Hodgson turns to rival to fill spots on racing crew

SUNSHINE Coast Sailing Team skipper James Hodgson has turned to a rival to find replacement crew members for his team contesting next week's Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship.

Three of his regular crew are held back due to exams and work and he needs up to four crew members to race the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Elliott 7s in the top-level, Grade 2 event.

Hodgson has regular crew member, Noosa's Fergus Gillanders, on the bow.

He has recruited three top sailors out of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's youth program - Clare Costanzo on main, Evelyn Foster on kite trim and Jess Angus as a floater.

"James and I haven't sailed with them as a crew but we have raced against them," Gillanders said.

"They have been our rivals and provided good competition, so it will be good to have them on board and sailing with us."

Costanzo has raced against Hodgson at youth nationals and state championships.

"He's quite quick," she said.

She is used to racing with other teams within her club squad, so joining Hodgson isn't a concern.

"It will be good to have the boys' strength and the girls' intelligence and with the girls we can sail five-up so that extra hand on board will be quite good," she said.

The team will have just three hours training on Monday.

"We will try to get everything to work together; get our rhythm and our technique down pat with the girls. Racing then starts Tuesday," Gillanders said.

Hodgson and Gillanders have raced the Elliott 7s several times, while the girls train on Elliott 7s.

"The boats are starting to become a bit more natural now and the girls constantly train on them so they will be able to teach us a fair amount," Hodgson said.

This is the toughest level match racing event the sole Queensland team has contested. They will be up against 11 teams from the USA, NZ, The Netherlands, Perth, Pittwater and Sydney Harbour.

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