World #6 Open Match Racer Will Tiller (NZL) won the New Zealand Match Racing Championship over the weekend beating Lion Foundation Youth Training Graduate Gavin Brady (NZL), 3-2.
In a nail biting finish Tiller, with Brad Farrand, Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason from Full Metal Jacket Racing took out Brady and his crack crew of Ryan Houston, Rob Salthouse and John Cutler to win the title.
The final race was full of umpire whistles, fast and furious tacking duels and crucial gennaker hoists right down to the wire. It was all about the start and all about who had the quicker crew manoeuvres. The battle could have gone to either competitor right until the final few meters.
In the Petit Final for third and fourth place, Laurie Jury (NZL), World #5, cleaned up with a two nil drubbing of Francesco Bruni (ITA). The scores, unfortunately, don't show how tight the racing really was and these two match racing giants certainly never gave any quarter. Jury however prevailed in the end when Bruni took a penalty that he just couldn't complete. This placed Laurie Jury third and Francesco Bruni fourth in the final standings.
The Semi-finals this morning were a mix with Will Tiller easily beating Laurie Jury three zip but Brady and Bruni took right to the bitter end. It took Gavin Brady all five flights until he finally beat Bruni by 52 seconds in the final flight to go through into the final round.
The calibre of sailor in this regatta was astounding. With Laurie Jury and Will Tiller both in the World Match Racing Tour, Francesco Bruni and Rod Davis with America's Cup teams, Chris Steele, Dave Hazard and Adam Middleton all top contenders in the Youth Match Macing Circuit, Dave Wood and Sam Osborne who regularly compete in the Match Racing circuit and new comers Mike Bullot and Hampus Appelgren, the competition was always set to be tough.
1. Will Tiller
2. Gavin Brady
3. Laurie Jury (NZL RNZYS)
4. Francesco Bruni (ITA Luna Rossa)
5. David Hazard (NZL RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme)
6. Chris Steele (NZL 36 Below / RNZYS)
7. Scott Dickson (USA Long Beach Yacht Club)
8. Rod Davis (NZL RNZYS)
9. David Wood (NZL RNZYS)
10. Mike Bullot (NZL MBSC)
11. Sam Osborne (NZL RNZYS)
12. Hampus Appelgren (SWE)
13. Tugdual Piriou (CNC Noumea)
14. Adam Middleton (RPNYC)