Hardy Cup 2011 - Trans Tasman finals battle

Squadron team of Jordan Reece takes the gun in nail biting match against Josh Porebski - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©
The Hardy Cup under 25 youth match racing regatta on Sydney Harbour will once again see four of the most talented young helmsmen from Australia and New Zealand competing against each other in the finals tomorrow.

The four finalists for this ISAF grade 3 event were decided in today’s second round-robin, with the fourth finalist decided in the last flight of the day in the three or four crew Elliott 6 sports boats.

RNZYS' Will Tiller manages to overtake CYCA's Will Mackenzie after fierce luffing duel - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s 21-year-old skipper William Tiller headed the finalists with 16 wins, seven in the first round-robin and a clean sweep of nine in the second with 2009 Hardy Cup winner Adrian Short qualifying with 12 wins.

Short, representing the Warkworth Sandspit Yacht Club in New Zealand, was unbeaten with nine wins in the first round-robin, but managed only three in the second, still sufficient to make the finals.

Jordan Reece (RSYS) progresses into Semi Finals - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

Along with Tiller, the outstanding helmsman of the second round-robin has been Jordan Reece, representing the organising club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Reece added seven wins to his first round-robin score of five, to finish 12 match race victories.

This left the fourth position to be decided between New Zealander Matthew Steven from Wellington’s Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and three Australians, defending Hardy Cup champion Evan Walker (CYCA), David Chapman (RSYS) and David Gilmour from Perth’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

The final flight was still underway late this afternoon in a fading breeze. As a result of it the fourth team progressing into tomorrow’s semi-finals was defending Hardy Cup champion Evan Walker after his team successfully defeated David Gilmour in their final match, scoring 11 wins in total.

Racing today began in a light south-westerly breeze, following by a brief rain squall and southerly front that sucked all the wind out of the harbour, before a south-easterly sea breeze freshened from 10-15 knots, finally backing to the east-nor’-east before easing away late in the afternoon.

Event Patron Sir James Hardy (on helm) witnesses todays racing - Hardy Cup 2011
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Much of the racing was held close to the RSYS clubhouse at Kirribilli with the spectators again including the founder of the Hardy Cup, eminent Australian yachtsman Sir James Hardy, who was aboard his classic gaff-rigger ‘Nerida’.

Tomorrow will see two best-of-three match racing semi-finals followed by a best-of-five match final to decide the 2011 winner of the Hardy Cup, an event that has produced some of Australia and New Zealand’s outstanding young match racing helmsmen and crew who have gone onto success overseas.

Standings after double round robin of the Hardy Cup:

William Tiller (Full Metal Jacket Racing, RNZYS, NZL) 16 wins 2 loss
Jordan Reece (True Blue Racing, RSYS, AUS) 12 wins 6 losses
Adrian Short (Sandspit Racing, SYC, NZL) 12 wins 6 losses
Evan Walker (KA Match, CYCA, AUS) 11 wins 7 losses
David Chapman (RSYS, AUS) 10 wins 8 losses
Matthew Steven (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 10 wins 8 losses
David Gilmour (Team Gilmour, RFBYC, AUS) 7 wins 11 losses
Samantha Osborne (Silver Sails Racing, RNZYS, NZL) 6 wins 13 losses
Josh Porebski (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 3 wins 16 losses
William Mackenzie (CYCA, AUS) 1 win 17 losses

William Tiller (RNZYS) Harry Thurston and Saun Mason after winning the double round robin - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

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