Phil Robertson is the brand new NZ Match Racing Champion
Phil Robertson was today crowned the Telecom New Zealand Match Racing Championship beating Josh Junior 3-1 in the final. Robertson joins Dean Barker, Chris Dickson, Gavin Brady & Rod Davis on the list of names engraved on the New Zealand Match Racing Cup.
For the first time in the Championships, a strong southerly breeze greeted the four skippers as they headed out on to the Waitemata Harbour to contest the finals. In the petit final, William Tiller was 1-0 up on Reuben Corbett. Corbett was a little too eager to get the match back on level pegging, crossing the start line early and gifting Tiller 3rd place overall.
Robertson started the day knowing he was 1 up on Josh Junior and his crew were determined to increase their 18 match unbeaten streak. However it was obvious Junior was not going to let Robertson have it all his own way and make the finals a clean sweep. Their matches produced toe to toe racing with both skippers sailing well in conditions more suited to the Wellington based skipper Josh Junior.
The brand new New Zealand Match Racing champions. Auckland, 21 November 2010. Photo copyright Brad Davies
Junior in keeping the pressure on Robertson in the first race of the morning copped a penalty leaving Robertson 2-0 up going into the 3rd flight. Junior pounced when an unusual slip in Robertson’s crew work led to a bad kite hoist. Despite Robertson having a real crack at Junior on the last downwind leg, there was not enough run way to get past and Junior crossed the finish line a mere 2 seconds ahead of his rival. 2-1.
In what turned out to be the last race of the day, Robertson and his crew had a great start, but with Junior bringing the breeze with him all the way down the course and slowly closing the gap it was a nervous skipper & crew who finally crossed the finish line 6s ahead to claim the win and the Championships, 3-1.
“We had a lot of fun out there, but it was hard work. We had some tight matches, despite what the deltas might show. We sailed well today in the final, but we had to, as there was a strong breeze today and you are vulnerable if you go hunting penalties in that breeze – it’s just not worth it” said Robertson after being presented with the New Zealand Match Racing Cup.
Phil Robertson sails to victory in the New Zealand Match Racing championship. Auckland, 21 November 2010. Photo copyright Brad Davies
I’m proud of where we finished in the Championships” said Junior. “I only put together our crew 5 weeks ago and we have been practising about 3 times a week since. We feel we really stepped it up coming in to the finals and we’re very pleased with our result. Phil sailed well and he was tough to beat. Coming 2nd for us is a great end to our Championships.”
Robinson will be feeling buoyed by his team’s performance. Next week they’re off to compete in their Sunseeker Australia Cup in Perth in which Tiller & Corbett are also competing. That will be the last match racing event in their build up to the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in December.
1st - Phil Robertson
2nd - Josh Junior
3rd - Will Tiller
4th - Reuben Corbett
5th - Chris Dickson
6th - David Wood
7th - Dan Pooley
8th - Samantha Osborne
9th - Byeong Ki Park