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23 April 2007, 11:16 am
Wellington Team Wins National Title
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New Zealand Youth Match Racing Championship 2007
Wellington, New Zealand

The ISAF Grade 3 Yachting New Zealand Youth Match Racing National Championships ran to schedule in perfect sailing conditions on Wellington Harbour at the weekend. After three days of close racing the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club team of Josh JUNIOR Matthew STEVEN and Chris JONES were awarded the Warren 'Wolfie' Williams memorial trophy as winners of the inaugural National Youth Match Racing Championships.
JUNIOR and team did not miss a beat during the double round robin and semi-final phases of the championships, winning every match they sailed. Phil ROBERTSON, William TILLER and Scott MORRISON from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (home of Emirates Team New Zealand) were equally dominant only losing two matches to JUNIOR and crew in the preliminary phases of the regatta.

The stage was set for a close battle in the best of five finals between the two teams. In match one ROBERTSON and crew incurred a penalty in the pre start but showed great maturity and composure to lull JUNIOR and team into a position where they could complete their penalty and still win the match.

Match two was a different affair all together. JUNIOR and team dominated the pre-start then sailed away with superior boat speed to win comfortably from start to finish and the finals were level at one point each.

Pre-Start Duals

Matches three and four featured impressive pre-start duals with both teams fighting hard to get a penalty on the other team. Both pre-starts ended with even starts and the teams locked in a ferocious tacking dual up the first beat.

'In the last two matches we seemed a little quicker out of the tacks so we knew if we were patient we would eventually get the lead,' said JUNIOR. In match three JUNIOR's team sailed home to a close win. In match four the pressure on ROBERTSON's team told with an uncharacteristic boat handling error at the bottom mark the last time ensuring enough of a gap for JUNIOR and team to sail away with the match and the national championships.

In the sail off for third and fourth places Adrian SHORT, Scott BURLING and Michael EDMONDS from Sandspit Yacht Club had a slight edge over Jonathan CLOUGH, Campbell COTTER and Carl SYMAN from Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. The edge was enough to enable them to win their finals 3-0 and to take out the third position.

The Yachting New Zealand Youth Match Racing National Championships were the final event of the Steven Dyke Hyundai Youth Sail 07 festival of sailing.

Dean Stanley (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Wellington:© Hyundai Youth Sail
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