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26 April 2005, 02:26 pm
SMYTH Defeats SOUTER
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New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship 2005
Auckland, New Zealand

Try as they might the Australians could not spoil Kiwis' day as home star, Jessica SMYTH (NZL) took the honours in the ISAF Grade 3 Matis Women's Match Racing Championship, at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland.
Australians Katie SPITHILL and Nicky SOUTER came in third and second respectively to earn some valuable ranking points for the 4 May release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. To complete a home sandwich of the Australians, last year's runner up, Jan DAWSON (NZL) came fourth.

A beautiful blue sunny day with very fresh southerly 15-20 knots wind started the day. An amendment to the schedule was made by Chief Umpire Shane BORRELL, that there was no longer time to sail a second round robin, so the top four competitors from the opening round robin went straight to the semi finals.

SPITHILL, the winner of the round robin, could pick one of the three other competitors to race. She choose her rival and fellow Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club sailor, SOUTER leaving the two Kiwis to battle for the other final place. Both semis were tight but it was SOUTER and SMYTH who emerged as two-one victors.

The final saw a great match up for Anzac Day with Australian SOUTER going up against home sailor, SMYTH.

The final was a best of three and the first two flights were shared leaving a tense decider. SOUTER was leading the last race by a very small margin but SMYTH edged closer, tack after the tack, gaining on her rival up the final beat to the top mark where the Kiwi picked one last shift in the right and edged herself in front by half a boat length.

SOUTER tacked out again to get closer to the Layline but a breeze from the westhaven wall suddenly extended SMYTH's lead to seven boat lengths around the top and final mark. A consistent 15 knot breeze saw both boats charging towards the finish with SOUTER closing in on the home sailor in a bid to hold on to her 2004 title.

It was the New Zealander's day though as SYMTH crossed the line a mere three seconds ahead to claim the Leith Mosmon Memorial Trophy and her second title in a fortnight after her victory in the Auckland Women's Fleet Racing Championship with the same crew of Sonya SWINBURN and Anna DE FLUTA.

Results

  1. Jessica SMYTH (NZL)
  2. Nicky SOUTER (AUS)
  3. Katies SPITHILL (AUS)
  4. Jan DAWSON (NZL)
  5. Amanda HARGRAVES (NZL)
  6. Sara WINTHER (NZL)
  7. Jess EASTWELL (AUS)
  8. Greta HOLLIES (NZL)
  9. Karleen DIXON (NZL)
ISAF. Image, HARGRAVES battling the champion, SMYTH:© Event Media
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