Sydney, Australia (19 December, 2022) – Nick Egnot-Johnson, Sam Barnett, Zak Merton & Bradley McLaughlin, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron have been crowned 2022 Open Match Racing World Champions after an epic five days of racing on Sydney Harbour in strong conditions. USA’s Chris Poole, Joachim Aschenbrenner, Malcolm Parker & Graeme Spence finished in second place with Australia’s Harry Price, Taylor Balogh, Niall Morrow & Josh Wijohn secured third place.
Spectacular conditions and a fresh breeze once again graced the competitors for the final day of the 2022 World Match Racing Tour Final on Sydney Harbour, co-hosted with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA). The final four teams completed the semi-final stage of the regatta in the morning with USA’s Riptide Racing, skippered by Chris Poole despatching Denmark’s Borch Racing with Jeppe Borch as skipper, 3 – 1 to secure the American their place in the final.
In the other semi-final match, Nick Egnot-Johnson, KNOTS Racing team, defeated local Sydney team, DownUnder Racing skippered by Harry Price, 3 – 1 to secure their berth in the Finals.
As the morning rain cleared, a fresh southerly breeze took over the harbour, peaking at 23 knots during the Finals Series. Joining the sailors on the water was a flurry of spectator vessels including the official spectator vessel, the “Royale” Rosman Ferry donated by Noakes Group for the Finals Series. The 60+ guests onboard then witnessed one of the toughest fought Finals series.
Nick Egnot-Johnson’s KNOTS Racing were first to score in the first-to-three-point final. However, Chris Poole’s Riptide Racing, who had only lost one race to date then levelled out the series in the second race.
The Kiwis bounced back in Race 3, showing a dominate display of speed and boat handling. Riptide Racing then came storming back yet again to level the match 2 – 2 and take the Final to a winner-takes-all decider.
After winning the start, KNOTS Racing tore up the initial three legs of the race, with the American team looking out of touch. However the difficult breeze saw Poole gain take an advantage for the final run, with only two boat lengths separating the finalists, metres from the finish. In the end, the Kiwis were able to hold onto their lead, to cross the finish line as World Champions. Sydney Harbour Port Authority were in position to shower the racecourse with a water display and christen the new Open Match Racing World Champions.
“We are just stoked to win, it’s a dream come true for us” commented Egnot-Johnson. “Chris and the Riptide team have been a rival for such a long time so it was awesome to come up against them in the finals, you can’t get any closer than that to finish – Sydney really turned it on for us today, it’s an amazing feeling.”
As teams gathered in the CYCA’s Sydney Village, special guest Vice President of the Australian Olympic Committee Matt Allen AM presented the Bronze medals to the Australian team followed by Vice President of World Sailing Sarah Kenny who presented the Silver medals to the American team. CYCA Commodore Arthur Lane and WMRT Executive Director, James Pleasance completed the podium presentation, with Gold medals and WMRT Trophy respectively for the new Open Match Racing World Champions.
Over the five days, 106 races were completed with Sydney serving up an average wind strength of 22 knots over the series.
The event would not be possible without a special thanks to the Presenting Partners – Zenus Bank & PrimeXM as well as our Official Partners – Audi Centre Sydney, Vibe Hotels, Devils Corner Tasmania, Sydney Brewery and Musto Australasia.
ABOUT ZENUS BANK
Zenus is an independent, U.S. digital bank, founded in 2019 that is taking banking beyond borders. Giving people and businesses worldwide access to the security, freedom, and convenience of U.S. banking. Providing Retail, Corporate, Institutional banking and BaaS, Zenus is creating a world where physical borders don’t limit access to financial services. Zenus Bank will not open any account or process any transactions from countries that have been sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control ‘OFAC’. www.zenus.com | @ZenusBank
PrimeXM is an award-winning technology provider to the global financial industry. Our key business focus is providing cutting edge aggregation software, ultra-low-latency connectivity, institutional grade hosting solutions and high end MT4/MT5 Bridging and White Labels. Over 250 financial institutions worldwide choose PrimeXM as their trusted technology partner. Established in 2010 we operate from offices in Dubai, Limassol and Shanghai. We are privileged to have a highly talented and dynamic workforce, made up of top industry professionals, covering 22 nationalities. primexm.com
ABOUT WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR). Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. As a founding signatory of World Sailing’s 2030 Sustainability Charter, the tour is committed to supporting worldwide sustainability initiatives focused on reducing the use of single use materials, and ensuring the protection and health of our oceans. www.wmrt.com