Robertson / Williams
Second semi-final: Match Racing World Champion Robertson vs Ian Williams. Collision between Williams and Robertson! Robertson and Williams both hook boundary buoys in pre-start. Crew in the water. Robertson edges start. Collision! Penalty. Blue flag (2 lengths) on Williams. Went into back of Robertson. Second blue flag at end of first downwind for Williams. Can’t say he’s not pushing Robertson hard. Williams gets the shift and takes lead over Robertson. Half a boat length in it! Champion stuff Robertson beats Williams by half a length.
We thought it would be tight, but.. SF2, race 3: Contact! Robertson penalty. Blue flag (2 lengths) on Williams with 30 secs of pre-start cat & mouse. Williams waiting for advantage to cross startline. Robertson second penalty for not giving way. Small lead for Williams, he gets the shift and takes the lead over but Robertson closes in on the downwind. A length in it as Williams tacks in front of Robertson but gets shift and six lengths clear by top. Game over Robertson. Man overboard and then hook bottom mark for 2 mins. Easy finish Williams, 1-1.
SF2, race 3: Williams penalised in pre-start but gets the hook on Robertson to minimise loss. Good first upwind for Williams, rolls over the top of Robertson after gybing round right top mark. Boundary penalty for Robertson but sheds quickly and somehow gybes ahead of Williams, controversial! Looks like game over – Robertson goes right at the bottom gate and flies away on last downwind v Williams. 2-1 to Robertson.
SF2, race 4. Dead even start, right on the line at signal. Williams 2-1 down. These M32 Cats are flying in St. Petersburg! Williams on big heel! Too big… Williams going, up, up, over…capsize? He’s hanging there. Bow-to-bow, did the rigs touch? After agonising hover, like a moth about to die, Williams just saves the capsize. That almost-capsize lost the Brit 10 boat lengths – the final looks a long way away. 3-1 with Robertson into the final. Again. Still unbeaten in M32 this year. No mistakes.