The Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship is done and dusted and the final day honors went to the Japanese team. The talented Leonard Takahashi and his team were in fine form during the finals and won the 25th edition of the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship in a convincing fashion.
There were a total of 12 teams that took part in this year’s edition and 8 teams had international sailors. The wind conditions on all the four days of the race were ideal and this ensures that the races would be a hard fought one. It was bright sunshine on all the four days and the northeasterly breeze touched about 18 knots.
The Pacific Racing Team helmed by Takahashi showed why they are the best in this event as they put up a solid performance round after round. The team had great flair, pace and very good match racing skills to make them a deserving finalist team. Their training partners Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team also put up a good show on all day.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron coach Reuben Corbett was the trainer for both the teams and this put him in a catch-22 situation. He was in a precarious situation to choose between the two protégés looking to compete at each other in the finals.
The final was won by the Pacific Racing Team 3 to 1 and the final races were overseen by the experienced race officer Ted Anderson. Takahashi said that this was the first time that he was at the helm at the Harken and was happy to have steered his team to a Harken victory. He said that he takes inspiration from the feat that Pete and Blair from Team New Zealand have achieved in the recent past.