Koru Match has proved to be a formidable force over the past few months, competing at the NZL Sailing Team Women’s Match Racing Championships, and Busan Women’s Match Cup, achieving podium finishes at both of these hard fought events.
The girls topped off the first regatta in Wellington with a first place, and after some intensive training they went on to finish second in the Busan Women’s Match Cup, a grade one event held in Korea.
The NZL Sailing team Women’s Match Racing Championships were run out of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club in Wellington last month. Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, and Susanna Pyatt went through the round robin undefeated, winning 11 matches. This saw them advance into the finals to face Samantha Osborne, and her crew of Bianca Cook and Taylor Holland. After a close tussle in the first race, Koru Match, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, went on to take the title, winning the event 3 – 1.
The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club put on a fantastic event, and even managed to co-ordinate the weather for perfect match racing conditions. The breeze was consistently 5-10 knots all weekend, and made for some close and exciting matches. This regatta was the qualification for the ISAF World sailed Championships in Perth – the Olympic qualifying event. As there are twelve spots for the Olympic Games, eight of these will be decided in Perth.
After a week in Sydney training with the Australian Match Racers, Koru Match flew to Korea to compete in the Busan Women’s International Match Racing Event. A Grade One event sailed in the Bakewell-White 30’s, which take five crew members. The girls recruited top New Zealand women sailors Carla Holgate and Keryn McMaster to make up the remaining two crew positions, who 'added strength and experience into the team. We were really fortunate to have such a great team and thoroughly enjoyed our time on and off the water'.
Koru Match in Wellington - Koru Match
The girls sailed through to the finals, after placing second in the round robin, and knocking the Polish and Dutch teams out through the Quarter and Semi Finals. The final two teams were Koru Match and the Danish team. After two races sailed in light and shifty conditions, the Danish team got the better of the kiwi girls, winning two races to leave Koru Match with the silverware. A fantastic result however, and the girls are happy with their strong performance, being able to demonstrate that they are well capable of playing with the top teams on an international level.
After five months in Europe earlier this year, the girls have returned to New Zealand as a strong unit, and hit the ground running after their win in Wellington, and second place in Korea. 'We really feel as if we’re on track to getting to London next year. Our performance this month has been strong, but we will look to remain consistent and driven through the next few events'. The girls will now return to New Zealand to continue training, this time against the German and Canadian girls before heading to Perth at the end of November. As the Olympic Games draw near, the three passionate and dedicated girls who make up Koru Match are giving it their all to secure one of the slots in the Match Racing class. Watch this space.