Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tiller takes a firm grip on Day One of Harken

Report by Damian Devine & Tom Spithill
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newport, Australia

William Tiller and his crew of Donovan Neil, Shaun Mason, Arnau Farras-Knowles from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron set the early pace with a perfect record to take a firm grip on Day One of the 2009 HARKEN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP, winning all of their 7 matches. "Really pleased with our efforts today, I couldn't ask for a better start," Tiller said.

Round Robin One today comprised 10 flights and racing got underway on schedule under the direction of PRO Ted Anderson who said, "After the first flight we he had to go into a short postponement as the wind oscillated from 090 to 160, but then shortly thereafter the breeze started to strengthen and go left into a typical summer Nor Easter' providing fantastic sailing conditions on Pittwater and allowing us to finish the first leg of the Round Robin."

Tiller leads Day One from another of his RNZYS compatriots Harry Thurston who had five wins from seven, losing only to his Club sparring partner Tiller and Jordan Reece of the RSYS.

One of the tightest matches of the day occurred in flight six that saw Jordan Reece (RSYS) up against William Tiller (RNZYS). In a closely contested match not much separated the two boats over the whole course with a luffing duel on the way to the bottom mark with Reece gaining the overlap to obtain the rights and lead at the bottom mark.

They battled it out as they beat back up the course to the top mark for the final time, neck and neck, and as they raced toward the finish line, another luffing duel was contested with Tiller pushing Reece past the pin, forcing them both to drop spinnaker and resulting in Reece trailing Tiller to the line. Reece sailed well but didn't get the points. "We got him on the bottom mark to turn in front, but we just jybed too early coming to the finish and he managed to take me past the finish line, and that was it. Still waiting for my luck to kick in," Reece said, who is celebrating his 18th birthday today.

With three teams tied on points behind the two leaders after Round Robin One it makes for an exciting day's racing tomorrow as these teams battle it out on Day Two to try and cement a place in the Top four for the semi finals.

Placings after Day One of the completed Round Robin are:

1. RNZYS William Tiller NZL 7/0
2. RNZYS Harry Thurston NZL 5/2
3. RFBYC Pete Nicholas AUS 4/3
3. CYCA Olivia Price AUS 4/3
3. RPNYC Matthew Stevens NZ 4/3
6. RSYS Jordan Reece AUS 2/5
7. RPAYC Jason Waterhouse AUS 1/6
8. RPAYC Reece Tailby AUS 1/6

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A big thank you to our sponsor HARKEN Australia in supporting youth match racing and this event for 12 consecutive years. Visit

Racing gets underway at 0953hrs tomorrow.