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13 February 2007, 09:21 am
ROBERTSON Wins 2007 Title
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RNZYS Youth International Match Racing Championship 2007
Auckland, New Zealand

Phil ROBERTSON and his crew of William TILLER and James WILLIAMSON (NZL) completed the double by winning the ISAF Grade 3 RNZYS Youth International today and the ISAF Grade 3 Royal Port Nicholson Youth International last week.
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ROBERTSON and crew had three tough races against Robert GIBBS (AUS) in this afternoon's light airs racing but really shone through to take the finals 3-0.

ROBERTSON adds his name to a long list of youth sailors who have gone on in their career's - to reach the top of their sport, Gavin BRADY (NZL), James SPITHILL (AUS) and Cameron APPLETON (NZL) to name a few.


Evan WALKER (AUS) beat Michael THORPE (NZL) 2-0 in the petit-final. WALKER commented at prizegiving, 'The results don't show how hard the racing was out there,' explaining that it was not an easy petit-final to win!

After a short delay for the crews to change boats the petit final and final began, but in much less wind. There had been a steady 7-10 knots all morning and during the petit-final and final just 5-6 knots. During the racing the Race Committee battled with 90 degree wind shifts but managed to complete the finals series.

At the morning's briefing double round robin winner ROBERTSON chose to sail fellow RNZYS LION FOUNDATION Youth Training Programme member THORPE. ROBERTSON and THORPE sail against each other and the other programme members each weekend and trained together for this event. 'ROBERTSON knows how THORPE sails,' suggested Coach Guy PILKINGTON, 'And decided that was an advantage going into the semi-finals'.

This left the two CYCA teams to race against each other. In this semi final WALKER won the first race by 19 seconds and then GIBBS fought back to win the next three races and claim his spot in the finals.

Kiwi Battle

The other semi-final was not so straight forward. THORPE won the first two races then was winning the third but was carrying a penalty. As they approached the finish THORPE's crew began to do their penalty turn but did not complete it on the correct side of the finish line and ROBERTSON snuck through for the win!

This meant that ROBERTSON had to win the next two races to make the finals. ROBERTSON won the fourth in a very close match race and this left the fifth and final race as the decider. It was a very close pre-start and upwind the boats were never more than two boat lengths apart. There was a close tacking duel at the top but ROBERTSON kept his cool to round just in front of THORPE and held the lead to the finish. It was a dramatic end to a fantastic semi-finals series!

Sara Roberts (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Phil ROBERTSON sussing out the race track:© RNZYS Media
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