by Mel Benton
Day 3 NZ National Match Racing Championships
Laurie Jury, Francesco Bruni, Will Tiller and Gavin Brady through to Semi Final in the New Zealand Match Racing Championships.
Seven flights completed this morning and the top eight skippers went through to the Quarter Finals this afternoon.
Will Tiller and his team of Bradley Farrand, Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason were undefeated on the water today winning all of their five races, including a win over Francesco Bruni who failed to complete his penalty turn handing Tiller the win. This put Tiller at the top of the table at the completion of the Round Robin with a total of 12 wins.
Next on 10 wins overall was Italy’s Francesco Bruni, Gavin Brady, Laurie Jury and David Hazard.
After his loss to Tiller, Francesco Bruni recorded just one more loss in the afternoon to young gun David Hazard where both boats were locked together coming into the finish in extreme light airs conditions. Hazard’s gennaker’ s filled just before the finish giving him a 1 second win over Bruni.
Hazard and his young crew representing the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme had a great day on the water winning four out of their six races this mornings with loses only to the much higher ranked Tiller and Brady.
Gavin Brady also had 4 wins this morning with only 2 losses to Jury and Scott Dickson.
Brady Boat 10 v Jury Boat 9 - Day 3 NZ National Match Racing Championships
Rounding off the top eight were Chris Steele, Rod Davis and Scott Dickson.
Into the Quarter Finals and highest placed Tiller chose to race Scott Dickson, whom he beat 2 – nil by 16 seconds and 11 seconds.
Next was the Youth Programme Graduate, Gavin Brady who chose to race the Youth Programme team helmed by David Hazard. The youngsters put in a good effort but lost 2 – nil.
Italy’s Francesco Bruni chose to race ETNZ’s Rod Davis. Davis lost both races by the narrowest margin of just 2 seconds.
Bruni and Davis go back a long way with Rod Davis coaching Bruni in Match Racing ten years ago. Bruni said 'It is strange to race against Rod. It was hard to pick but we chose on points and that made it interesting for us. Rod was ahead a couple of times and the results don’t show that we had to come back by a few boat lengths. It was very close racing.'
Rod Davis meanwhile said he had enjoyed the regatta and especially tussling with Bruni this afternoon.
Hazard Boat 6 v Dickson Boat 8 - Day 3 NZ National Match Racing Championships
'Personally getting back into small keelboats has been great' He laughed noting it had been a few years since racing Lasers and smaller keel boats. 'The momentum of the bigger keelers like the MRX’s carries you but in the smaller boats you have to do a lot more manoeuvres. We are ready to start the regatta now. We have really enjoyed it though. We had some great wins and some great losses.'
That left the final pairing of Laurie Jury and Chris Steele. In the first race Jury won by 4 second and in the second Steele was a lot closer on the final run, but Jury managed to just get him at the finish by 2 second.
So with all of the Quarter Final being completed 2 zip the Race management team concluded racing for the day and headed back into Squadron base.
Racing is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at 10am with the Semi Finals series between the top four of Tiller, Brady, Bruni & Jury.