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18 February 2014, 08:40 am
Gautrey Wins All Kiwi Final At Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Championship
George Gautrey
George Gautrey and his team celebrate with the trophy

NESPRESSO Youth International Match Racing Championship 2014
Auckland, New Zealand

Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club's George Gautrey pulls off a fantastic regatta to win the ISAF Grade 3 NESPRESSO Youth International Match Racing Championships 2014.
In the Final - the battle of the Georges - Gautrey, versus RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme member Brasell, lost the first of three matches by 17 seconds before fighting back to take the last two and deciding matches by 8 and 17 seconds respectively. "Ecstatic" and "speechless" were the words Gautrey used to describe the win. When asked about defending his title at next year's event Gautrey said emphatically "I'll be back!"

The other George, Brasell, commented "He's a fast sailor and you can't pull him back once he's away" about his 2 - 1 loss. "In match one we had a good start and led him around the track; the other races we started badly and tried everything we could but just couldn't claw our way back into it; he sailed really well, full credit to him."

In the Semi-Final battle of the Wellingtonians Gautrey, the younger of the two Royal Port Nicholson skippers, had an epic duel against his older counterpart, Sam Mackay. Starting the day 1-0 down, Mackay came out fighting this morning winning the next two races to take a 2-1 lead over his young rival. Unfortunately, that was going to be the only victories he could muster as young Gautrey came fighting back to win the fourth match by 8 seconds and sudden death 5th match by a convincing 19 seconds claiming local bragging rights. The losses to Mackay must have hurt; "Going down to Sam really tested our team, but we came back and pulled it off" said Gautrey.

Brasell started the day with momentum and a handy 1-0 lead over Australian Harry Price (CYCA) in the other semi-final. Brasell sailed strongly, holding off Price in the second match to win by a close 10 seconds to take the upper hand. Price was already up against it after losing a protest hearing before the days racing, which meant he started on negative 0.75 points and must have felt extremely unlucky after losing the third flight by a ridiculously close 2 second margin. "We were leading the last two races around the whole course but made mistakes on the down-wind that cost us both races and essentially the Semi-Final" said Price.

The Petit Final of Mackay versus Price was a classic Trans-Tasman matchup and tensions were running high. Mackay received a Black Flag penalty in the first match due to three penalties for incidences of failing to keep clear as windward boat, having to surrender a point before sailing a race. "We were really upset after the semis so we came out charging and managed to get three penalties on him - race over" said Price. But Mackay didn't give up, sailing back hard to pip Price by only 2 seconds in Flight Two. In Flight Three Price showed his nerve, surging back once again to take a 4 second win and claim third place overall.

"All in all it's been a good regatta, with a range of weather conditions to provide a fair test of skills for the competitors throughout this event. This is a learning regatta, as well as one to win and I would think all the competitors will head home having taken a lot out of it" surmised PRO Harold Bennett. At the Prizegiving Bennett reiterated his Opening Ceremony comments by encouraging the competitors to have goals and strive for them, and potentially add their names to the event's honours board of household yachting names.

Final Results
1. George Gautrey - RPNYC (NZL)
2. George Brasell - RNZYS (NZL)
3. Harry Price - CYCA (AUS)
4. Sam Mackay - RPNYC (NZL)
5. Ryan Davidson - BYC (USA)
6. Rawiri Geddes - RNZYS (NZL)
7. Carey Shelley (RYC)
8. Malcolm Parker - RPAYC (AUS)
9. Milly Bennett - RPAYC (AUS)
10. Matthew Bindon - KCC (NZL)
11. Michelle Tait - BBYC (NZL)

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Andrew Davies
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