Seve Jarvin from Australia, heads the line up for the 2006 Warren Jones Youth Regatta 30/1/06

Seve Jarvin, representing Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, heads the line up for the 2006 Warren Jones Youth Regatta, from a field of 11 other highly talented skippers representing four nations.

With a world ranking of 28, he is way ahead of the next highest ranked skipper in the series, 66th ranked Mark Dorling, a rival from across Sydney harbour, representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Not that Jarvin sees himself as favourite, “anyone can win this regatta, everyone’s pretty even, it’s a pretty tough regatta,” was his pre-event assessment.

Since finishing third in this series last year, he has added considerable international experience to his weaponry, including a number of regattas on the senior circuit. Though this is his first time as skipper, Mark Dorling is no novice at the Warren Jones Youth Regatta, having been on the winning crew of the inaugural event in 2002.

He is currently riding a wave of good results from the end of 2005, including 3rd place in both the Australian Match Racing Championships and the Wellington International Regatta, plus 2nd in Auckland’s International Youth Match Race Championships.

Strongest of the overseas competitors is likely to be New Zealander Adam Minoprio, whose brother has won the last two events, with Adam in the crew last year.

He says he doesn’t feel any great pressure on him, “my brother tried to put some pressure on me, but I’m just going to see what happens,” he confessed, when asked about family expectations.

England’s Alastair Hall from the Royal Yachting Association’s Volvo Keelboat squad, is back after a disappointing result last year, with more experience to draw on, and a mostly new crew.

France is represented for the first time with two skippers, Alexis Littoz-Baritel, and Graeme Sutherland of the K-Challenge America’s Cup team.

Local Western Australian entries are strong this year, with South of Perth Yacht Club’s Keith Swinton having won the Colin Mullins selection series, while Trovar Mirsky of Fremantle Sailing Club is higher up the ranking ladder, and has a better record in this event.

The regatta will be sailed on the Swan River, hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, and runs from Monday 30 January to Thursday 2 February.

Skippers – in order of world ranking

Seve Jarvin Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 28th

Mark Dorling Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron 66th

Murray Gordon Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club 83rd

Adam Minoprio Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron 91st

Alastair Hall Royal Yacht Association, Volvo Squad 111th

Graeme Sutherland K-Challenge America’s Cup Team 126th

Torvar Mirsky Fremantle Sailing Club 128th

Keith Swinton South of Perth Yacht Club 169th

Tom Barker Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 180th

Alexis Littoz-Baritel S.V.E. Annecey 187th

Robert Gibbs Royal Perth Yacht Club 199th

Rob Scrivenor Sandringham Yacht Club not ranked