Rainy start for Match Racing Cup

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Auckland, New Zealand (February 10, 2018) – With persistent rain falling all day on the Waitemata Harbour, it wasn’t the best day for the start of the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup, but the breeze was steady and allowed Race Management team to get through 11 flights of racing.

This year the event has 15 teams entered and with only 10 Elliott 7’s in the fleet, not all teams have yet had a decent crack.

James Wilson (RNZYS YTP) has a very slender lead over the teams who saw a good amount of race time today, winning six of his eight races and putting his hand up as one to beat over the next three days. Wilson had good wins against the regatta favourite Leonard Takahashi and his YTP comrade Jordan Stevenson, as well as dispatching Clare Costanzo (RPAYC), James Farquharson (RPAYC), John Lynch (DSC) and Finn Tapper (CYCA).

Takahashi isn’t far behind with five wins and two losses for his RNZYS Performance Programme Pacific Racing Team. With wins against Farquharson and Tapper, Takahashi might be rueing a few mistakes that led to two losses – one of them the match of the day against RNZYS YTP skipper Jordan Stevenson.

“Yeah we have new crew so we’re still adjusting and working things out,” shared Takahashi. “We made a few silly unforced errors on the course – especially in that race against Jordan – but we’re looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”

Jordan Stevenson (RNZYS YTP) is 3-3 after today’s racing, but the team were pretty stoked with their big match of the day win over Takahashi. James Jennings is on main for Stevenson this week and he was happy with how the day went: “We went three for three but we beat Leonard which was pretty good and we manged to win two others. The three we lost were down to silly mistakes but I’m pretty happy with how the team sailed and I think we have a good day ahead of us tomorrow.”

Finn Tapper from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is right in the mix at the top of the leader board, managing to notch up the most wins with seven victories on day one. Although Tapper has the most wins on the board, losses to Takahashi, Wilson and Farquharson meant he hasn’t quite got the top spot going into Sunday. “Today went well, we lost a couple of silly ones but we learnt a lot from it which is the main thing.”

As anyone who has sailed in Auckland’s harbour will know, the tide can be pretty tricky especially with a decent breeze, but Tapper adjusted well in his first time out on the Hauraki. Asked what he thought of today’s conditions Tapper replied, “It was very wet and cold out there but we started to get the hang of the tide in the end which was really pleasing and we’ll be better for it tomorrow.”

After taking out the Hardy Cup on Thursday (Feb 8), Clare Costanzo and her slightly rejigged crew found it tough in Auckland today, but with three wins and four losses the girls are still ready to move up the leaderboard with a few more wins tomorrow.

Kerikeri Cruising Club’s Frankie Dair also had a mixed day on the water, but after losing his first three races and getting some on water coaching from the RNZYS YTP coaching staff, his team managed to pull it back and gain a few wins to finish the day with a 4-4 scorecard.

The fourth best team today was Nick Egnot-Johnson and his RNZYS Performance Programme team who notched up a solid six wins, including big guns against RNZYS YTP skippers Stevenson and Wilson.

Teams who didn’t get much time on the water today were Tom Picot (CNC, New Caledonia), Lachlan Grimwade (RPNYC), Trent Turigliatto (LBYC), Alastair Gifford (QCYC) and Charlotte Girffin (RSYS) – but all five teams will see plenty of action tomorrow so will be looking to make their marks on the regatta.

Round Robin racing will get back underway tomorrow at 10am, and with 15 flights left to sail, Race Management will be looking to complete the remaining round robin racing. However, teams hoping for a drier day on the water might be a bit disappointed when they arrive at the Squadron tomorrow, as the forecast is predicting even more rain than today.

Source: Andrew Delves

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