Olivia Price and her crew of Nicky Souter, Karyn Gojnich and Nina Curtis, representing the Australian Women's Match Racing team have won the Marinassess Women's Match Racing Regatta, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, without dropping a match over two days of tough competition.
Racing was conducted in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay, in 7 knots of north-easterly breeze that gradually built up to 14 knots throughout the afternoon. Given the strength of the breeze and the perfect Sydney Harbour conditions, Race Officer Denis Thompson was able to push through all flights of round robin two and the semi-finals and finals.
started the morning where she left off at the end of round robin one - in stunning form - leaving her opponents to scratch their heads and wonder what might have been. Price breezed through her matches in round robin two, taking the lead early in all of her matches and maintaining it throughout.
This gave Price the enviable position of being able to elect her opponent in the semi-final match up and she elected to sail against CYCA's Amanda Scrivenor
, leaving fellow Australian Women's Match Racing teammate Jessica Eastwell
to sail off against CYCA's Katie Abbott.
It would only take two matches for Price to dispose of Scrivenor and make it through to the final. A clean start in match one of the semi-final gave Price the upper hand, achieving a powerful position to windward of Scrivenor. Price was able to cover Scrivenor upwind and develop a sizeable lead to seal the win.
In the second match of the semi final, Scrivenor was well positioned on the startline but lost her position with Price jumping on the advantage to lead around the top mark. Price maintained her lead and claimed the win to progress into the final; leaving Scrivenor to sail off in the petit final for third and fourth place.
In the second semi-final match-up, Eastwell secured her position in the final after defeating Abbott 2-1. In match one, Eastwell was over at the start, handing Abbott a handy lead which she capitalised on to take the first match.
In match two, Abbott and Eastwell split to different ends of the line and at the first mark they were very close. Abbott incurred a penalty trying to press for position handing Eastwell a lead downwind. Abbott pushed Eastwell all the way to the finish but was unable to stage a comeback. In the final match of the semi final, Abbott was called OCS after a close pre-start which put her at a slight disadvantage from the get go. Eastwell lead around the first mark by a considerable distance and never looked back taking the match and progressing to the Final.
Price would only need two matches of the final to take the regatta win. In match one, Eastwell was OCS at the start but managed to close the gap with Price only ahead by a small margin at the bottom mark. Price maintained this slim lead to take the first match.
Match two was much closer but Price was ahead at the top mark. A fierce gybing battle down the course saw Price maintain her lead at the bottom mark, and after rounding the mark she protected the left hand side of the course in the building northeasterly. The hard work paid off and Price defeated Eastwell to take the regatta win.
"It was great to be racing back at my home club and race with all the girls from the Youth Sailing Academy. The improvement in these up and coming match racers was obvious throughout the regatta,"
In the Petit-Final, Scrivenor defeated Abbott 2-1 and as race officer Denis Thompson observed, "Amanda Scrivenor and her crew, Shahrzad Vahebzadeh and Angelique Kear, were the most improved team throughout the regatta. She was able to bring her team of relatively inexperienced match racers together and secure third place; with her crew gaining valuable match racing experience, which is why regattas such as this are so important to young sailors."
The YSA team's focus will now turn to the Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta, which will be conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, from Monday 21 March through till Friday 25 March 2011.
To view final results log on to http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=1440