A cold, windy and sporadic final day see’s us finish a disappointing fourth in the 2011 Korea Match Cup Qualifier. It was a day marred with delays as a gusty breeze pushing into the mid 20’s in the morning meant it was very trying for both crews and race committee to try and complete the full programme of racing. Eventually, with time running out, a near full programme of racing could be completed to decide the winner.
The fleet was sent out in the morning with reefed mainsails and number 2 genoas so the race committee could finally finish the round robin and the business end of the regatta could at last get underway. A win in our final round robin race saw us qualify second for the semi finals alongside Evan Walker who qualified first, Will Tiller and Reuben Corbett. Evan, with the difficult choice of opponent for the semis decided to race Will, leaving us with the familiar task of racing Reuben in our semi final. In breezy conditions both semis went to a deciding third race, proving the calibre and competitiveness of the teams here in Korea. Ultimately Will went on to beat Evan 2-1 in his semi, and unfortunately Rueben managed to win our semi final with the same score.
Showing good boat handling and speed in the breeze, Rueben went on to win the final 2-0 over Will, winning the regatta and gaining an entry into the Korea Match Cup World Tour event. The petite final became a non-event as a crew error on Evan Walkers boat at the end of their last semi final race saw them wrap a genneker sheet around their propeller. Several attempts from the local repair team who braved the frigid water in less than appealing conditions proved unsuccessful. With time running out the petite final was abandoned leaving the final positions to be decided on count-back from the round robin results, putting Evan in third and us in fourth position.
Although the weather conditions this year in Korea were a lot colder than previous years the racing in the final stages of the regatta was as hot as ever. It’s encouraging to see that the lure of a World Tour regatta entry is bringing out some of the best match racing around. With this being the fourth time this event has been run, the organization, event management and facilities continues to develop. Hopefully the World Tour event here in July can continue to grow and be as successful as past events.
The team now heads back to New Zealand to prepare for the Nations Cup Qualifier to be held in Sydney from the 11th to the 14th of May. Thanks again to Zoke for their continued support and enabling us to be able to compete in this event and our friends and family who stick by us. Zoke Kiwi Match website