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SuperFoiler Grand Prix: Phil Robertson rockets Record Point into Championship contention

by Nick Vindin 24 Mar 2018 01:27 PDT 23-25 March 2018
Record Point - SuperFoiler Grand Prix 2018 © Andrea Francolini

World Match Racing Champion Phil Robertson has launched his run for the Ben Lexcen Trophy in perfect style – clinching two wins on the Saturday session of the Expr3ss! SuperFoiler Grand Prix on Sydney Harbour.

"We were stomping that one. We had some nice modes downwind and we know how to send it upwind," said Record Point's skipper Phil Robertson.

The New Zealand helmsman could have had a clean sweep of victories during the second day of racing. Record Point led the entire first race before stumbling with the finishing line in sight – a mistake that was fully exploited by tech2 who zoomed past to take the opening win. "We were stoked, we were in the money and to get a sniff at the end was a chance to open up the throttle and the boys went for it they backed us in and we were over the moon when we got that," said tech2's skipper Luke Parkinson ,who sent the red flyer to the top of the Sydney Regatta leader board, "It was pretty loose but it was right up our alley."

Record Point atoned for that disappointment in the next, breezing past Luke Parkinson to turn the previous result on its head – Phil Robertson adding Sydney to his list of SuperFoiler leg wins alongside Busselton. "We were charging around out there, there were a lot of boats around which made it kind of tricky," said Record Point's Neil Hunter who after two wins and a second is now sitting in third on the regatta standings and eyeing off the overall win, "For sure that is in the back of our mind. This regatta being double points means it is all on the line for us tomorrow. We can really take it tomorrow."

It was a difficult day for series leader Euroflex who surrendered crucial points to her nearest rivals, after regulars Nathan Outteridge and Glenn Ashby thrust together three third-placed finishes. In many ways it was a remarkable effort from the three-time regatta champion Euroflex, who also had to contend with a knee injury to their bowman Harry Mighell in the second race which saw his crew scrambling to find a replacement.

The responsibility fell to 20-year old Connor Nicholas, who was only called into the Euroflex fold this week but fully embraced the challenge. 'Nath pointed to me at the end of the second race and he said I was on and my heart rate went to about 200 instantly so it was a really cool experience for me to jump on board and learn, "said the Perth-based Nacra17 specialist who is part of the Australian sailing squad, "I didn't have time to get nervous, the race for me was just a total blur."

"I think he almost wet his pants. He did a really good job considering the amount of training he had which was zero and he might be on with us tomorrow. We will have a think about it tonight and see what the plan is," said Olympic Gold medallist Nathan Outteridge, "We nursed it home, it wasn't our finest sailing but we got three threes so it was not bad considering the day."

After Saturday's racing just five points split tech2, Euroflex and Record Point in the battle for regatta supremacy in Sydney with Pavement, Kleenmaid, iD Intranet also still in calculation for the overall win.

The Ben Lexcen Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the SuperFoiler series, with the champion of the Expr3ss! SuperFoiler Grand Final – Sydney set to receive 12 points to their overall total.

The series climax will be livestreamed on on Sunday 25th of March 2018 at 2pm AEDT.

Regatta Standings after Day 1

  • tech2 (29)
  • Euroflex (25)
  • Record Point (24)
  • Pavement (21)
  • iD Intranet (17)
  • Kleenmaid (10)
Ben Lexcen Trophy (Series Standings)
  • Euroflex (19)
  • tech2 (17)
  • Pavement (16)
  • Record Point (12)
  • iD Intranet (11)
  • Kleenmaid (10)

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