Cream rising at Match Racing Cup
Published on February 11th, 2018
Auckland, New Zealand (February 11, 2018) – James Wilson from the RNZYS Youth Training Programme is wielding the best record after two days of Round Robin racing at the 2018 Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup.
It was an even wetter day than yesterday on the water outside the RNZYS with limited visibility and gusty winds between 15-25 knots but this didn’t affect the RNZYS YTP skipper. Wilson, who set the pace on day one, continued where he left off by notching up six more wins and finishing the day with an impressive 12-2 scorecard to complete his round robin campaign, handing him the top seed heading into the finals.
Finn Tapper from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is the next best skipper in the fleet after claiming four more wins today to finish the round robin with an 11-3 scorecard. It has been an impressive performance by Tapper in trying conditions, and he and his crew have placed themselves nicely before the business end of the regatta.
RNZYS Performance Programme skipper Nick Egnot-Johnson picked up where he left off yesterday by claiming three more race wins today, collecting a 9-5 scorecard and guaranteeing himself a place in the Quarterfinals.
“Today was really good, we had three wins and just one loss against Leonard (Takahashi),” said Egnot-Johnson. “It was pretty wet and windy which made for some challenging racing, it was basically just drag racing out there hiking as hard as we could and staying left of tack.”
RNZYS PP skipper Leonard Takahashi also finished the day with nine wins under his belt, but with one more round robin race for his team tomorrow he could end up with a 10-5 scorecard. However, he could have been on ten wins already if he hadn’t gone down in a close race with the Long Beach Yacht Club’s Trent Turigliatto.
In what was already an epic back and forth battle, the American managed to hit the top mark but in amongst the hectic conditions and other penalties, the umpires showed the wrong flag and penalised Takahashi by mistake. The RNZYS PP skipper then went on to lose by half a boat length. Takahashi wasn’t letting this define his day though: “It was very low visibility out there making it pretty hard to see the top mark, but it’s all a bit of fun really.”
Asked how he thinks the team went, Takahashi responded: “It was tough day for us again still working things out. We had good starts but just put ourselves into some tough situations around the track which cost us at the end of the race. We have one more race against Clare [Costanzo] so that will be a race to just fully dial in and work things out before the knock out rounds.”
Turigliatto was thrust into the deep end today after not getting much race time yesterday, but the American was exceptionally quick out of the blocks, winning his first three races. However, the miserable conditions, a long flight to New Zealand, and this being his first time sailing on the tricky Waitemata Harbour may have caught up with the team as the afternoon unfolded.
“It was nice to be out on the water all day, we had a really good first three races winning three in a row,” said Turigliatto. “Then we had a little bit of a tougher time as the day went on, it got windy and the team got tired so we’re looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow with a fresh set of legs and a good night’s sleep.”
Asked what he thought about that decision at the top mark, the LBYC skipper couldn’t hide his smile and replied, “Yeah that was a lucky one I’m not going to lie.” The boys from sunny California will be looking to start the same as they did today as a few more wins could see them sneak into the finals.
Frankie Dair and his Kerikeri Cruising Club team had a good day of match racing, racking up four more wins on the course and completing the round robin with an 8-6 scorecard. This is a great effort for a team who have never really sailed together before, especially in a big regatta like this, and they should find themselves nestled into the top eight come finals time.
Clare Costanzo and James Farquharson from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club are both right in the hunt for a finals spot, with six and five wins on the board respectively and all to race for tomorrow.
Two other teams who will be in bed dreaming of a good day on the water tomorrow are Tom Picot from Cercle Nautique Caledonien and John Lynch from the Darwin Sailing Club, who are both sitting on five wins and could find themselves racing in the finals with a couple more guns.
So with five teams all but guaranteed a finals spot after today’s racing, the remaining three spots are still anyone’s to claim, setting up a mouth-watering finish to the round robin racing tomorrow when the forecast is clear of rain and should expect a nice solid breeze.
The remaining round robin races will begin at 10am local time before the top eight advance to the do-or-die knockout rounds.
The racing schedule is from February 10 to 13.
Source: Andrew Delves