Saturday, April 24, 2010

Waka Racing Launch 2010 Campaign and Web Site

Hi Family and Friends,

Waka Racing is back and better than ever. With a new web site,, and a big off-season behind us, the tension is brewing for the start of our Europe campaign.

It has not all been fun and games over the summer down under, with the team working hard on fitness and strength with a bit of sailing in between. Starting off the year with a second place at the Warren Jones youth regatta the team then sailed with Magnus Holmberg in the Omega Cup. The highlights came after, winning the NZ and World BMW Sailing Cup. A great start to the year before we embark on another 7 months in Europe.

The start for Waka Racing will be in Korea, from the 6-9th may in the Korea Match Cup Qualifier. After this we will carry on to Europe to start the 2010 campaign where we plan to participate in 12-16 Match Racing regattas and do as much other sailing as possible.

Please do check out our web site
New features include:
- Live twitter updates at events
- Capability to upload video and photos easily
- Full run down on team events, profiles, results, sponsors and supporters

A big thank you must go to Simon Dickey and James Ing at Frontend who designed and built the website for us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BMW Cup WOrld Champions!


Team New Zealand defends title.

New Zealand became the first nation to successfully win back to back titles in the BMW Sailing Cup World Final when a young crew led by Phil Robertson swept to victory on their home waters in Auckland today.

In winning the prestigious amateur regatta in a field of seven nations, Robertson and his crew successfully defended the title won in Italy last year by another New Zealand crew led by Aucklander Roger Pagani.

Ralf Hussmann, General Manager of BMW Sports Marketing, said BMW was proud to have brought the fourth Sailing Cup World Final to Auckland. “This city is known around the world as the City of Sails,” he said. “We had seven passionate teams competing and the level of sailing was very high.

“Sailing represents values of teamwork, competition, challenge, environmental awareness and aesthetics, which also match BMW’s values,” he said. “We have seen these teams from all over the world come together in a great spirit of friendly and fair competition.”

Once again, conditions were testing on the final day, with an 18 knot south-westerly blowing against a strong incoming tide causing Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour to develop a challenging chop. The programme for the day involved completing the semi-finals of the match racing and then progressing directly to the finals. Team Portugal defeated Team Italy 2-0 to advance to the final, while Team New Zealand dispatched Team Malta by the same score. 

This set up a best-of-five final between Team New Zealand and Team Portugal, while Teams Malta and Italy sailed a best-of-three petite final for 3rd and 4th place, which Italy won in two straight matches. 

The final got off to a rocky start for Team Portugal when they collected two penalties in the pre-start, one for a port-starboard incident and one for failing to keep clear in the windward position. 

"That got the nerves going a bit," admitted Portuguese skipper John Tavares. "We are still learning about the match racing rules. We made some small mistakes, but in a contest like this you pay a high price." 

The Portuguese team were unable to recover and the score ticked over to 1-0 in favour of New Zealand. In the second match, New Zealand led away from the start line and extended all the way to go to match point on 2-0. In the third match, Team Portugal made it a much closer battle, keeping the action close all the way, but New Zealand crossed the line ahead to clinch the title. 

After observing tradition by being thrown into the harbour, a drenched New Zealand skipper Phil Robertson was delighted with the win "This is a great one to add to our sailing CV," he said. "My crew – Garth Ellingham, Sam Bell, Logan Fraser and Brad Farrand – was really superb. “This is our first regatta of the year, so we are off to a good start. We were in boats we are used to and on our home waters, so that all helped.” 

John Tavares of Portugal, speaking for his crew of Tiago Leal, Helder Basilio, André Basilio and Joáo Baganha, was gracious in defeat. " When we beat Team Italy in the semi-finals, our motivation was very high. We were manoeuvring the boat well and our helmsman, Helder Basilio, who has more match racing experience, was doing a good job. But New Zealand were too strong. They sailed really well, but we are very happy with our result." 

Final standings. 

Final: Team New Zealand vs Team Portugal 3-0 
Petit Final: Team Italy vs Team Malta 2-0 

1 Team New Zealand 
2 Team Portugal 
3 Team Italy 
4 Team Malta 
5 Team Spain 
6 Team Hong Kong 
7 Team Germany

Warren Jones Final Standings

After a very frustrating and trying day, WAKA Racing comes off the water in 2nd place. The semi finals were against the young and fiery David Gilmour. After two races, we both had one apiece but needed two more to win. We won the next two races, by no means easily, Gilmour giving us the challenge that we needed to go into the finals prepared. William Tiller won his races as well and so the Perth commentators were a bit disappointed on an all Kiwi Final!

This was a bit of a ‘grudge match’ as Tiller had sailed with WAKA Racing before and had taken some of our teammates with him. WAKA Racing came out firing. We were the 2009 Champions, after all.

After the first two races it was one each. The first team to win three races would be crowned the 2010 Champions. During race three, rounding the bottom pin, we were just passing Tiller when our team mate Garth, slipped overboard. Our bowman Matt Kelway, scrambled to his rescue. With one and a half team members in the water and out of action, we were unable to slip past Tiller and go for the win we were after. At the end of the race, it was Garth’s time to shine as Phil was occupied with the referees. The reporters wanted an interview. Garth handled it with professionalism.

Race four was a ‘do or die‘ race for WAKA Racing. We were trapped in the start, but managed to dip down around behind Tiller and caught him at a stand still. Skipper, Phil Robertson, while deciding to make the risky move, saw the damage bill flash before his eyes and then proceeded to carry out the ‘steel balls’ manoeuvre. Tiller copped a penalty during the race and the race was won from there!




It was all down to the final race. After a close start, the teams made their way up the course. Tiller held a very small lead. The top mark rounding was great teamwork by WAKA Racing, and we continued to keep a hold on Tiller. The race was far from over. Coming down to the bottom mark, our crew saw a red flag on the start boat, indicating a change of course. We weren’t far behind Tiller when we broke away to head to the RED mark, (as we had seen the flag, and we were sure of the change of course,) while Tiller rounded the yellow. Who was right? Horns started blasting as Tiller crossed the finish line. The cheering could be heard. However, there was confusion upon our boat. We HAD seen the red flag, it had come up. Therefore, we were, we felt, entitled to a rematch. We came off the water, very fiery, determined that we would have a rematch; because even the Commodore had seen the red flag go up. Surely the referees would see that it was fair to do so.

However, the referee’s weren’t in our favour and we were disqualified. A very frustrated and disappointed team of six headed to the ‘Marae’ (or out clubbing?) after prize giving for a good night’s sleep. We raced well, and worked well as a team. Workmanship on the boat was outstanding. Our hosts, Chris and Margaret Chapple, as always, have been fantastic. They are great supporters (and cooks) and we have thoroughly enjoyed staying with them this year. Congrats to Tiller and his crew for the win. And finally, a big thankyou to our families, friends and supporters back home for listening to our racing on the internet and cheering for us.

Final Placings

1 William Tiller NZL (RNZYS)

2 Phil Robertson NZL (RNZYS)

3 David Gilmour AUS (RFBYC)

4 Peter Nicholas AUS (RFBYC)

5 Tristan Brown AUS (RFBYC)

6 Robert Gibbs AUS (RPYC)

7 Kyle Langford AUS (CYCA)

8 Rueben Corbett NZL (RNZYS)

9 David Chapman AUS (RSYS)

10 Jordan Reece AUS (RSYS)

11 Martin Boidin DEN (RDYC)

Over and out,

WAKA Racing

Phil Robertson

Garth Ellingham

James Williamson

Matt Kelway

Mike Edmonds

Taylor Holland

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2nd place going into Semi's

Perth, Western Australia, is the place for windsurfing and kite surfing not match racing. Another windy, windy day here that had us match racing in 30+ kts once again. ‘The Doctor’ is psychotic at the moment and we are hoping it will take a chill pill tomorrow for the semi finals.

We have qualified 1st equal, but losing on count back to Will Tiller our fellow RNZYS member after the round robin stage. We had strong winds again turning the highly technical Match Racing into survival racing. We had 6 races today, only losing one this morning in very shifty conditions. Winning most of our starts we seemed to be able to control the rest of our races comfortably. Teams conclusion of the day was the the Lamb sandwiches (lambo sambo's) were outstanding.

Tomorrow brings the semi finals where we hope to be able to progress to the finals to have a crack at defending our title.

Tune into listen to us live tomorrow on:

Thanks for the support,

WAKA Racing

Phil Robertson
Garth Ellingham
James Williamson
Mike Edmonds
Matt Kelway
Taylor Holland


Warren Jones - Day 2

Reese and Boiden battling the wind. (Just to give you an idea of the weather conditions)

WAKA Racing on right

WAKA Racing on left.

Kia Ora,

Another tough day here in Perth for the team. Racing started at 10 and was called off at 2.30 due to copious amounts of breeze. The Doctor was here in the morning and proceeded to build until we were racing once again with reefed mains.

We started well putting two more wins on the board in our first two races. We had our fellow kiwi team next to race. We started well, tight to leeward and then tacked with him. The breeze was then up to 25kts and not letting off. Unfortunately we were forced left on the coarse where the right payed and we were not able to recover from there. The best part of the race though was the last downwind in 30+ kts on the edge of control. Thoroughly enjoyable for the team despite the loss. Racing was then cancelled for the day after completing 3 races.

Heads are high and we learnt a lot from the loss on where we need to improve. Looking forward to a huge day tomorrow and hope to be able to qualify on top for the semi finals.

Thanks for all your support,

WAKA Boys ( + girl )

(Photo's from top: Reese and Boiden battling the wind, WAKA Racing on right, WAKA Racing on left)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Great First Day

Hello Supporters and Friends,

Day 1 was a hard one here in Perth. The Doctor was in with vengeance early on in the day and it didn’t let off. Starting the day with full sails we ended up with reefed mains and no2 jibs whilst it was blowing 25-30kts. Exciting stuff for the team and some hairy situations but we managed to come out on top in all.

A clean sweep today for us putting 6 wins on the board. It wasn’t all plain sailing as we came from behind in one, due to exceptional crew work, and slogged it out in a few others. A fantastic day for the team but more is to come as we iron out the creases to hit full form.
Racing starts in 2 and a half hours, so you can listen to a Live broadcast at

Thanks for all your support,

WAKA Boys ( + girl )

Warren Jones Youth Regatta

Hello and Happy New Year!

Waka Racing is refreshed and rejuvenated after a good New Years break. It hardly seems like a year since we were here in the beautiful city of Perth. We are here to defend our 2009 Warren Jones Youth regatta title.

Arriving yesterday we took a few trips to the airport to pick up the crew, dropped a couple of Kg’s from the heat each and then slipped into the Perth Marae for a fantastic nights sleep. The ‘Fremantle Doctor’ seemed to be on Steroids when we arrived as it blew 30-40 kts until midnight last night.

Today was practice day, a more typical Perth day. 32 degrees, the Easterly morning breeze dying around midday then pumping in at 20+ kts this afternoon from the SW. We had a smooth training session this morning and are confident going into the start of the regatta tomorrow.

Event website is where you will find links to Live commentary and all other media.

WAKA Racing