Rooklyn aims for Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship Crown
Friday, 03 August 2012
Ashlen Rooklyn will start as the firm favourite to take the title of the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship with his crew of Byron White and Jack Breislin, when they hit the water on Saturday 4 August.
Rooklyn, who will represent the host club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is the highest ranked skipper of the regatta and is match fit having secured third place in the prestigious Governor’s Cup last month and winning in the Navionics Match Racing regatta in May.
The Rooklyn name is synonymous with sailing and the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Ashlen’s grandfather, the late Jack Rooklyn, took line honours three times, and in 1976 sailed Ballyhoo to victory from Apollo, that was skippered by his son Warwick (Ashlen’s father). Ashlen is now stepping out of the shadow of his family’s sailing pedigree to become a formidable skipper of his own merit.
His sailing career began at the age of 12, when he learnt the ropes on Sabots and then moved on to Flying 11s. He joined the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy in 2008 as part of the Development Match Racing squad and moved into the Advanced squad soon after.
One of the highlights of Rooklyn’s career to date has been his win in the 2011 Australian Match Racing Championships, placing third in the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championship (New Zealand) and third in the Melges 24 US national titles in June this year.
Rooklyn, together with Jay Griffin and Byron White, were also named the 2012 NSW Teams Racing Champions, in February this year.
Rooklyn will be competing against two other CYCA teams led by Tim Forbes-Smith and Murray Jones. Forbes-Smith is no stranger to this regatta, taking control of the tiller for a third time, and hoping to improve on his fifth placing last year. He is the second highest ranked skipper in this regatta and his crew of Jack Dawson and Daniel Caine have developed throughout the winter months as part of the YSA’s Advanced Squad.
For Murray Jones, this will be his third regatta as skipper. He and his crew of Alex Chittenden and Maclean Paton, placed fourth in the Navionics regatta in May and fifth in the Captain John Piper regatta in June. All three have been training in the Advanced Squad this season.
Nicholas Howe will lead a team from Sydney University Sailing Club that includes Alexandra South and Jaidan Stevens.
Two teams will represent the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club headed by Malcolm Parker and Milly Bennett, both of whom are relative new-comers to match racing experience. Bennett is more familiar on a 29er and recently competed in Women’s Laser Youth Worlds in Queensland where she finished fourth.
Not far from the competitors minds will be the Australian Women’s Match Racing team who are currently on top of their game at London 2012. Olivia Price, Lucinda Whitty and Nina Curtis are currently undefeated with ten wins from ten matches. Price and Whitty are both members of the CYCA and started their match racing careers at the Youth Sailing Academy.
Racing is scheduled to commence at 1015hrs on Saturday 4 August and continue until Sunday 5 August. Crews will compete on the CYCA’s Youth Academy fleet of Elliott 6.0m boats (similar to those vessels being used in the Olympics), with race management under the direction of Race Officer David Tallis with Trish Ford as the Chief Umpire.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a sunny weekend with 10-15 knots of westerly breeze on slight seas, for both Saturday; with winds west to north-westerly on Sunday. Racing will be conducted in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay and live results from each match will be posted on the CYCA website via http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=1539
By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media
Last Updated ( Friday, 03 August 2012 )