Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Hardy Cup 2011 - Will Tiller steers Kiwis to victory

by Peter Campbell on 10 Feb 2011
Will Tiller (boat 3) takes control over Evan Walker (boat 6) after the start of match 3 in the grand final - Hardy Cup 2011 Aline Van Haren ©
Hardy Cup 2011 - Three 21-year-old sailors from Auckland’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron today outsailed their Australian opposition to regain the prestigious Hardy Cup ISAF 3, under 25 match racing event on Sydney Harbour.

Over the past four years, young Australian crews have won the Hardy Cup twice, and now New Zealanders have notched up their second victory over the same period.

Will Tiller, Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason started the final day with a 2-1 semi-final win against the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s Jordan Reece and then went on to defeat the defending champion Evan Walker in three straight matches in the final.

Over the four day regatta, Tiller and his crew, who sail for Full Metal Jacket Racing, lost only three match races in two round-robins and the semi-final.

The performance of Tiller and his crew epitomises the quality of match racing helming, tactics and crew work that constantly emerges from New Zealand in the wake of the nation’s ongoing involvement in the America’s Cup.

Graduates of the RNZYS youth training scheme, they have been match racing together and against each other for the past three years. Tiller has twice won the Governor’s Cup in California, while Thurston sailed with another New Zealander, Adrian Short, when he won the Hardy Cup in 2009.

While Tiller and Thurston are Kiwis born and bred, Mason began his sailing in Mirror dinghies at Portsmouth, England, before his family moved to New Zealand.

Now fulltime sailors, the trio are heading for another match racing regatta in Wellington and in March will spend a month in California, contesting the Ficker Cup and then, hopefully, the prestigious Congressional Cup. All this leads towards the international circuit of match racing at a senior level.

Today’s Hardy Cup racing, off Point Piper in a shifty 1-12 knot nor’easter, saw boatspeed, tactics and use of the racing rules play significant roles in the outcome of most races.

In the Will Tiller versus Jordan Reece semi-final, the New Zealand crew led Reece throughout the first match to win by a comfortable 17 seconds. However, the second saw tacking duels and luffing encounters saw Tiller penalised over the inside overlap rule. Reece broke through to win by 8 seconds but the Australia could not sustain the pressure, losing race three by 10 seconds and the semi-final 2-1.


Two past Hardy Cup winners faced each other in the second semi-final but Australian Evan Walker proved superior to New Zealander Adrian Short in boatspeed and tactics, winning 2-0. However, the Kiwis were not happy with the umpire’s interpretation of the racing rules over a ‘buoy room’ incident that effectively gave them two penalties in race two. Unable to clear the penalties they were declared DNF in the second match.

The Australia versus New Zealand final proved somewhat of an anti-climax, with Will Tilling beating Evan Walker 3-0, winning by 22 seconds in the first match, 20 seconds in the second and by a close 6 seconds in the third and deciding match.

Tiller used superior boatspeed to completely outsail Walker in the first match of the final, and in the second the New Zealand crew’s rig setting proved superior in the fresher breeze. Nor did a penalty on the first windward leg help the Australians.

Walker tried his best tactical manoeuvres in the third match but was still outsailed by Tiller, going down 3-0.


'We sailed a lot better as the regatta progressed and everything fell into place for us,' Tiller said after today’s final. 'It was our first win in six months, so we are delighted with the result and hopefully we can maintain that form in Wellington and then in Los Angeles.'

Harry Thurston was equally excited by their victor, joining Tiller in praising the organisation and running of the regatta by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. 'This is my third Hardy Cup and we won two years ago when I was sailing with Adrian Short,' he said.

'We enjoyed sailing the Elliott 6’s but picking the wind shifts was the hardest thing today,' Thurston added. Bowman Shaun Mason agreed. 'We had a lot of gybing and tacking throughout the regatta, especially today, but our team work got better as the regatta continued,' Mason said.

In the petit final to decide third and fourth placings overall, Adrian Short added to New Zealand’s good day by defeating Jordan Reece 2-0.

Hardy Cup website

Barz Optics - FloatersMackay BoatsAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Connecting Team Bridge at the Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne
Eldest son Ollie is hoping for a top two finish and his 17 year-old brother Guy will be pushing for top three. Consider the logistics of three teenage boys of varying ages all playing the same equipment heavy sport. Now imagine the coordination required for the Bridge family of kiters currently in Australia for an extended southern hemisphere tour that includes the IKA Formula Kite Open division
Posted today at 1:35 pm
Oman Air up the game in preparation for Extreme Sailing Series finale
A two-point lead at the top of the table, backed up by a winning habit and extra training, has boosted confidence levels A precious two-point lead at the top of the table, backed up by a winning habit and extra training, has boosted confidence levels ahead of Team Oman Air’s final push
Posted today at 1:22 pm
Good start to Sailing World Cup Melbourne for Aussies
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won the first race in convincing style and finished the second race of the day in second place The Aussie duo of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their first race in convincing style, and finished the second race of the day in second place. They are currently in first place overall, two points ahead of the Japanese pairing of Takayama and Imamura.
Posted today at 12:23 pm
RNZYS Performance Programme ready to challenge on Sydney Harbour
The team will be led by Kiwi Chris Steele, who brings experience as a two-time New Zealand Match Racing champion. The team will be led by Kiwi Chris Steele, who brings experience as a two-time New Zealand Match Racing champion, as well as GC32 expertise.
Posted today at 11:51 am
Sailing World Cup Final– Chat with two coaches and a media boat driver
Enjoy the action from two very different, but both successful coaches here at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne. Enjoy the action from two very different, but both successful coaches here at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne.
Posted today at 11:27 am
Vendee Globe - Rescue operation underway in Southern Ocean gale
Vendée Globe Race Directors were alerted by Kito de Pavant’s technical team about serious damage aboard his boat Bastide At 0800 UTC this morning (Tuesday), the Vendée Globe Race Directors were alerted by Kito de Pavant’s technical team about serious damage aboard his boat Bastide Otio. Kito de Pavant, who was sailing at 16 knots under mainsail with two reefs in very heavy seas
Posted today at 11:18 am
No separating leading sailors at Sailing World Cup Final
Stipanovic and Kontides took a race win and a third apiece and Wearn was consistent with a pair of twos. Stipanovic and Kontides took a race win and a third apiece and Wearn was consistent with a pair of twos.
Posted today at 11:06 am
Vendee Globe - Cape to Cape
Alex Thomson has recovered some 19 miles against race leader Armel Le Cleac'h since the 1400hrs TU ranking Alex Thomson has recovered some 19 miles against race leader Armel Le Cleac'h since the 1400hrs TU ranking this afternoon and as the duo spear eastwards on port gybe in a strengthening NW'ly wind, the British skipper is slightly quicker.
Posted today at 5:36 am
Sailing World Cup Final - Future rock stars and a special graduation
Awesome to be on the ground for the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, final for World Sailing's World Cup this year! Awesome to be on the ground for the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, the final for World Sailing's World Cup this year!
Posted today at 5:02 am
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec