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Pyatt successfully defends 2014 New Zealand Women’s Match Racing title

'Pierce lead Pyatt into Finish - 2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships'    RNZYS Media    Click Here to view large photo

Susannah Pyatt will have her name engraved on the Leith Mossman Memorial Trophy for the second time after winning the 2014 NZ Women’s Match Racing Championships today.

The team won nine of ten races in the regatta which has today been marked by firstly no wind then at 3pm this afternoon a breeze that went the full circle of the compass in an hour. It appeared every time a course was set and the Postponement flag dropped the wind gods laughed and said 'not yet!'

Susannah Pyatt, Carla Holgate, Jenna Hansen and Raynor Haagh had a nearly perfect score however in the final race today were beaten by 7 seconds by Claudia Pierce and crew. Said Susannah 'The RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme has such great members! We (Jenna and Susannah) coached Courtney Reynolds-Smith in the Opti Nationals in Manly at Easter so for her to be in the crew that beat us today, that was awesome!'

Pierce Sprays Pyatt at Dock - 2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships -  RNZYS Media   Click Here to view large photo

For Pierce, who had a major crew change due to injury days before the regatta, it was a long wait for wind, knowing that if there was no finals series, Pyatt had won the regatta already. Pierce won both her races today and had a very close match with Pyatt in the final match. 'We had lots of luffing matches and the finish was so close!' said Pierce. 'We will be back.' Said the YTP Graduate.

Returning after a long absence and placed third was Kylie Jameson (nee Hogg) with crew Jenny Egnot, Sara Tucker and Miranda Powrie. These ladies showed it really is like riding a bike! 'We are so happy to be back!' said Kylie. 'The girls are so happy to be out sailing, and this is a great result for us! Coming third is awesome!' Kylie, Sara with Kristen Dagg competed in this regatta in 2002, coming fifth.

Emmanuelle Merlo and the crew from New Caledonia and Tait had quite the tussle at the final downwind leg. There was a lot of gybing and tactical manoeuvring as both teams vied for fourth and fifth Place. For Merlo and the crew from New Caledonia it was a long day knowing they weren’t going to get as much racing as hoped for, however the final match was so good the ladies had such big smiles and said it was worth it, in French of course! They had a good battle with Tait and two wins today meant they secured fourth place. They are looking forward to the CNC Match Race in July and Groupama, the world’s longest windward leeward race, in October this year.

Two YTP crews - Pierce wins by 14s - 2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships -  RNZYS Media   Click Here to view large photo

The Final Flight for the regatta seemed to be the one that stood out for a number of the crews with Michelle Tait (also RNZYS Lion Foundation YTP members) naming that race the best of her regatta. Tait and crew have only been together a week and although they had good close racing during the regatta, it didn’t quite go as planned. 'The best race of the regatta was the last one. The final downwind leg, it was so close! The crew did so well. It was such good, close racing. The competition was so good.' said Tait.

Melinda Henshaw and her St Cuthbert’s crew recorded only one win for the regatta and placed sixth. However Henshaw, in true school sports manager style, said 'I wish more girls would take up these opportunities. It is so great to be able to go sailing, such good fun! We will be back.' We certainly hope so!

All in all, although the regatta had to be shortened to the two round robins, a fair result was gained, a lot of fun was had and some old girls came back, some new girls joined in and the Leith Mossman Memorial Trophy was awarded to a great crew who are great supporters of Women’s Match Racing. Congratulations to Susannah Pyatt, Carla Holgate, Jenna Hansen and Raynor Haagh and to all the great women’s crews who competed this weekend.

Merlo 9 V Tait 8 - 2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships -  RNZYS Media   Click Here to view large photo

Results for the 2014 NZ Women’s Match Racing Championships are:

Susannah Pyatt 9W/1L/10 Races Sailed
Claudia Pierce 7/3/10
Kylie Jameson 5/5/10
Manu Merlo 4/6/10
Michelle Tait 4/6/10
Melinda Henshaw 1/9/10

Results Round Robin Two 11th May 2014
Flight Five
Jameson beat Henshaw 11s
Merlo beat Tait 12s
Pierce beat Pyatt 7s

Flight Four
Merlo beat Henshaw
Pyatt beat Jameson 50s
Pierce beat Tait 14s

For more information on the NZ Women’s Match Racing Championship including who Leith Mossman was please
click here

Jameson 4 Pyatt 5 at Start - 2014 RNZYS Womens Match Racing Championships -  RNZYS Media   Click Here to view large photo

by Mel Benton, RNZYS


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10:50 AM Sun 11 May 2014GMT

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