Friday, 9 October 2009

WMRT: WAKA Racing Report from Day Two of the Gold Cup

Young New Zealander Phil Robertson and his WAKA Racing team take a race from match racing veteran Peter Gilmour. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Garth Ellingham

After no racing for us on Day One (due to lack of wind) we finally got onto the water racing today. We had four races against the top four ranked skippers in our pool. The conditions were a puffy strong breeze that made the International One Designs (IOD) quite a handful, with two of the races being sailed with no kites.

First race was against Mattias Rahm where we got a solid windward start with gauge that enabled us to lead around the top mark. Fortunately for us when he turned around the mark his boom clipped the top mark and the umpires gave him a penalty. Then at the bottom with him right behind us he was judged to have hit us from behind and was given another penalty. The final straw came when he didn't do this second penalty immediately and was given the "black flag". First win on the board.

Second race was against the defending champion from last year Johnie Berntsson. We dominated the first part of the pre-start forcing a penalty on him in the dial up but then got ourselves into trouble allowing Johnie to pin us and get us slow to convincingly win the start. We fought hard all race to minimise the gap so he couldn't do his penalty turn but he sailed well and managed to do it and win the race.

Third race was against legend Peter Gilmour whom we had a close race against at the Danish Open. After a tough pre-start in the big breeze Peter came off the line with a windward start and nearly rolled us. We did a nice move luffing him to stop this and forced him to tack off. We then picked a couple of nice shifts to get back to bow to bow with him and when he lee-bowed us we pounced. Managing to partially roll him and take height. Now we had him locked and led around the top mark. With kites back in action the downwinds proved to be ver hairy but the team held its nerve and managed to pull off a close victory that we were very happy about.

The final race against Mathieu Richard proved to be a bit of a disappointment as we had him pinned above the line for most of the pre-start but a boat handling cock up allowed him to break free. Also putting us in a bad situation that we infringed in giving ourselves an soft penalty. We tried hard all race to get rid of the penalty but Mathieu sailed well keeping clean.

Overall the team is pretty happy with the day. If you told us at the beginning of the day we would have two victories against the top four we would definately had taken it. However we know we could have done better. Tomorrow we have three races to finish off our pool with another windy day forcasted. The boys are all keen and ready to go with three wins a must!

Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for all the encouragement.

The WAKA Boys
Phil Robertson
Garth Ellingham
James Williamson
Sam Bell

WAKA Racing
World Match Racing Tour

No comments: