Thursday, 30 September 2010

Women’s Match Race Action

Women's Match Racing on the Waitemata. Supplied image.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

The NZL Sailing Team’s Women’s Match Race have been in action against the world’s best at the ISAF Women’s Match Race World Championships in Rhode Island, New York preceded by the Buddy Melges Challenge at Lake Michigan.

The first of these two major regattas – the Buddy Melges Challenge – was sailed in the Elliott 6m Olympic boat, and the kiwis sailed through the round robins, going through the semi-finals and then go head to head with Australia’s Nicky Souter in the final. After a tough battle they came away with the silver medal... read more here>

From Michigan they moved on to sail for the World title being contested in the four-person Sonar fleet at Newport, Rhode Island hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

With Samantha Osborne at the helm the women narrowly missed the cut for the gold fleet and their hopes of making the quarter-finals hinged on the repechage sailed in 5-8 knots of south easterly. First up was Croatia.

“We started well and were able to put a win on the board,” report the team. “Next was Denmark, where we had an even start, however the turning point of the race was allowing Demark the right hand side two thirds up the first beat. We kept it close but were never able to get back in the game.”
“We then meet Russia which was our last opportunity to qualify for the quarter finals. Russia had a small lead but we again kept the game close and on the second beat got back even with the Russians.”

“Unfortunately we received a penalty in the crucial moments before the final mark rounding. From here, the Russians came out just in front with us one penalty down. No real passing lanes opened up, giving Russia the spot in the stage three sail off.”

From here the team will head back to NZ for some hard training over the summer and some more local regattas in Asia and Australia.

The team in New York included Samantha Osborne, Jenna Hansen, Raynor Smeal and Susannah Pyatt, who were coached by Graeme Sutherland.

Yachting New Zealand