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4 February 2010, 01:16 pm
Tiller Claims Warren Jones International Regatta
William Tiller and his crew lead Phil Robertson's team
William Tiller and his crew lead Phil Robertson's team on their way to victory in the final at Perth

Warren Jones International Youth Regatta 2010
Perth, Australia

In a series that kept everyone guessing, sailors and spectators alike, William Tiller from Auckland's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, won the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta from club and former crew mate Phil Robertson.
The final, sailed on the Swan River's Freshwater Bay went to the full five races, with a protest holding up the result even when both boats had crossed the finishing line.

"It's awesome to step up into the skippering position and take it on and do so well," said a still slightly bewildered William Tiller (NZL) at the end of the day. "We love the boats, they are awesome match racing boats, the competition has been great, we've been pushed all the way."

Talking about defeating his former skipper he said there was a bit of "heated rivalry at the moment, it's good to try and get one over them."

William Tiller was part of Phil Robertson's (NZL) crew when he won last year, so although it is his second win, it is the first time his name will go on the trophy.

All five heats of the final were hard fought, with the two boats sailing around the course as if attached by elastic. Robertson opened the scoring with a tight 12 second win, but then Tiller came back with two quick victories, the first by just 9 seconds.
Then it was Robertson who pulled off a 39 second victory to level the score, and it was down to a do-or-die fifth and final heat.

In this final encounter it looked as though the trophy holder came off the starting line with a slight advantage, but Tiller took the fight to Robertson and managed to grab the lead at the first mark. He commanded the race from there, and even some confusion over the last mark of the race couldn't rob him of victory.

Tiller had cruised through a light wind semi-final with a 3-0 win over local skipper Peter Nicholas (AUS), while another local, David Gilmour (AUS) had taken Robertson to a fourth heat. Making up the winning team were James Maloney, Harry Thurston, Jono Spurdle and Adrian Short.

Perth's legendary seabreeze kicked in for the final, blowing at a steady 15 knots, and producing some sparkling sailing.

As well as collecting the prestigious trophy that was won by the crew of Australia II at the America's Cup Jubilee in 2001, the winner gets invitations to three major senior events: the World Match Racing Tour's Danish Open, the Spanish Open and the Australia Cup.

Results and more at www.warrenjonesregatta.com.au.
John Roberson
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