Monday, 1 March 2010

Whitty continues her dominance of the Marinassess Women's Match Racing Regatta

Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta winning team of Nicky Souter, Lucinda Whitty and Katie Pellew with Sven Runow from Marinassess. Image copyright CYCA staff.

by Pam Scrivenor and Jennifer Crooks

Lucinda Whitty representing Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has won the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta in convincing style. Whitty sailed faultlessly making it through the entire regatta without dropping a single race, to have her name on the trophy for the second consecutive year.

Whitty, a member of the Australian Sailing Development Squad, sailed with a crew combination of Nicky Souter on main and Katie Pellew on the bow. At the presentation this evening, Whitty thanked her crew for sailing with her out of their usual positions, as the Australian Sailing Development Squad is known for making crew combinations mix-up from their preferred roles.

She congratulated all the competitors especially those developing crews who were new to match racing. ”Regatta practice is so important to a developing crew and thank you to Marinassess for supporting this regatta for so many years.”

Whitty first won this trophy in 2006 when she was a developing skipper in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy’s Women’s Squad. Sven Runow from Marinassess presented Whitty and her crew with the trophy and prizes for their win.

The Finnish team of Silja Lehtinen and Mikaela Wulff who sailed the regatta with two Australians, Samantha Boyd and Krystal Weir finished in second place. Lehtinen was pleased with her results ahead of the New Zealand Womens Match Racing Championship in Auckland next week. Amanda Scrivenor (CYCA) with Olivia Price and Angela Farrell, sailed a solid regatta only dropping three races to Whitty (2) and Lehtinen in the round robins.

Unfortunately the second round robin could not be completed within the time limit today. The start of racing was delayed for two hours as the breeze did not fill in from the south until lunchtime and as per the sailing instructions for the event, the last time for a start signal was 1530hrs. An averaging method was used to finalise the results but Whitty was always going to be the stand out winner.

Day Two action – Amanda Scrivenor vs Nina Curtis in flight four of round robin two in the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta. Image copyright CYCA staff.

Josie Roper and Keats Thomson both skippered teams from the CYCA’s YSA Women’s Squad and finished 5th and 6th in this regatta. Both have now gained the final entries in the Harken Women’s Match Racing Regatta which begins on Wednesday 10th March, also hosted by the CYCA.

For Thomson, who is only 15 years old and the youngest skipper of the regatta, it was a great start to skippering in a match racing regatta. An ecstatic Thomson was very pleased with her team’s performance.

“One win would have been great for this regatta but to finish in 6th place was better than we expected, said Thomson.

A fun fleet race got proceedings underway after the initial training session on Friday 26th February, with Nina Curtis, a member of the ASDS and representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club taking the win.

The Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta, was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia over two days on the weekend and is sponsored by CYCA member and Marinassess Managing Director John Messenger. The regatta holds an important place in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy calendar as it is the first regatta in the Women’s match racing season.

Live Results from the Weekend's Racing

Flight One.
After a short AP was called as the NE breeze settled in at 8-10knots, racing was underway at 1030hrs.

Scrivenor dft Lehtinen by 0'30"
Lehtinen picked up a penalty in the pre-start after entering from the wrong side of the course, Scrivenor was quick to pounce on this error, and sailed a faultless race, building her lead at every mark to open her account with a win in race one.

Strong dft Thomson by 0'23"
Curtis dft Doyle by 2'00"
Roper dft Sutherland by 0'20"
Whitty - BYE

Overall an entertaining first flight which sets up the quality of this match racing event. Each skipper sounding the other out in the pre-starts, before showcasing their individual skill reading the pressure on the upwind run. At this stage, their seems to be more pressure on the left hand side of the course, and this side has been favoured by all skippers thus far.

Flight Two.

Thompson dft Doyle by 0'40"
An excellent start by Thompson in the pre-start who is helming for the first time in this regatta. A strong performance against a quality opponent will do nothing but give Thompson a confidence boost early on in this regatta.

Curtis dft Roper by 0'28"
Curtis threw everything at Roper in the pre-start, trying to force her opponent into an early penalty, however Roper maintained her poise to win the start. Curtis overpowered and out-tacked Roper on the upwind runs, eventually opening a nice handy lead to take the win.

Whitty dft Scrivenor by 0'29"
A lapse of judgement by Scrivenor in the pre-start cost Scrivenor an early penalty for not keeping clear. The two skippers were evenly matched throughout the race, however it was Whitty who was able to maintain a slender lead and cross in front of Scrivenor. The time difference made greater as Scrivenor completed her penalty.

Lehtinen dft Sutherland by 0'37"
Strong - BYE

Flight Three.

Thompson dft Roper by 0'59"
Whitty dft Strong by 1'01"
Scrivenor dft Sutherland by 0'43"
Sutherland hit the mark as she crossed the start line, forcing her to re-start, whilst Scrivenor sailed straight past, opening a handy lead which no matter how hard Sutherland tried, could not make up the distance.

Lehtinen dft Curtis by 0'15"
Doyle - BYE

Flight Four:

Whitty dft Sutherland by 0'35"
Scrivenor dft Curtis by 0'31"
Curtis had a brain snap in the pre-start, and failed to start correctly. Scrivenor once again the aggressor forced Curtis into a second penalty in the pre-start.
Curtis sailed a strong race, trying to get back into the match, and managed to wipe off one penalty. Leading on the final downwind run, she again looked to attack Scrivenor and force her into a penalty, and possibly, just possibly take the win, however it was not to be as Scrivenor covered, forcing Curtis to accept another penalty and handing yet another win to Scrivenor.

Lehtinen dft Thompson by 0'28"
Strong dft Doyle by 1'10"
Roper - BYE

Flight Five.

Scrivenor dft Thompson by 0'41"
Roper dft Strong by 0'04"
Whitty dft Doyle by 0'53"
Curtis dft Sutherland by 1'14"
Lehtinen - BYE

A thrlling yet long flight as the skippers had to battle the lunchtime fleet of pleasure craft who chose the race course to show off this magnificent harbour.
Although the commercial vessels provided an extra challenge on the course, the skippers didnt back off their game plan creating some great sailing for the many spectators who were enjoying lunch.

Flight Six.

Lehtinen dft Strong by 1'07"
A great start by Lehtinen set up a strong lead early. Solid racing from the Finnish skipper who stretched her legs at each mark, racing away with a strong win.

Roper dft Doyle by 0'15"
Whitty dft Curtis by 2'34"
This match a lot closer than the final difference indicates. By far the match of the day to date. Whitty had the lead until the final downwind run, when Curtis became the aggressor, working hard to steal her opponents breeze. Around 500 yards from the line, Curtis managed to sail over the top of Whitty, yet made a tactical error, jybing underneath Whitty on the line. Whitty's team screamed "protest" and the umpire's were listening. Curtis crossing the line first by millimetres, yet the yellow flag from the umpire boat gave the race to Whitty.

Thompson dft Sutherland by 0'09"
Thompson having a great day at the helm. Thompson was able to work off a penalty on the second up-wind work, and staved off a strong fightback from Sutherland to record another win.

Scrivenor - BYE

Flight Seven.

Whitty dft Roper by 0'29"
Curtis dft Thompson by 0'21"
Scrivenor dft Strong by 0'26"
Lehtinen dft Doyle by 0'12"
Sutherland - BYE

A great flight of racing, with all but match four picking up pre-start penalties and keeping the umpire team honest. Today's racing has made it purely clear - the race is won in the pre-start. A penalty in the pre-start however is not the end of the race, with the penalised skipper forced to work hard in a tactical race, looking for that extra puff of breeze, or force that dirty air on their opponent. Unfortuantely today the leading boat has had just enough skill to counter-attack and go on to win the race.

Flight Eight.

Scrivenor dft Doyle by 1'14"
Lehtinen dft Roper by 0'27"
Whitty dft Thompson by 0'21"
Sutherland dft Strong by 0'30"
Curtis - BYE

Whitty just keeps rolling along in this regatta. She is the reigning Champion, and with a world-championship calibre team including Nikky Souter and Katie Spithill, Whitty will be hard to beat.

Flight Nine.

Curtis dft Strong by 0'24"
Doyle dft Sutherland by 3'00"
Sutherland looked to have this match in the bag half way down the final run, however a poor jybe and spinnaker set allowed Doyle to sail under and clear. Sutherland then picked up an untimely penalty for failing to keep clear as they tried to re-set the spinnaker. A failure to complete the penalty turn when the boat stalled and lost steerage, forced Sutherland to hit the finish mark, picking up a second penalty ultimately extending the time difference.

Scrivenor dft Roper by 0'11"
Whitty dft Lehtinen by 0'14"
Lehtinen looked to have upset Whitty in the match of the round. The winner moving to outright first after round robin one.
An early penalty came back to haunt Lehtinen, who looked to have opened up a five boat length lead at the top mark. Whitty's downwind boat speed was however too quick, as Whitty overpowered Lehtinen in the final leg, taking the match by a metre. Lehtinen unable to wipe off the penalty and ultimately forced to accept a narrow loss.

Thompson - BYE

Leaderboard after Round Robin One.

Each skipper has now sailed eight races, with one bye in their first nine flights.

Whitty - 8 wins 0 losses
Scrivenor - 7 wins 1 loss
Lehtinen - 6 wins 2 losses
Curtis - 5 wins 3 losses
Thompson - 3 wins 5 losses
Roper - 3 wins 5 losses
Strong - 2 wins 6 losses
Doyle - 1 win 7 losses
Sutherland 1 win 7 losses

Round Robin Two

Flight One

Lehtinen dft Scrivenor by 7 secs
Strong dft Thompson by 10secs
Curtis dft Doyle by 45 secs
Roper dft Sutherland by 1 sec - right on the finish line

Day Two - Sunday 28 Feb 2010.
Flight Two.

After a two hour delay and a location shift from Rushcutters Bay into Rose Bay, racing got underway at 1230hrs.
The skippers celebrated the commencement of racing for the day in the same fashion they finished yesterday - hard at it and not giving their opponent an inch.

Doyle dft Thompson by 0'11"
Curtis dft Roper by 1'43"
Curtis starting day two in magnificent fashion, a strong pre-start followed by a sensational upwind run opened up a huge lead over her opponent.

Whitty dft Scrivenor by 0'03"
The early battle for first and second saw an epic battle. Whitty hanging on to keep her scorecard clean. 9 wins from nine starts.

Lehtinen dft Sutherland by 0'44"
Strong - BYE

Flight Three.

Thompson dft Roper by 0'20"
Whitty dft Strong by 0'45"
Scrivenor dft Sutherland by DNS
Sutherland was caught out chatting to her coach, and missed the start entirely. Scrivenor able to walk away with a training sail.

Lehtinen dft Curtis by 0'27"
Doyle - BYE

Flight Four.

Whitty dft Sutherland by 0'30"
Scrivenor dft Curtis by 0'18"
Lehtinen dft Thompson by 0'16"
Doyle dft Strong by 0'29"
Strong got the better of the start as both found themselves circling each other on the start line. As the horn sounded, Doyle was above the line, and had to sail around the front of the committee vessel. Doyle managed to out sail her opponent around the course and ended up recording a strong win.

Roper - BYE

Flight Five.

Scrivenor dft Thompson by 0'23"
Roper dft Strong by 1'05"
Whitty dft Doyle by 2'00"
Curtis dft Sutherland by 2'35"
Lehtinen - BYE
The time difference beginning to increase between the competitors as fatigue settles in. Still, all skippers are showing signs of great racing and tactics with just over an hour of racing to go in the 2010 Marinassess Regatta.

Flight Six

Lehtinen dft Strong by 0'19"
Roper dft Doyle by 0'34"
Whitty dft Curtis by 0'16"
Try as she might, Curtis just could not overall Whitty on the final downwind run. The two crossing the line together, but an outstanding penalty on Curtis was the story of the regatta, and Whitty sailed away to win the match.

Thompson dft Sutherland by 0'22"
Scrivenor - BYE

Flight Seven.

Whitty dft Roper by 0'17"
Curtis dft Thompson by 0'10"
Scrivenor dft Strong by 0'40"
Lehtinen dft Doyle by 0'35"
Sutherland - BYE.

Well, thats it. AP over A, and racing has been called off for the remainder of the regatta. We now wait for the scorers ti add up the results to see who will be crowned the Marinassess Champion for 2010. Given Whitty's undefeated record across 14 matches, it seems hard to go past this skipper. The fight for second and third however, will shape up between Scrivenor, Curtis and the Finnish raider Lehtinen.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

No comments: