Thursday, 4 February 2010
David Gilmour and crew, the feisty up-and-coming semi-finalist. Supplied image.
by John Roberson
William Tiller of Auckland’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, heads the leaderboard at the end of the shortened round robin section of the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, so gets the privilege of choosing his opponent in the semi-finals.
It will be a tough call, as the other three qualifiers would all make formidable opponents. Phil Robertson is from the same Auckland club, and used to be Tiller’s skipper, David Gilmour of the host club is a firey newcomer who has nothing to lose, while Peter Nicholas is the big improver of the series, getting better every day.
“I have no idea who we’re going to choose yet,” said Tiller when he stepped ashore, “I’ll have to talk to the team about it,” and he has until Thursday morning to make up his mind, so perhaps a night’s sleep will help.
It was another day of “crash & burn” sailing, in a breeze that at times topped 30 knots, stretching the repair team, and the already battered fleet of boats.
Phil Robertson, last year’s winner of the event, knows he has a fight on his hands to join the elite group who have their name on the trophy twice. He is the highest ranked skipper in the regatta, at 25 on the world ladder, to Tiller’s 66th place.
Though he is new to international level match racing, the eyes of the sailing world are on David Gilmour, the son of a legend of the sport, Peter Gilmour, a former world champion and America’s Cup skipper. He has proved to be feisty on the water, evoking memories of his father’s younger days.
Peter Nicholas is the big improver of the series, having sailed in this event twice before, but failed to do better than eighth on either occasion, but has produced a strong performance in this event.
In the strong breezes spinnakers were banned as a safeguard against further damage to boats or crew, but William Tiller was not impressed by the decision,
He only lost one race out of six sailed today commenting, “we lost to Tristan Brown today, we got a bit of a bad start, and we were struggling for boat speed in that race, and then because there were no kites it was hard to get past downwind.
“No kites gives the teams that aren’t very good with them an advantage, because it cuts down the passing options. We would have been happier with kites up.”
There is no doubt that for Tiller tomorrow is a big day, “we’re very excited about tomorrow,” was his assessment.
The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta is run by Swan River Sailing, in conjunction with the Royal Perth Yacht Club and this year’s hosts the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.
1 William Tiller NZL (RNZYS) Win 12 Loss2 Points 9
2 Phil Robertson NZL (RNZYS) 12 2 8.5
3 David Gilmour AUS (RFBYC) 11 4 7.5
4 Peter Nicholas AUS (RFBYC) 9 6 5.5
5 Tristan Brown AUS (RFBYC) 7 8 5
6 Robert Gibbs AUS (RPYC) 6 8 4.5
7 Kyle Langford AUS (CYCA) 7 8 4
8 Reuben Corbett NZL (RNZYS) 6 7 4
9 David Chapman AUS (RSYS) 4 10 2.5
10 Jordan Reece AUS (RSYS) 3 12 2
11 Martin Boidin DEN (RDYC) 2 12 0.5
Warren Jones Regatta