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22 November 2007, 11:56 am
Davis Leads Day One
Dickson V Barker
Chris Dickson leads Dean Barker

New Zealand Match Racing Championships 2007
Auckland, New Zealand

Rod DAVIS and his Emirates Team New Zealand crew lead day one of the ISAF Grade 5 New Zealand Match Racing Championships winning all 6 of his races.

Fellow team mate Dean BARKER is next on 5 wins only losing his last race of the day to Chris DICKSON.

In the pre-start DICKSON was close to leeward with BARKER to windward off the start line, DICKSON came up under BARKER who had to tack off. DICKSON extended a little and then tacked over onto port. After the tack DICKSON looked to be 1 boat length in front of BARKER. As the two boats closed in on the top mark DICKSON caught a favourable left hand shift, and his lead jumped out to around 4 boat lengths. DICKSON's young team worked hard and kept the lead to win the race.

Also on 5 wins for the day is Jonathan RANKINE and Laurie JURY, but both end the day with a total of 4.5 points.

RANKINE was deducted half a point after a collision with the all female crew in Flight 2 this morning. RANKINE completed his penalty turn for the incident and went onto win the race, however after the match the umpires deducted half a point for the damage caused.

JURY's half point deduction was not for damage. In his final race of the day against Adam MINOPRIO running side by side the two boats crossed the finish line at the exact same time and the Race Committee awarded them a dead-heat and half a point each.

The racing was extremely close this afternoon once a moderate southerly breeze filled in, but when racing began this morning it was light airs, tricky sailing and a few crews found patches of no-wind on the Waitemata Harbour.

In the first flight of the day the Youth Training Programme team skipper by Michael THORPE raced Youth Programme graduate Philip ROBERTSON. Off the start line the two boats looked very even but THORPE and crew protected the favoured right hand side of the course and kept pushing ROBERTSON to the left which put ROBERTSON in a hole with no wind and THORPE and crew went on to win the race.

In his next race THORPE matched up against Jan DAWSON. As both boats entered the pre-start, THORPE on starboard started to luff DAWSON on port and DAWSON failed to keep clear and was given a penalty by the match umpires. The pair tacked away and came back together again with THORPE again on starboard and DAWSON tried to cross in front of him on port but failed to clear him resulting in a second penalty to DAWSON. After the start DAWSON had to complete one penalty turn and the youth team sailed away for their second win.

The match up of the day that really mattered to THORPE and crew was racing their fellow Youth Programme members and coach onboard with Chris DICKSON, it was always going to be a tough race against Dickson who is one of their sailing hero's!

It was a split tack start and DICKSON's team were just ahead at the top mark for the first time, the youth team closed in and rounded the bottom mark just behind DICKSON. DICKSON went to the favoured right hand side and gained to take the win by 34 seconds.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - www.rnzys.org.nz

Sara Roberts (As Amended by ISAF)
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