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24 January 2008, 11:57 am
ROBERTSON Leads At Youth Match Racing Champs
Action from the race between Jamie WOODS and Reuben CORBETT
Action from the race between Jamie WOODS and Reuben CORBETT

The National Bank International Youth Match Racing Championships 2008
Auckland, New Zealand

Phil ROBERTSON leads day one of the ISAF Grade 3 The National Bank International Youth Match Racing Championships on the Auckland Harbour.
Phil ROBERTSON (NZL), who won last year's event, had a wobbly start this morning dropping his first race to Will MACKENZIE (AUS) but this must have been the shake up he needed as he went on to win all of his following six races today and with a total of six wins leads day one of the regatta.

ROBERTSON and his crew of mainsheet hand Harry THURSTON and bowman Scott MORRISON showed plenty of skill in the variable conditions ranging from light airs in the morning to a building breeze in the afternoon, and as always in Auckland - plenty of tidal flow!

The next two teams, tied on five wins each are James WILLIAMSON (NZL)
and Jamie WOODS (AUS). These two met in flight three this morning and the match was extremely close! WOODS had a penalty from the pre-start and WILLIAMSON was sailing in the lead but WILLIAMSON sailed inside the breakwater at the eastern entrance to Westhaven Marina (which is a prohibited area) and his advantage was negated! WILLIAMSON however just held onto his lead to win the race by just 1 second.

WILLIAMSON had another close race versus David CHAPMAN (AUS) in flight five this afternoon, the pair were very even heading towards the bottom mark on the first downwind leg - with WILLIAMSON inside CHAPMAN. WILLIAMSON didn't have buoy room and gained an advantage out of the manoeuvre and was given a double penalty by the match umpires. WILLIAMSON fought hard to get back into the race but CHAPMAN crossed the finish line just 2 seconds in front.

The next two skippers on four wins are Reuben CORBETT (NZL) and MACKENZIE, both with four wins and three losses.

It was a gorgeous sunny day on the Waitemata Harbour. Racing began on time at 10:00 this morning but after two flights were completed the southerly breeze died away and then did a complete 180 degree turn! The course was re-laid in a northeasterly direction and racing began again just after lunch.

The teams returned to the dock around 18:00 this evening after completing eight flights.

Flight nine will be the first flight tomorrow, and then onto round robin two.

The National Bank International Youth Match Racing Championships - click here
Sara Roberts
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