Saturday, November 20, 2010

Phil Robertson moves to the New Zealand Match Racing Championships finals undefeated

Phil Robertson has continued his domination of the Telecom New Zealand Match Racing Championships coming out on top of the Round Robin series with 15 wins from 16 races. A 3-0 win in the semi-finals advanced him to the finals and he ends the day 1-0 up in the first to 3 final series.

At the start of the day only two flights remained to determine the four semi-finalists. Robertson was already secure in top place with a 3 point advantage and it was all to play for between Josh Junior (starting the day on 10 points) and Will Tiller, Chris Dickson and Reuben Corbett, all on 8 points. Tiller had raced one more race than the others and was starting the day with a bye.

Flight 8 ended with wins for Dickson and Corbett, putting them on 9 points. Junior lost to Roberston so remained on 10 points.

In the crucial match between Dickson and Junior, Junior copped a penalty as the windward boat not keeping clear. Junior sailed well and managed to get rid of the penalty on the 2nd upwind leg. Whilst still behind he came back at Dickson and managed to slam dunk them after which Dickson’s crew fumbled their gybe set and it was game over. Junior crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of Dickson to take the win.

The win by Junior was enough to give Will Tiller the much sought after 4th spot after the two skippers ended the Round Robin both tied on 9 points. Tiller had beaten Dickson in their last match which broke the tie and thus advanced Tiller straight into the semi-finals. Corbett won over Park and finished on 10 points, with Junior on 11 and Phil Robertson with 15 wins from 16 races.

Robertson chose to race against Will Tiller in the semi finals leaving Corbett up against Junior. Robertson continued his dominating ways with a 3/0 win.

I’m pleased with our performance” Robertson said once back on the dock. “We’ve sailed well all championships, we’ve had good starts and been fast on the water. The only race we lost was to Byeongki Park from Korea when we didn’t have a great start. We ended up with a big split which we couldn’t recover from. Our core team of 4 have been sailing together for over 2 years now and we’re really starting to see results. It’s great.”

Robertson’s win in the semis meant he would be facing Josh Junior from the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington, after Junior defeated Reuben Corbett 3/1.

With an eye to Sunday’s light and variable forecast, Race Officer Megan Kensington saw her opportunity to get one match of the finals underway. Tiller beat Reuben Corbett in the petit final. Continuing his winning ways, Phil Robertson beat Josh Junior by 23s.

Racing gets underway at 1000 hours tomorrow in the first to 2 for the petit final and first to 3 in the finals.



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