New Zealand skipper Simon Minoprio has won the Warren Jones Youth Regatta which concluded today

New Zealand skipper Simon Minoprio sailed a masterful series to win the Warren Jones Youth Regatta sailed in keelboats on the Swan river, completing the event with just two losses in 22 matches.

The crunch came when he faced Sydney skipper Michael Dunstan in the penultimate race of the regatta, it was win of lose for both skippers, who ever took the gun in this clash would take the series.

Dunstan and his crew got the better of the start, but in a display of boat handling and tactics that belied his age, Minoprio out sailed Dunstan to grab the advantage before the first mark. From then on the Kiwis sailed faultlessly in the 18-20kt seabreeze, leaving the Australians no passing lane, to take the gun by 29 seconds, and clinch the regatta with a race to spare.

The young Kiwi described the regatta as “awesome”, saying “it was awesome competitors, awesome racing, it was really good competition over here, the Australians like Mike Dunstan, and Laurie Jury from back home.” Talking about the crunch match that won him the trophy he said: “We saw a few shifts, our crew work was better, and we managed to out-tack him.”

The Sydney team were philosophical about their defeat with the skipper commenting: “Simon completely outsailed us in the race that counted today, all credit to him, and we’re happy. I’ve only sailed with one of these guys on a regular basis, so we came over here pretty cold, did minimal training, and did what we did, we’re happy with the way we were sailing and it was a good learning experience.”

Having won the regatta, things didn’t quite go according to plan for Minoprio, in his final match two crew members fell overboard, but they were quickly recovered, though they failed to regain the lead.

As well as the trophy Minoprio picks up automatic entry to the 2004 Berlin Match Racing event, with a travel and expenses package.

Michael Dunstan hung onto second place in the series with a cliff hanger win in his last race against local skipper Jackson Digney, in which he took the gun by just one second.

Third overall was another Kiwi, Laurie Jury, while Sweden’s Emil Wiberg took fourth place.

The Warren Jones Youth Regatta is organised by the Western Australian Yachting Foundation, and was hosted by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, in memory of Warren Jones who was the driving force behind Australia II’s historic victory in the 1983 America’s Cup.

Overall Results

1. Simon Minoprio, RNZYS

2. Michael Dunstan

3. Laurie Jury

4. Emil Wiberg

5. Keith Swinton

6. Adam Garnaut

7. Richard Howard

8. Torvar Mirsky

9. Jackson Digney,

10. Murray Gordon,

11. Phillip Murdoch, TSC

12. Adam Smith,