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9 April 2006, 09:56 am
SPITHILL Claims Title
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MATIS New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship 2006
Auckland, New Zealand

Katie SPITHILL (AUS) claimed the ISAF Grade 3 MATIS New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship title, with an impressive 2-0 final victory over defending champion Jessica SMYTH (NZL) in Auckland today. The 2003 winner becomes the only skipper to win the title twice.
SPITHILL and her team of Stacey JACKSON (AUS) and Angela FARRELL (AUS) representing the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club sailed extremely well in the light and shifty conditions on Waitemata Harbour. SPITHILL remarked, 'We are really pleased because we have put some time in over the past month, training for this regatta and our upcoming regattas. We sailed a penalty free regatta so we wish our coach was here to see it.' SPITHILL also thanked the umpires for this in her speech.

On her forthcoming schedule the Aussie remarked, 'Next we travel to Annapolis for Santa Maria Cup [an ISAF Grade 1 event] then to Finland for Finnish Nationals. So this regatta is part of our training.' She also added, 'We were lucky to have sponsorship from Rohde & Liesenfeld who covered our airfares & entry fee - otherwise we wouldn't be here.'

Today's Action

In the semi-finals this morning top qualifier SMYTH chose to sail third qualifier Jan DAWSON (NZL), and this left SPITHILL to sail fourth qualifier Aimee FAMULARO (NZL). FAMULARO was leading SPITHILL in the first race but sailed around the bottom mark in the wrong direction giving SPITHILL an easy lead, only to fight back to be one boat length behind at the top mark. FAMULARO could not quite get to SPITHILL down the run giving SPITHILL the win. SPITHILL then won the next race taking her into the finals.

In the other semi-final SMYTH defeated DAWSON by 32 and 22 seconds respectively to secure her spot in the final.

In the petit-final FAMULARO beat DAWSON in the first race but DAWSON came back to take the next two and secure third place overall.

POWRIE Grabs Fifth

In the fifth to eighth place sail offs Olivia POWRIE (NZL) defeated Amy MULCAHY (NZL) 2-0, to finish fifth and Greta THOMSEN (NZL) overcame Samantha BOYD (AUS) 2-0.

All competitors remarked that the Squadron's Race Committee did a fantastic job in the variable conditions over the past three days. The umpire team noted that the standard of sailing was very high and the competition was close and fierce.

The New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championships is hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and held in April each year.

The regatta is proudly supported by MATIS beauty products.

MATIS New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship Final Standings

1. Katie SPITHILL (AUS)
2. Jessica SMYTH (NZL)
3. Jan DAWSON (NZL)
4. Aimee FAMULARO (NZL)
5. Olivia POWRIE (NZL)
6. Amy MULCAHY (NZL)
7. Greta THOMSEN (NZL)
8. Samantha BOYD (AUS)
9. Sara WINTHER (AUS)

Sara ROBERTS (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Katie SPITHILL and Jessica SMYTH (NZL) face off in the final:© Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
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