Defending to her 2013 title is what makes 2012 Olympic Match racing representative Susannah Pyatt smile, although it hasn’t been all her way today!
2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships
Pyatt and crew came back from being behind in several of their races today, the second day of the regatta.
There are six skippers in the regatta, a few who have first timers racing, one who hasn’t match raced in a few years, one who had injuries a day before the regatta and had to find new crew and a crew who have only been together for a week! The format is two round robins, followed by finals. Today RR1 was completed and three flights of RR2.
Claudia Pierce is the highest ranked and a graduate of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme. She replaced her bowman with two crew after an injury, however is coming second on the table with five wins from eight races. Claudia said 'We improved! We haven’t sailed much together and it was such a great day on the water. Perfect conditions' In fact the conditions are the constant comment in the regatta.
Michelle Tait the other RNZYS YTP team has also a new crew, and was really impressed how well they all worked together. 'We worked so well together, some of the crew I only met last week. When our communication was good our racing was good, but sometimes our communication wasn’t so good… Awesome day though.'
The only international team is from New Caledonia, Cercle Nautique Caledonien. Emmanuelle Merlo, skipper, is here competing for the first time in this event with a half experienced and half new crew. The New Caledonian’s have had a learning day with the tide here in Auckland being a new experience for them! The learning continued with co-ordinating manoeuvres and crew-work. They recorded two wins.
Melinda Henshaw, a teacher at St Cuthbert’s College, has a crew of students from their school’s teams racing team, and have dad, Chris Dickson helping out with coaching. Melinda and her crew of Emma Beggs, Chloe Fuge, Grace Dickson and Olivia Hobbs recorded a win against Michelle Tait today.
Kylie Jameson is back Match Racing after a number of years break. Kylie is sailing with Jenny Egnot, Sara Tucker, and Miranda Powrie and is the dark horse in the regatta. Having never sailed in the YTP Elliott 7m boats before today the girls were in fine form, winning four races. 'We did alright! We caught up with each other during the AP, had some good and some not so good moments and had no low points at all.'
Kylie won the NZ Women’s Keelboat Nationals in April this year.
Susannah Pyatt rounded out her comments by congratulating the New Caledonians for coming after the postponement in March. 'It is so cool to have them here, they really are a great crew, and we are also so impressed with the standard of the YTP Teams, especially how some of them are so new. We didn’t have it all our way today.'
With light wins forecast for Sunday 11th May, the race management team needed to get as many flights in today as possible. We look forward to two flights of RR2 and the final series which begins 1000hrs 11th May 2014 in the Auckland Harbour Bridge vicinity.