Aug 6th, 2017 Ben Blake

Robertson / Gilmour

Final of Match Cup Russia – a Trans-Tasman clash: champion Phil Robertson vs Sam Gilmour. Race 1: Gilmour locked into favoured leeward in pre-start. Robertson OCS, recalled. But comes straight back, gets puff and goes over the top of Gilmour halfway down first downwind. Robertson claims the first race! Split gates at bottom Robertson extends 12 lengths on upwind but Gilmour eats that up on 2nd downwind. Robertson great defensive upwind. Phil Robertson looks ahead as he flies a hull. 1-0 Phil Robertson v Sam Gilmour. 

Final, race 2: Robertson masterful multihull match race start leaves Gilmour stalled. It’s never over here on the Neva River, we’ve had 4 seasons, with a 30-knot squall. No mistakes from Robertson. Gilmour closing all the way to the finish, halving the lead on the last upwind. 2-0 to the champion Robertson tied up Gilmour in the current for a wire-to-wire win. “I made bad mistake at start. But we were chopping into them all the way round”. “I taught him everything he knows, I think he’s even stolen our moves.” – Robertson. 

Final, race 3: Robertson does the nasty thing on the startline. Flies away, game over for Gilmour? Robertson deployed gennaker early and took two boat length lead v Gilmour. Phil Robertson is looking calm at leg 5 of 8 of the final. Sun comes out for Robertson in Neva Bay, St. Petersburg. Champion turning race 3 into exhibition. The gap is almost a minute as they round bottom mark for the last time. Phil Robertson has done it again! Champions! They won Match Cup Australia, they won Match Cup Sweden and they’ve just won Match Cup Russia. Great teamwork by Phil Robertson and crew: Will Tiller, Stewart Dodson and James Wierbowski.