Sunday, 6 March 2011

LIVESport Telecom New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Championships: Hazard and Powrie in Finals

Steph Hazard vs. Sam Osborne. Image copyright Sara Roberts.

by Sara Roberts

Stephanie Hazard and her crew continued their winning form in the light airs and tough sailing conditions, beating Samantha Osborne 2 - nil, to qualify first for the finals series which begins tomorrow.

Hazard qualified in first place after the triple round robin and chose to race Osborne in the first to win 2 semi finals. This left Jessica McDowell and Olivia Powrie to race off in the other semi final.

Powrie showed her skill in the light airs beating McDowell in the first race by 2 minutes and 5 seconds, and in the second by 1 minute and 8 seconds.

“We were very happy with our day” commented Powrie. “We are getting more confident and learning the boats. Today was one of those heads-out-of-the-boat days. It was tough.”

Hazard, who had penalties in both semi finals and managed to come back and win the each commented “We were behind in both semi finals and managed to come back so we were really happy with that. We hit the leeward mark in one race and got a penalty and in the other I thought the overlap was broken and it wasn’t. It was really close racing and hard to drive today especially with the rain.”

The third round robin started this morning after a long delay waiting for breeze. Once the breeze filled in, and the race committee finally managed to get rid of the swarms of sand flies, they were able to complete the final round robin.

Hazard and crew added another 4 wins to give them a perfect 12 point score. Danielle Bowater was unable to get a win on the board so took 5th place.
The three remaining teams, Powrie, McDowell & Osborne were now locked together in a tie with 6 wins and 6 losses overall.

The three way tie was broken in favour of Sam Osborne who had beaten both McDowell & Powrie in round robin 3.

As top qualifier, Hazard chose to race Osborne and this left Powrie to race McDowell.

Osborne’s tactician Taylor Holland commented that “With all the competitors representing the host yacht club it is very much an in-house face off.”

Race Officer Mike Best and his team did a fantastic job in the difficult weather conditions on the harbour today, although it was to their advantage to be able to hide in the wheel house of the Squadron’s Race Committee boat ‘Te Kouma’ when the swarm of sandflies passed! No racing was held during this fly-by!

All the crews were happy to be back in the warm RNZYS clubrooms enjoying plenty of hot fries and hot coffee!

Finals racing is scheduled to begin at 10am tomorrow (Sunday).

Olivia Powrie and crew. Image copyright Sara Roberts.

Today’s results
Round Robin Three

Flight One
Osborne beat Bowater by 1m 22s
Powrie beat McDowell by 45s
Hazard Bye

Flight Two
Hazard beat Bowater by 1m
Osborne beat Powrie by 33s
McDowell Bye

Flight Three
Hazard beat McDowell by 2m 21s
Powrie beat Bowater by 16s
Osborne Bye

Flight Four
Osborne beat McDowell by 43s
Hazard beat Powrie by 24s
Bowater Bye

Flight Five
McDowell beat Bowater by 31s
Hazard beat Osborne by 38s
Powrie Bye

Placings after the Round Robins
1st Stephanie Hazard – 12 wins / 0 losses
2nd Samanth Osborne – 6 / 6
3rd Olivia Powrie 6 / 6
4th Jessica McDowell – 6 / 6
5th Danielle Bowater – 0 / 12

Semi-Final One
Flight One
Hazard beat Osborne by 29s
Flight Two
Hazard beat Osborne by 1m 26s

Semi-Final Two
Flight One
Powrie beat McDowell by 2m 5s
Flight Two
Powrie beat McDowell by 1m 8s