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3 September 2002, 12:32 pm
in conjunction with Women|s Open Matchrace Event Newport (W.O.M.E.N)
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Australian Womens Match Racing Championship
Newport

Royal Prince Alfred's Katie Spithill and Heidi Gordon teamed up with Sarah Roberts-Thomson from Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to win the Australian Women's Match Racing Championships over the weekend.
Runner-up was the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team of Anne Marie Waugh, Ester Melville and Jessica Smyth whilst 3rd place went to RPAYC Youth Development team Nicky Souter, Nicole Corlett and Rochanne Barrett. Defending Champion WA's Courtney Lawrence placed 4th whilst current New Zealand Women's champion Aimee Famularo was 5th.

On top of the scorecard after the round robin phase, Souter elected to sail Waugh and went down 2-0 leaving her to ponder whether she had made a good choice. Spithill advanced 2-0 over Lawrence with the freshening breeze making for an exciting conclusion to the Championship. In match 1 of the best of 5 final Spithill collected a prestart contact penalty as she attempted to take advantage of Waugh who was in irons. Despite a broach on the 1st run, Spithill led around the track, but as she exonerated at the layline Waugh slid underneath to establish a narrow lead down the final run. Now it was Waughs turn to broach and it was a big one allowing Spithill to take the match. In the next 2 matches Spithill's experienced crew lead off the line and never looked threatened as the breeze hovered in the 15-20 range with the odd gust of 25+.

In the best of three petit final, Souter came from behind in both matches, overtaking Lawrence who had a massive wipe-out just before the finish lin. In the 2nd, Souter recovered from 2 prestart penalties with an equaliser and some gutsy spinnaker work on the last run.
Sailsportz/News Editor
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