After three days and 76 matches, the 2013 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta came to an end in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour with young Kiwi skipper, William Tiller, declared the winner.
Having battled with the elements all weekend, Race Officer Inge Strompf Jepsen was on the water early as she searched for the best location to run the final five flights of the round robin stage. Heavy showers earlier in the morning had robbed the harbour of all breeze, but finding a 4kt easterly at Hung Hom and expecting it to build, Strompf-Jepsen laid her course and sent flight 18 away on time in 5 kts of breeze.
The first match of the day featured an upset, with Laurence Mead (GBR) beating David Gilmour (AUS), however flight 20 featured the match everyone was looking forward to - Phil Robertson (NZL) and ISAF World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) had a fairly subdued start, and it was Williams who rounded the windward mark in the lead, only for Robertson to overtake him on the downwind leg. Robertson held the lead until close to the finish, when a less-than-slick gybe allowed Williams to get ahead. Robertson looked to have lost it, until the final seconds when he caught a puff and surged forward to cross the line only an inch ahead of Williams.
Flight 22 featured Williams v Tiller, which would decide second and third places in the round robin, together with Gilmour v Robertson. While Tiller turned in a fine performance to give Williams his second loss of the competition, against the run of form, Gilmour bested Robertson, but it wasn't enough to offset the 0.5 penalty he had picked up for a collision on the first day and Maximillian Soh (SIN) clinched the fourth spot in the semi-finals, along with Robertson, Tiller and Williams.
The first flight of the semifinals produced some of the most visually exciting match racing seen all weekend. Williams went through around 20 gybes trying to force Tiller into an error and give him a second penalty, which he would have to take on the spot. While the tactic was unsuccessful, Tiller was still carrying a penalty and it finished 1-0 to Williams. Soh finished comfortably ahead of Robertson on the water in their first flight.
In the second flight of the semis, Williams picked up penalty for port/ starboard, which he cleared at the first windward rounding, but close to the end of the second downwind leg, Tiller put in the better gybe and picked up a puff to cross the line inches ahead of his rival. Robertson built up a comfortable lead over Soh from the start of their match, and finished a couple of boat lengths ahead to make it 1-1.
In the first decider, Williams had the better start, but Tiller caught him on the first downwind leg and managed to stay ahead to win by five boat lengths. In the second decider, Soh picked up a penalty in the start sequence and never recovered, with Robertson finishing over half a leg ahead of the Singaporean.
In the first flight of the Petit Final, with the breeze holding well at 4.5 to 6kts, Williams was in control from the start and finished 5 lengths ahead of Soh. In the all-Kiwi Final, Tiller edged ahead of Robertson on the first downwind leg, and managed to stay in control for the rest of the race.
With impeccable timing, RO Inge Strompf-Jepsen shoehorned the last match of the day into the schedule, just before the wind died to 2kts. In the petit final, Williams finished a boat length ahead of Soh to finish third, and William Tiller recorded his second straight win over former skipper Phil Robertson to place his name on the silverware.
1 - William Tiller (NZL)
2 - Phil Robertson (NZL)
3 - Ian Williams (GBR)
4 - Maximilliam Soh (SIN)
5 - David Gilmour (AUS)
6 - Peter Backe (SWE)
7 - Laurence Mead (GBR)
8 - Gunwoo Park (KOR)
9 - John Eriksson (FIN)
10 - Morten Jakobsen (THA)
11 - Lui Kam (HKG)
12 - Seah Chin Yew (HKG)
Full results and placings are on the results page at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/intlresults.aspx