by Bernie Kaaks
With the City of Perth in the background, David Gilmour is well incontrol of his final match against Tristan Brown as they start the last lap of the last race. - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
David Gilmour and Tristan Brown made it a quinella for the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Perth, when Gilmour downed his club mate 3 -1 to claim his first Warren Jones title.
The result was not without an element of controversy though, when lack of wind forced the suspension of the morning semi final program with Gilmour leading Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Chris Steele 2 – 1, and Brown enjoying the same margin over Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Steve Thomas. Both were programmed to be first to three wins, but as time ticked by without any breeze, the race committee was forced to declare the semi final results as they stood at the break. The decision pitched Chris Steele against Steve Thomas in the petit final and Gilmour and Brown in the 'first to three' final.
Steele and Thomas leveled at one all after two flights, so it all came down to their third and final race. Steele won the start easily after Thomas crossed early and had to go back, a position from which he could not recover.
Gilmour had Brown on the ropes after two flights with two decisive, though narrow wins. In the third flight, Brown carried Gilmour to the extreme left of the course, until Gilmour called for water at an exclusion zone. Brown reacted, but not quickly enough, which led to minor contact and a penalty. Brown decided to carry the penalty to the end and concentrate solely on boat speed. The gap between the two slowly opened up until at the end, Brown had just enough room to clear his penalty with a spin around the pin buoy on the finish line. Gilmour’s desperate lunge at the turning boat was just too late, there was contact and having already lost the race, Gilmour was penalized.
There was no coming back from the final race. Gilmour won the start and did what he needed to do to stay there. His experienced crew was cool and measured, knowing they had only to stay out of trouble to win the regatta.
At the presentation, David Gilmour acknowledged the frustration that Chris Steele must have felt after the abbreviation of the semi finals. Steele won the first race, was narrowly beaten in the second and lost the third due mainly to an unkind windshift that favoured the Gilmour boat. Steele had put in a very gritty performance and what David Gilmour alluded to without actually saying so, was that it might well have been 2 – 1 the other way, which would have had Gilmour competing in the petit final for third place.
Once the light south westerly breeze eventually kicked in, sailing was fair with few adjustments of the course required.
There was no doubting David Gilmour’s right to the trophy. For the second year running, he finished on top of the leader board after two round robins, and despite a few hiccups through the final series, he was clearly the best of the bunch.