Monday, 15 December 2008

BlackMatch Report from Day 2 at the New Zealand National Match Racing Championships 2008

by David Swete

Today's racing in front of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron saw a picture perfect day, the sun was out and the breeze was drifting in from the city direction. Very shifty conditions however kept all of the 11 teams on their toes throughout the day and made for some very interesting races and results.

We had great races against Dean Barker and Ben Ainslie and held leads in both confrontations, however we lost out narrowly in both. A very unlucky umpire call costing us our race against Ben and superior downwind tactics from the Emirates team New Zealand crew allowed them to slip past us. In our match against defending champion Rod Davis, we gained a convincing lead early on in the race with the first wind shift going in our favor, the match racing guru managed to close the gap significantly up the second beat but we held on to take a much needed victory.

In yet another case of the girls beating up on the boys, we lost out in a fiercely contested match with Yachting New Zealand's President, Jan Dawson. Jan showed her experience in the MRX yachts and her match racing skills also shone through with her aggressive style enabling her to enforce two penalties on us. After receiving a penalty in the pre-start for not keeping clear when we were windward boat, we did all we could in our match against Jan and her team but they rolled us on the first downwind when we sailed into a massive band of no breeze. The bottom mark rounding saw Jan luff us aggressively and the umpires deemed we failed to adequately keep clear which resulted in our second penalty and essentially spelt 'Game Over'.

With a mixed bag of results we are very much still in contention to make the semi final stages of this regatta. Although we know we are not on top of our game, at this stage we feel we can step it up for tomorrow and the remainder of the regatta to be a force to reckon with. Many of the other higher ranked teams had losses today and although Dean Barker has cleared out in front, it is looking like a very close race for the three remaining semi-final berths.

BlackMatch would like to again thank their sponsors FedEx Express and Line 7 New Zealand and also their yacht club the RNZYS for the privilege of representing them this year.

BlackMatch Racing

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