9:50 AM Sun 5 Feb 2012 GMT
Hardy Cup 2012, an ISAF Grade 3 under 25 match racing regatta, gets underway tomorrow Monday 6th February until 9th February on Sydney Harbour. Young New Zealander Josh Junior will start favourite in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's annual event.
Junior arrived in Sydney today after an impressive victory over a strong Australian line-up in the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta on Perth's Swan River.
Representing Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Junior defeated Perth sailor David Gilmour 3-1 after the two had come through the quarter-finals and semi-finals undefeated.
The two sailors will meet again the Hardy Cup, this time sailing Elliott 6 sports boats rather than the larger keelboats used in their encounter on the Swan River.
Third placegetter in the Warren Jones Regatta, Perth sailor Tristian Brown is not competing in the Hardy Cup, but four others are lining up again on Sydney Harbour tomorrow: Jordon Reece (fourth in Perth), David Chapman (sixth), Jay Griffin (eighth) and New Zealander Tim Coltman (nine).
Reece and Chapman will be representing the RSYS, Griffin the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Coltman the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
This is Junior's third bid to win the Hardy Cup, finishing fifth in 2008 and runner-up to Australian Evan Walker in 2010. He is also one of New Zealand's top Laser sailors.
Also in the Hardy Cup fleet is Ashlen Rooklyn, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and current Australian match racing champion who did not sail in the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron/Peter Campbell