Friday, 15 April 2011

Zoke Kiwi Match; Winners of the Qatar Match Race

Zoke Kiwi Match: winners of the 2011 Qatar Match Race. Supplied image.

by Logan Fraser

A successful start to the season continued for Zoke Kiwi Match with a regatta win in Qatar, following our Nation’s Cup Qualifier victory. The Doha Sailing Club were excellent hosts and ran a brilliant regatta for the 14 teams that competed in the Qatar Match Race. The facilities provided both on and off the water were great, the boats were well set up and evenly matched, and apart from day 1, even the weather played along.

The teams were split into 2 groups for the first stage of competition based on skipper’s rankings. Each group completed a single round robin with the top 4 teams from each group progressing to a top 8 round robin. From there the top 4 teams progressed onto the semifinals and finals stage of the regatta. Although this meant an early exit for a lot of teams, it meant a full programme of racing was able to be completed within the allotted 4 days of sailing.

Zoke Kiwi Match on the water in Qatar. Image copyright Zoke Kiwi Match.

Learning from past mistakes we wanted to arrive in Qatar early to acclimatise to the local conditions, get over jet lag and have an opportunity to do some additional training on the boats before racing got underway. This ultimately proved successful and is hopefully a formula we will be able to repeat in the future as we felt we were up to speed right from our first race. We easily qualified for the top 8 round winning all our races in the group stage of competition and qualified for the semifinals after only losing one race in the top 8 round. The other skippers to make the semifinals were Andrei Arbuzov from Russia, Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi from Finland and Zahid Rauf from Pakistan.

We were paired with Ollie-Pekka in our semifinal race which we again won comfortably 2-0; however it wasn’t so clear cut in the other semi, needing all 3 races to decide a winner, with Andrei Arbozov eventually proving too strong for the young Pakistan team. The finals produced some great battles in perfect 8 – 10 knots of breeze. The racing was really tight but we were able to sail slightly smoother and faster to eventually clinch the title 3-1.

Zoke Kiwi Match on the water in Qatar. Image copyright Zoke Kiwi Match.

We are really happy with how we performed in this regatta, only losing 2 races during the whole event. It definitely puts us on the right track and boosts our confidence as we look ahead. The team re-groups next in Hong Kong for a short training camp before we head to Korea for our next event; the Korea Match Cup Qualifier. Thanks again to friends and family for all their support and be sure to keep an eye on our website for more updates.

Final Results

1 Laurie Jury (NZL)
2 Andrei Arbuzov (RUS)
3 Olli-Pekka Lumijärvi (FIN)
4 Zahid Rauf (PAK)
5 Petr Kochnev (RUS)
6 Sergey Musikhin (RUS)
7 Ebrahim Abdullah (BRN)
8 Ayaz Shaikh (IND)
9 Mati Sepp (EST)
10 Atool Sinha (IND)
11 Morten Jakobsen (THA)
12 Trunal Helgaonkar (IND)
13 Waleed Al Sharshani (QAT)
14 Taramati Matiwade (IND)

Zoke Kiwi Match