Koru Match wins NZ Womens Match Racing title in close final

NZ Womens Match Racing Championships 2011
RPNYC Events

Five women's teams descended on Wellington for the New Zealand Sailing Team's Women's match racing championships with the aim of impressing the selectors and perhaps gaining one of the two spots available for New Zealand at the ISAF Sailing Championships. The event started on Thursday 06 October running to to Sunday 09 October

With the count down to the Olympics hotting up the pressure is on for New Zealand's top women sailors to make the grade to compete in the women's match racing event in Weymouth. A key regatta is the ISAF Sailing Championship in Perth in December where countries will get the chance to qulaifiy for a slot in the Olympic match racing event. The regatta staged by Royal Port Nicholson YC is the selection trial for this event.

Koru Match Racing came from behind to take the NZ Womens title. Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt, Steph Hazard
RPNYC Events
Three days of racing was scheduled in the championship and selection trial. With a strong southerly forecast for the middle of the event it was decided to get as much racing underway on day one just in case the rest of the regatta was blown out. By the end of the first day's racing two and half round robins had been completed and the teams had settled in to a definite pecking order. A pattern had emerged whereby the fifth placed team had not won a match, the fourth place team had only beaten the fifth placed team, the third place team had only beaten the fourth and fifth place teams and so on until the top team which had won all their matches!

On day two and with the forecast showing a southerly front due to arrive at midday a decision was made to forego the second half of the round robin series and go straight to the repechage phase. First up were the two teams from host club Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. Anita Trugen and crew proved too strong for Amberlee Faint-Rafferty and her crew taking the sail off 2-0.

The score line was repeated when Trudgen and crew came up against Katie de Lang and her team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Then once more it was repeated as De Lang and crew took on Sam Osbourne and her crew, also from the Yacht Squadron. As their final repechage match ended the front hit Wellington leaving the final sail off until the last day of the regatta.

Fortunately day three dawned with the hard edge of the southerly over and done with and an ideal match racing breeze in place on the harbour. The finals saw Stephanie Hazard and her team, who had spent the winter competing on the European circuit, up against Sam Osborne and crew.

Osborne came out firing taking the first match of the finals and forcing Hazard over the line in the second match. Hazard recovered during the second match to take the win then backed this up with two further convincing wins to take out first place overall.

For more information see www.rpnyc.org.nz