Friday, 4 December 2009

Waka on Fire and Undefeated

Waka Racing skipper Phil Robertson with BlackMatch Racing's Adam Minoprio at the press conference after racing. Image copyright Brendon O'Hagan/Subzero Images.

by Garth Ellingham

We have just come in off the water after one of team WAKA Racing's best days.

Going in to todays racing we knew we had to pick our act up if we were going to make it into the next stage of this regatta, and we did!

The coarse which was set right off the massive complex here and has two rivers converging through it, proved to be a bit of a one way track. We knew this and put a huge emphasis on winning the start and being able to get to the right hand side of the coarse first (where the main channel is located and once you get in it you put the times two button on!).

We put our plan into action and with Phil on fire in the pre-starts we won everyone of our starts except for one. The day started with victories over Torvar Mirsky (World No. 2), Peter Gilmour, Adam Minoprio (World no. 1) and Damien Iehl. After lunch we came out to race veteran America's Cup helmsman Magnus Holmberg. We managed to put a penalty on him in the pre-start but unfortunately lost the right-hand side of the coarse. Through out the entire race we battled to keep it close enough to stop him getting his penalty in. On the last downwind we managed to close in on him enough to force him to slow up and try attack us to get rid of his penalty. After losing from this position a couple of times this year due to lack of patience, cool heads prevailed. We didn't let him engage us and when the opportunity arose Phil took the right option and rolled over Magnus to take the victory.

Overall we all felt like today was one of those days where everything went right (excuse the pun) for us. After battling hard all year with what seemed like countless things going against it was nice to have it go our way for once. This has given the team huge confidence going into tomorrow and we can't wait to get back on the water.

Waka Racing would like to thank Ian from Tax Management NZ for helping the team get up here to compete, along with Stefan of Widex, Pacific Sports Community Trust, Ross Munro of Line 7, RNZYS, Simon from Frontend Design and the WAKA racing supporters club for all their help and generosity.

Waka Racing is Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, James Williamson, Sam Bell and Adam Martin.

Waka Racing

World Match Racing Tour

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