Hardy Cup 2011 - Evan Walker fights back

Close battle Hardy Cup leaders Will Tiller (boat 4) and Adrian Short (boat 6) - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©
Hardy Cup 2011 - Australian match racing champion Evan Walker this afternoon fought back with four straight wins in the second round-robin of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s prestigious Hardy Cup ISAF grade three, under 25 match racing regatta.

Walker, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is seeking his third Hardy Cup win in four years and came into this year’s regatta ‘hot to trot’ after two impressive match race regatta wins in Perth.

After a rather ordinary start to the Hardy Cup yesterday, he and his crew of Jay Griffin and Henry Kernot clicked today with a total of seven wins in the last three flights of the round-robin one and the first four flights of round-robin two.

At the end of day two, the Australian champion was back in the running with nine wins in total, a close second to New Zealanders Adrian Short from the Sandspit Yacht Club at Warkworth and Will Tiller from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, each with ten wins.

David Chapman (boat 5) leads Adrian Short (boat 6) start to finish - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

RSYS skipper David Chapman and Jordan Reece also improved their standings in the final flights of round-robin one and then each winning their first matches in round-robin two, to lift their totals to seven wins. They share fourth place in overall standings with David Gilmour from Perth, who has had three wins in the round-robin two.

Tiller, 21, moved to equal leader with Short after adding three straight wins in round-robin two to his seven wins in the first round-robin, defeating fellow Kiwis Short, Samantha Osborne and Josh Porebski.

Short’s unbeaten run of nine wins in round-robin one came crashing down as round-robin two, losing his five of six match races this afternoon to Tiller (NZL), Walker (AUS), David Chapman (AUS), David Gilmour (AUS) and Jordan Reece (AUS). He won his last match of the day against Porebski.

The experience of Tiller and his crew of Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason was clearly evident in their match racing tactics today.

Will Tiller leads Adrian Short to top mark in RR2 match - Hardy Cup 2011
Aline Van Haren ©

'We have been sailing together for quite a while, including twice winning the Governor’s Cup in California,' Tiller said after today’s racing.

'We’ve been doing a lot of match racing in a variety of yachts and it is paying dividends,' added Tiller who is competing only for the second time in the Hardy Cup.

'Our best win today was our first, against Will Mackenzie for the CYCA… we came from ten boat lengths astern to beat him by 25 seconds after gybing into better pressure on the last spinnaker run,' he added.

RSYS race officials took advantage of a freshening south-east to easterly breeze to continue racing until near 7pm and completed the first six flights of round-robin two. From a light 4-8 knot southerly, the wind backed to the south-east and east and freshened to 15 knots before easing off early this evening.

Standings after day two of the Hardy Cup, with round-robin two not completed:

Adrian Short (Team Short, Sandspit Yacht Club, NZL) 10 wins 5 losses
Will Tiller (Full Metal Jacket Racing, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, NZL) 10 wins 2 losses
Evan Walker (KA Match, CYCA, AUS) 9 wins 4 losses
David Chapman (True Blue Racing, RSYS, AUS) 7 wins 5 losses
Jordan Reece (True Blue Racing, RSYS, AUS) 7 wins 4 losses
David Gilmour (Team Gilmour, RFBYC, AUS) 7 wins 5 losses
Matthew Steven (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 5 wins 7 losses
Samantha Osborne (Silver Sails Racing, RNZYS, NZL) 5 wins 9 losses
Josh Porebski (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC, NZL) 1 win 12 losses
Will MacKenzie (CYCA, AUS) 1 win 12 losses

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