True Blue Racing (TBR) has won the fourth edition of the Jagna Eliza Trophy in Gora Zlota, Poland defeating Pic from Poland 2-0 in the finals.
The event was part of the 2011 Polish Pro Am Match Racing Tour and was the final European event before the team heads to America on Tuesday. With four rounds of the Polish Tour complete True Blue Racing has been the only team to win two events.
The opening day of competition greeted the sailors with very overcast conditions and a very soft breeze with the prediction of rain. The seven competing teams from Australia, Great Britain, Russia, Sweden and Poland left the docks in full wet weather gear as the clouds came over and the rain started to fall. The teams first match was against the all womens team from Poland, lead by Pic the womens tram have been training hard over the winter with good results on the tour earning them a place at this years ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, Australia. True Blue Racing started strongly penalising the girls twice, gifting the team the early advantage, but severe speed problems saw the girls sail literally around the team and on to win the race.
It was not looking good for the team after their second match after losing out to the British team, but the boys came storming back to take out their remaining four matches of the round against the Polish, Swedes and Russians qualifying the team second for the semi finals. the girls continued their dominance from the first race to be undefeated after the round robin stages. Victor Ogeman from Sweden finished third with Kryzsztof Rosinski also from Poland qualifying fourth.
Day two had better conditions as the winds freshened throughout the day. Winning the round robin Pic chose to race Ogeman from Sweden in the semi finals leaving Reece and Rosinski to do battle in the other semi final. Tru Blue Racing team sailed cleanly and smartly to take out the first win of the semi finals and looked set for a quick entry into the finals after leading off the start line in race 2 with a penalty on Rosinski, but the shifty conditions enabled Rosinski to pass and once ahead, he gave TBR no opportunity to pass to take his penalty and go on to square the semi final. Pic continued her winning ways to win 2-0 against Ogeman. The final race of the semi finals was going to go to the team that read the first shift best, and that was exactly what TBR did, the team gained a huge advantage up the first beat rounding mark one 52 seconds ahead, from there the team wasn't bothered and went on to close out the semi final 2-1.
Coming into the finals the girls were clearly favourites to take the title still being undefeated. But True Blue Racing took it to the girls in the opening race penalising them in the pre start to lead back to the line where they gave the girls no opportunity to pass and take first blood in the best of three final. Race 2 saw an even start but with True Blue Racing in a commanding windward position they had the speed and positioning to tactically outsail the girls to win race 2 and win the Jagna Eliza Trophy.
'We are thrilled to win the event, I'm really proud and thankful to my guys, they did a great job out there today, we never expected it to be a 2-0 series and it certainly didn't feel that way, the girls were right on our tail in both races. They were two good wins and we peaked at the right time so all in all we are very happy' commented helmsman Jordan Reece.
The event marked the end of the Polish Pro Am Match Racing Tour for True Blue Racing and the end of the teams European tour as they head to America on the 5th July. 'It has been a great six weeks for the team, it didn't start off to well in Sweden but we have improved at each event and have managed to come away with two event wins and a second, so from that point of view we are happy with the progress we have made and are looking forward to our next events in the USA' commented mainsail trimmer Henry Kernot.
The team's pitman, Jaidan Stevens will return back to Sydney whilst Jordan, Henry and Arnau will head to Chicago where they will be joined by Hamish Hardy for the Eurex Match Cup before traveling to Newport, California for the 45th Governor's Cup.