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Nespresso Int'l Youth MR Cup: Egnot-Johnson wins Final

by Andrew Delves 23 Feb 23:33 PST 24 February 2019

Nick Egnot-Johnson and his RNZYS Performance Programme KNOTS Racing Team – Zak Merton, Sam Barnett and Alistair Gifford – have notched up another big victory, taking out the 2019 Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup.

Egnot-Johnson eased through his semi-final 3-0 against Callum Radford’s Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club team from Wellington to cement his spot in the final.

He was made to wait for an opponent though, with the semi-final between Jordan Stevenson’s RNZYS Youth Training Programme Vento Racing team and Tom Grimes’ team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia going right down to the wire. It was Grimes who was sitting in the box seat, taking the first two matches and leaving himself needing only one more victory to meet Egnot-Johnson in the final. Stevenson wasn’t going to have a bar of that though, and as he has done before, pulled up his socks and pulled off an amazing comeback – winning the next three matches to send Grimes reeling into the petite final and himself into the big dance.

The all Squadron final also did not disappoint, with some incredibly tight racing, tacking duels and speedy downwind sailing. Both teams’ traded close wins to send the final into an epic fifth match to decide who would be champion. However after what was a very exciting pre-start, and in what was Stevenson’s 10th match of the day, him and his team made a costly mistake and were ruled to be over the start line before the horn.

This gave Egnot-Johnson a decisive lead that he would not relinquish, allowing him to sail his Knots racing team to the overall victory.

Stevenson was disappointed not to win, but still had a strong sense of pride about how he and his team sailed today – “Yeah I am extremely proud of my team, we gave it everything we had but it just wasn’t quite to be. We had 10 matches today so by the time we got to that final match we really had to dig deep. There must only have been inches in that decision but that’s how it goes. Well done to Nick and the boys on the win, they are much deserved winners. We will be back next year to give it another nudge!”

Egnot-Johnson was also very proud of his team and was more than chuffed that they managed to take home the spoils - “I’m just so stoked that we managed to win this regatta and I’m super proud of the boys on how well we sailed all week.

"A big shout-out to Jordan and his team, they put up a massive fight in the final and made it as tough as it could have been.

"A big thanks to Nespresso and HARKEN for sponsoring the regatta, all the race management volunteers, umpires, our coach Reuben Corbett, and to the sailing and media team at the Squadron. We are on a good run at the moment and now have our sights set on the Congressional Cup in California!”

Final results: www.matchracingresults.com

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