Souter still on top at compasscard women's match racing

A picture perfect early spring day greeted competitors on day three of the compasscard Australian Women's Match Racing Championships. The final two flights of round robin two and the sail off for minor placings were conducted.

Racing was delayed for over one hour as the wind shifted from NE to SE and requiring the course to be re-laid. Racing got under way at 1115hrs with the match up of the day between ASDS members Lucinda Whitty and Nicky Souter. Whitty caused an early upset out-sailing Souter on each leg, and securing herself a spot in the top four, giving Souter a huge wake-up call that anything can happen heading towards the finals.

RNZYS's Samantha Osborne was in hot form beating Nadia Punselie from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club by 1' 43″. Osborne started just ahead of Punselie, and was able to sail a near-faultless race, opening up a twenty second lead at the bottom mark, before continuing to build on the back of a solid up-wind run to take a large and decisive win.

In Flight Nine, the final flight of the round robin, Nicky Souter won by 14sec from fellow Australian Sailing Development Squad team member Katie Spithill, with Samantha Osborne scoring another win after a tough race against Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Amy Lee. This win secured a spot in the final four for Osborne.

“I am very happy to have finished in the top four in the Australian Nationals. It's nice to get one back, as the Aussies always seemed to finish in the top four in the NZ Nationals,” said Samantha.

“My crew of Jenna Hansen & Raynor Smeal have been working solidly over the last three days and we have had a really consistent regatta. We look forward to racing tomorrow in the semis and putting in another solid performance,” concluded Samantha.

The leaderboard after Round Robin Two stood at: 1st – Souter 17 wins 1 loss; 2nd – Osborne 14 wins 4 losses; 3rd – Spithill 12 wins 6 losses and 4th Whitty 12 wins 6 losses. Crews that placed first – fourth received the afternoon off with most staying on water to cheer on fellow team mates in the sail-off for minor placings. All sail-offs went to three matches showing just how tough each match has been.

Nadia Punselie (RFBYC) was matched against Claire Hunting from Sandringham Yacht Club for ninth and tenth position. Punselie securing ninth place and Hunting tenth after three close matches. In the final two matches of the flight, both crews had to negotiate through the keel boat traffic of the RANSA Wednesday afternoon sailing.

“I am really pleased with our placing – our team only came together on the practice day and our performances have improved daily. We were on a steep learning curve and every match presented a new challenge” said Nadia.

“The standard of our fellow competitors is quite high and we have learnt a lot over the week, which we will take back with us. I also felt my confidence as a skipper grew each match and I would like to thank the CYCA for hosting the regatta and my crew for sailing with me,” concluded Nadia.

For Claire Hunting, contending with 40 keel boats on the way to the top mark in her final match up provided her with one of the most memorable challenges of the regatta. “It was an extra challenge to negotiate our way through those keelboats! We have definitely learnt a lot over the course of the regatta and have faced some pretty tough competition to finish in tenth position.”

CYCA's Catherine Trew finished in seventh position beating RSYS's Amy Lee in three tight finishing flights. RNZYS's Stephanie Hazard finishing in fifth position defeating ASDS & CYCA's Amanda Scrivenor in a tactical three flight battle

Today's forecast is 10-15 knots NW at first, turning N/NE and increasing to 15-20 knots during the morning and at times during the afternoon 20-25 knots with waters becoming choppy. With a full program of semi finals and finals scheduled, these conditions will again test competitors.

For results of Day Two Round Robin and the minor placings go to http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=4305

Photo – Samantha Osborne and her crew of Jenna Hansen and Raynor Smeal (RNZYS) in action – CYCA Staff

About the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy

The objectives of the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy are to encourage and promote youth into offshore keel boat racing by providing pathways for youth aged 12 -24 to develop the skills necessary to achieve such an objective. Over two thousand students have graduated from the Learn to Sail course which teaches basic boat handling and maintenance and sail trim, while having an overall focus on teamwork, perseverance and fun! In addition to the Learn to Sail and Intermediate Sailing courses offered, those wanting to further develop their sailing skills can gain more experience by enrolling in the Talented Sailor, Development Match Racing, and Advanced Sailing Courses offered during the winter months. The CYCA Youth Sailing Academy is proudly supported by Audi Australia.

About compasscard

compasscard is the brainchild of Noakes Group managing director Sean Langman. It's an industry first loyalty program that rewards customers for multiple uses across the Noakes Group of companies, including six Noakes boat yards stretching along the east Australian coastline, Kermandie Hotel and Marina at Port Huon, Tasmania, historic Rosman Ferries and Lessons AfloatA number of new business partners recently added their weight to the compasscard program. To view the points table and take advantage of all special offers apply for your compasscard online at www.compasscard.com.au

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