JOSH JU­NIOR CLAIMS CROWN

Boating NZ - - Boat World -

Josh Ju­nior won his sec­ond New Zealand Match Rac­ing crown af­ter beat­ing Chris Steele 3–2 af­ter a long, tricky day of match rac­ing at the RNZYS. Ju­nior had eaten Nick Eg­not-john­son and his Knots Rac­ing team ear­lier in the morn­ing, which left the sec­ond semi-fi­nal be­tween Chris Steele and Leonard Taka­hashi’s Pa­cific Rac­ing Team. Both semi-fi­nals were close, but it was small mis­takes from the younger skip­pers Eg­notJohn­son and Taka­hashi which cost them against their more ex­pe­ri­enced op­po­nents. Both con­tests ended 3–0.

This put Steele up against Ju­nior in a bat­tle of past cham­pi­ons. In what were very shifty con­di­tions, Steele took the first match quite con­vinc­ingly and it looked like the fi­nal could be over sooner than en­vis­aged. But Ju­nior fired back in the next match to tie it up at one apiece.

The wind then shifted com­pletely and re­sulted in a course change, and when rac­ing got back un­der­way it was Ju­nior who took the win and found him­self on match point. Af­ter yet an­other course change, Steele came back strong and showed some great tac­tics in the lighter, shifty con­di­tions to even the fi­nal up yet again.

It was down to a do-or-die fi­nal match to de­cide the re­gatta.

Con­di­tions were even harder for the fi­nal, with the wind go­ing home early and forc­ing the two past cham­pi­ons to a vir­tual ‘drift off’. Ju­nior crossed the line first.

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