Friday, 5 March 2010

LIVESPORT TELECOM New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championships - 3 female skippers on four wins after a wild & windy day one!

Anita Trudgen (NZL) on a wild and windy day one... Image copyright RNZYS.

by Sara Roberts

This year’s ISAF Grade 3 championships have attracted another formidable fleet. The top two Australian women’s teams, including the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion Nicky Souter and rival Katie Pellew (nee Spithill) are here. Souter and Pellew, currently ranked 3rd and 4th in the ISAF Women’s World Match Racing Rankings, showed their skill on the windy and wild race course today.

No surprises then that both lead the New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Championships with a total of four wins out of four races along with New Zealand skipper Samantha Osborne, who is part of the Yachting New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Olympic Squad.

Racing was slightly delayed this morning but began around 10am when four flights were completed quickly. The conditions on the race course were windy and at the end of the four flights were gusting well over 20 knots and the sea-state was proving difficult for the crews so racing was abandoned for the day and the boats were sent back into Westhaven Marina.

Silja Lehtinen (FIN) in a pre-start. Image copyright RNZYS.

Next overall with a total of 3 wins and 1 loss is 24 year old Finish sailor Silja Lehtinen who is sailing this week with another Finish sailor and two kiwi sailors to make up the four person crew.

Also on 3 wins and 1 loss is another member of the Yachting New Zealand Olympic Squad Stephanie Hazard.

Next overall with 1 win each is the youngest skipper in the championship at just 16 years of age, Anita Trudgen representing the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington. Trudgen is also a first time match racing skipper but current Sunburst National Champion, so has an obvious talent for sailing!

Representing the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme and another first time skipper is 19 year old Danielle Bowater also on 1 win.

Last year’s regatta was plagued by a lack of wind when only one Round Robin was able to be completed and local Jessica Smyth was crowned the National Champion for the second year in a row. Smyth is unable to compete this year due to work commitments.

Bowater commented as yesterday’s briefing “I am REALLY looking forward to getting out and seeing how our team stacks up against the international crews! Plus I hope we get some breeze this year!”Which she certainly got today!

American Kim Stuart has returned for another year with her Women’s Team from the Windjammers Yacht Club in Santa Monica coached by local ‘father of sailing’ Roy Dickson. Stuart and her team struggled with the fresh conditions today but have taken today to learn the boats and of course the tide!

This is the final event to be sailing in Squadron’s fleet of Elliott 6 Youth Training keelboats before all ten boats are shipped to their new home at the Cercle Nautique Caledonie in New Caledonia and the Squadron awaits the delivery of the new Elliott 690.

Anita Trudgen (NZL) sailing upwind. Image copyright RNZYS.

Thursday’s Results
Round Robin One
Flight One

Osborne beat de Lange by 40s
Pellew beat Bowater by 25s
Hazard beat Lehtinen by 33s
Souter beat Winther by 10s
Trudgen beat Stuart by 1m34s

Flight Two
Pellew beat Hazard by 1m12s
Lehtinen beat Winther by 5s
Souter beat de Lange by 42s
Osborne beat Trudgen by 53s
Bowater beat Stuart by 41s

Flight Three
Lehtinen beat de Lange by 13s
Souter beat Trudgen by 1m21s
Osborne beat Bowater by 59s
Pellew beat Stuart by 1m16s
Hazard beat Winther by 35s

Flight Four
Souter beat Bowater by 10s
Osborne beat Stuart by 3m51s
Pellew beat Winther by 39s
Hazard beat de Lange by 2m
Lehtinen beat Trudgen DNF

Points Table
Nicky Souter (AUS) 4 wins
Katie Pellew (AUS) 4
Sam Osborne (NZL) 4
Silja Lehtinen (FIN) 3
Stephanie Hazard (NZL) 3
Danielle Bowater (NZL) 1
Anita Trudgen (NZL) 1
Kim Stuart (USA) 0
Sara Winther (NZL) 0
Katie de Lange (NZL) 0

LIVESPORT TELECOM New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championships 2010

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