Hardy Cup - New Zealanders dominate first day

Racing in front of magnificent backdrop - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©
Hardy Cup 2011 – New Zealand skippers Adrian Short and Will Tiller dominated today’s opening round-robin racing in the Hardy Cup ISAF grade 3, under 25 match racing regatta on Sydney Harbour.

Short, winner of the Hardy Cup in 2009, won all six of his matches, while Tiller won four of his five matches. Joining them in the top three was fellow New Zealander, Samantha Osborne, with three wins from seven matches.

Of significance was that all three Kiwi skippers defeated defending Hardy Cup champion, Australian Evan Walker, who had only two wins in five match races. Fellow Australian favourites David Gilmour and David Chapman also had only two wins each.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron race officers managed to conduct eight flights, comprising 24 match races, despite very shifty winds that ranged in strength during the day from 6 knots to 15 knots.

Adrian Short undefeated in day 1 of Hardy Cup - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

Adrian Short is one of New Zealand’s top young match racing sailors, but today was the first time he had helmed in a match race for 12 months, when he finished third in last year’s Hardy Cup.

'I’ve been doing quite a lot of match racing in the past year, but crewing with Laurie Jury as tactician/mainsheet on the US circuit and also with Will Tiller,' said Short, who is representing the Warkworth Sandspit Yacht Club. 'I was a bit rusty at the start but as the day went on everything clicked and our technique improved on these boats (Elliott 6 sports boats),' he added.

Hardy Cup 2012
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Short said his most significant win of the day was his first, beating Hardy Cup champion Evan Walker by 44 seconds. 'Walker was in front but we got better pressure from astern on the last run to overtake him,' added Short, who went on to also defeat Australians David Chapman (RSYS), Jordan Reece (RSYS), David Gilmour (RFBYC) and fellow New Zealanders Will Tiller and Matthew Steven.

The only woman skipper in the Hardy Cup, Samantha Osborne, sailed impressively in beating Walker and fellow CYCA member Will McKenzie. She and her crew are seeking selection for the London 2012 Olympics.

Squadron Team of Jordan Reece leads Samantha Osborne to the top mark - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

The final match of the day saw Will Tiller clinch second place in overall standings with a two seconds win over Evan Walker. 'Walker had to take a penalty and we just caught him on the line..it was a matter of inches,' Tiller said.

Standings after day one of the Hardy Cup:

Adrian Short (Team Short, Sandspit Yacht Club, NZL) 6 wins 0 losses
Will Tiller (Full Metal Jacket Racing, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, NZL) 4 wins 1 loss
Samantha Osborne (Silver Sails Racing, RNZYS, NZL) 3 wins 3 losses
David Chapman (True Blue Racing, RSYS, AUS) 2 wins 3 losses
Evan Walker (KA Match, CYCA, AUS) 2 wins 3 losses
Jordan Reece (True Blue Racing, RSYS, AUS) 2 wins 2 losses
David Gilmour (Team Gilmour, RFBYC, AUS) 2 wins 2 losses
Matthew Steven (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 2 wins 2 losses
Josh Porebski (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 1 win 4 losses
Will MacKenzie (CYCA, AUS) 0 wins 4 losses

Hardy Cup website