Tuesday, 28 September 2010

NZ Youth Match Racing: Victory for Josh Junior's Wellington Spirit team

Chris Jones, Matthew Steven, Josh Junior – Wellington Spirit Yacht Racing Team: the winners. Image copyright RPNYC events.

by RPNYC media

The 2010 New Zealand Youth Match Racing Nationals have concluded with a comprehensive victory for the Wellington Spirit team who did not drop a race during the regatta. Set in the inner harbour between Frank Kits Park and Te Papa Wellingtonians were treated to spectacular action from some of the world’s best youth match racers.

Day one was sailed in pristine conditions and by day’s end after 7 flights Josh Junior’s Wellington Spirit Team and William Tiller’s “Full Metal Jacket” crew were already establishing their dominance to go through without defeat. On day two however the wind would not play ball and continued to increase in strength throughout the day. As a result at 2.00pm racing was abandoned for the day.

On Day Three (Monday) the weather was once again perfect for match racing and the eagerly awaited clash between Tiller fresh from the World Match Racing Tour event in Denmark and Josh Junior who was just getting back into the bigger boat since his 6th at the World Laser Championships. After a tight prestart sequence Tiller lead of the line with Junior to leeward and closer to the pin. Junior tacked onto port and was promptly covered by Tiller. Junior tacked back onto starboard to get clear air and after tacking back onto port looked to be well behind. However a big gust came from the left and with all three crew fully hiking Junior gained the lead. At the top mark there was a lot of action with Junior holding out Tiller. Junior was leading at the bottom mark but Tiller got on his air gybed onto starboard causing protests between the boats. Tiller was penalised and Junior then lead to the finish racing at high speed through the line.

Will Tiller, Jono Spurdle and Chris Staub of Full Metal Jacket Racing. Image copyright RPNYC events.

In all 20 flights were raced on Monday making it a very long day. One feature was the improvement of Danielle Bowater’s and her team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who had a great day including a win over the other RNZYS team of Benny Butcher to end up 5th overall. In the end the leaders to go into the semi final were Junior, Tiller, Coltman and Porebski.

The last day dawned with a forecast that included winds rising to 30 knots gusting to 40. The pressure was on to get the Semis and finals away as fast as possible before conditions became unsailable. At 9.45am the first race between Tiller and Junior commenced. Tiller won the start and led at the first cross. Junior however played the shifts perfectly near the top to take the lead and continue to a commanding win. In the other Match Coltman beat Porebski in a close race.

A slight delay ensued while Frigate Wellington complete with dignitaries berthed at nearby Queens Wharf. Racing recommenced in a building breeze with Junior getting an even start to weather of Tiller. Shortly up the first leg Junior took advantage of a windshift to gain a clear lead which he did not relinquish for the rest of the race. In the match for 3rd and 4th place Porebski lead Coltman until a massive gust saw both boats rounding up into the wind with sails flogging furiously just meters from the finish line. Coltman managed to get things under control just a little bit quicker and was able to gybe and make it to the finish first and claim 3rd place for the regatta.

By this stage the committee boat was dragging its anchor and recording a maximum gust of 38knots so a decision was made to call it a day. As a result Josh Junior and his Wellington Spirit Team won the National title which they last held in 2007 and William Tiller and Full Metal Jacket were runners up.

Timeline for the final day's racing:

Junior chasing Bowater in the prestart. Image copyright RPNYC events.

1208 Tuesday. Flight 2 was won by Junior in a closer finish with Tiller and Coltman won his race against Porebski to claim 3rd place for the championship. The wind has built now to a steady 30knots and it has been decided to halt all racing. This means Junior is the National Champion with Tiller runner up.

1140 Tuesday. The first match in the finals was won comfortably by Junior from Tiller. In the second match there was a spectacular finish with both boats broaching in a big gust and Coltman just squeezing ahead for the win.

1102 Tuesday. there is a small delay while we wait for the Frigate Wellington to berth at Queens Wharf which right by the race area.

1044 Tuesday. The finalists have been decided with Junior and Tiller winning both their two first races to advance to the final. Porebski and Coltman will fight out for 3rd and 4th place. While there is the odd big gust coming through the conditions are still very sailable. The competitors are setting up now for the first race of the finals.

Tuesday 1007. In the first match of the Semis Junior entered later and Porebski controlled matters well to win the start. Junior however played the shifts perfectly to go on to pass and win the race. In the second flight Tiller showed perfect timing to win the start and the race. The breeze is building with the odd gust above 20 knots.

0943 Tuesday. The breeze is perfect and we are into the starting sequence.

0905 Tuesday. The RO is setting up the course for the start of the semis. Because the wind is forecast to build to 30 gusting 40 the finals will follow directly after the semis.

Close action on Wellington harbour. Image copyright RPNYC events.


Junior RPNYC 7-0
Tiller RNZYS 6-1
Coltman RPNYC 5-2
Porebski RPNYC 4-3
Butcher RNZYS 3-4
Philpott NPCL 2-5
Bowater RNZYS 1-6
Fyfe QCYC 0-7

Junior RPNYC 7-0
Coltman RPNYC 5-2
Tiller RNZYS 5-2
Bowater RNZYS 4-3
Porebski RPNYC 3-4
Philpott NPCL 2-5
Butcher RNZYS 2-5
Fyfe QCYC 0-7

Junior 2 - Porebski 0
Tiller 2 - Coltman 0

Coltman 2 - Porebski 0

Junior 2 - Tiller 0

Final Overall Placings
1 Junior RPNYC
2 Tiller RNZYS
3 Coltman RPNYC
4 Porebski RPNYC
5 Bowater RNZYS
6 Butcher RNZYS
7 Philpott NPCL
8 Fyfe QCYC

NZ Youth Match Racing Championships