Sunday, 7 September 2008

Walker Wins 2008 Australian Match Racing Championships

Evan Walker and his crew with their prizes.

by John Roberson

Evan Walker and his crew, representing Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, claimed the 2008 Barbagallo Marine Australian Match Racing Championships on Perth’s Swan River Sunday afternoon in unequivocal style.

Crewed by Will Ryan, Brendan Casey, Kurth Fatouros and Silas Nolan, Walker won the first match of the best of three final by 52 seconds, then in the second encounter he forced his opponent, Robert Gibbs, into a succession of penalties which led to him being disqualified from the race, handing the title and the trophy to the defending champion.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” commented the winning skipper, “I couldn’t have done it with a better bunch of guys. We had a great week together, and it was just great to win it with them.”

Talking about winning for the second successive year, the Sydneysider said, “there was a lot more competition this year, so it means a fair bit more than last year, it was good to get out there this afternoon and have two good solid wins.”

Walker and his crew proved tactically superior to Robert Gibbs and his team, from the event hosts, Royal Perth Yacht Club, essentially winning the final by inflicting penalties on the locals.

In the first race of the final Gibbs had two penalties against him before he crossed the starting line, and in the second he started with one penalty already outstanding.

It was on the second leg of the course that Walker harassed Gibbs into two more penalties in quick succession, which in addition to the one he was already carrying, prompted the umpires to raise the black flag and eliminate him from the race, handing the title to Walker.

In the battle for third place, two local skippers, Gordon Lucas of Royal Perth and Doug Cooksey from South of Perth, had two tight races, with Lucas a former winner of the title in 1999, beating Cooksey by 29 second, and then a slender 1 second.

Conditions for today’s competition were ideal, with a steady 10 to 15 knot seabreeze filling in just in time for the start of racing in the Foundation 36 yachts.

See The Freo Doctor for a blow-by-blow account of the racing.


1st Evan Walker CYCA
2nd Robert Gibbs RPYC
3rd Gordon Lucas RPYC
4th Doug Cooksey SoPYC
5th Peter Nicholas RFBYC
6th David Chapman RSYS
7th Nicky Souter RPAYC
8th Tristan Brown RFBYC

Royal Perth Yacht Club

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