Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Josh Hyde, Cody Couglan, Mason Mulcahy, Nick Drummond and Zach Fong have been crowned the winners of the 2024 Hardy Cup.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Chelsea Williams, Cole Tapper, Hamish Vass, Craig Wright, Maddie McLeay and Mark Murray were runners up, with Royal Prince Alfred’s Yacht Club’s Daniel Kemp, Charlie Verity, Isabella Holdsworth, Lachlan Wallace, Louis Tilly secured third.
The final day of racing kicked off with strong southerly conditions and competitors preparing for the semi-final series. After winning the double round-robin Josh Hyde requested Daniel Kemp, and Chelsea Williams was paired with Xavier McLachlan.
The semi-finals were raced in front of the iconic backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House with spectators watching on-water and from the RSYS Club House. As the breeze settled in Hyde and Williams demonstrated their prowess, both winning their series 3 – 0 and securing places in the finals.
After a brief delay, the finals began with Hyde and Williams lining up for a dramatic three race series. The first two races saw tight racing with Hyde getting an early lead securing 2 of the required 3 points to win the regatta.
In the third race, Williams staged a final comeback gybing early on the first downwind and trying to roll over the top of Hyde. A misjudged gybe for the gate marks saw Williams penalized and allowed Hyde to gain a healthy lead for the remainder of the race.
Hyde’s team celebrated their win as they crossed the line with all five team members jumping into the Harbour.
“We had a great week of racing. I couldn’t ask much more of my team,” Hyde said, when he returned to the dock. “Chelsea put up a great fight and it was awesome to be racing against her after the Youth Worlds last year.”
The ten teams continued the celebrations at the Closing Presentation held in the RSYS Clubhouse. Lady Joan Hardy and RSYS Commodore Christian Brook spoke at the function reflecting on the success of this year’s event in supporting the development of youth match racing.
The prestigious Hardy Cup will return in early 2025.