by Mel Benton
Will Tiller and the FMJ crew with the New Zealand National Match Racing Championships Trophy
Will Tiller wins the RNZYS 2012 New Zealand Match Racing Championships beating fellow RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Graduate Gavin Brady 3-2.
In what was a nail biting finish Skipper Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason from Full Metal Jacket Racing have taken out Gavin Brady and his crack crew of Ryan Houston, Rob Salthouse and John Cutler to win the title.
The final race was full of umpire whistles, fast and furious tacking duels and crucial gennaker hoists right down to the wire. It was all about the start and all about who had the quicker crew manoeuvres.
The battle could have gone to either competitor right until the final few meters.
In the petite final for third and fourth placing Laurie Jury who is fifth on the ISAF world ranking for Match Racing ahead of Tiller, cleaned up with a two nil drubbing of Francesco Bruni. The scores, unfortunately, don’t show how tight the racing really was and these two match racing giants certainly never gave any quarter. Jury however prevailed in the end when Bruni took a penalty that he just couldn’t complete. This placed Laurie Jury third and Francesco Bruni fourth in the final tally.
The Semi-finals this morning were a mix with Will Tiller easily beating Laurie Jury three zip but Brady and Bruni took right to the bitter end. It took Gavin Brady all five flights until he finally beat Bruni by 52 seconds in the final flight to go through into the final round.
The calibre of sailors in this regatta was astounding. With Laurie Jury and Will Tiller both in the World Match Racing Tour, Francesco Bruni and Rod Davis with America’s Cup teams, Chris Steele, Dave Hazard and Adam Middleton all top contenders in the Youth Match Racing Circuit some of whom having just competed in New Caledonia against Tugdual Piriou at the New Caledonia Match Racing, Scott Dickson, Dave Wood and Sam Osborne all who regularly compete in the Match Racing circuit new comers Mike Bullot and Hampus Appelgren, the competition was always set to be tough.
1st Will Tiller
2nd Gavin Brady
3rd Laurie Jury (NZL RNZYS)
4th Francesco Bruni (ITA Luna Rossa)
5th David Hazard (NZL RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme)
6th Chris Steele (NZL 36 Below / RNZYS)
7th Scott Dickson (USA Long Beach Yacht Club)
8th Rod Davis (NZL RNZYS)
9th David Wood (NZL RNZYS)
10th Mike Bullot (NZL MBSC)
11th Sam Osborne (NZL RNZYS)
12th Hampus Appelgren (SWE)
13th Tugdual Piriou (CNC Noumea)
14th Adam Middleton (RPNYC)