evan Walker AUS (CYCA) 41st
Phil Robertson NZL (RNZYS) 51st
Robert Gibbs AUS (RPYC) 62nd
Reuben Corbett NZL (RNZYS) 91st
Peter Nicholas AUS (RFBYC) 203rd
Stuart Pollard AUS (RSYS) 283rd
Matthew Steven NZL (RPNYC) 377th
Nicky Souter AUS (RPAYC) 10th (women’s) 610th (open)
Brett Sharpe AUS (RFBYC) 1,083rd