Davis wins New Zealand Match Race champs

Prada's man beats Oracle's man for the 'Defender's' title

Monday December 4th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Rod Davis won the New Zealand match racing championships over the weekend of the 2-3rd December, beating such luminaries as Bertrand Pace and Chris Dickson on the way.

Davis - who has sailed in the America's Cup for the US, Australia and New Zealand - will have done his prospects of adding a fourth country to the list no harm at all through this win. In the 2000 Cup, he was non-sailing coach to the Prada team, while Francesco de Angelis skippered and helmed the elegant grey boat. De Angelis remains skipper, but this time the driver's job is up for grabs, and Davis is in the queue along with de Angelis and another Kiwi, Gavin Brady.

Davis beat former Match Racing World Champion and brand new Team New Zealand member, Frenchman Bertrand Pace, 3-1 in the semi-finals. He went on to meet and beat Chris Dickson in the final - Dickson is now skipper of Oracle Racing, who had such a dramatic problem with their boat a couple of weeks ago. Dickson had put out Cameron Appleton, another Team New Zealand sailor - leaving the locals with the embarrassing spectacle of two challenger teams trading blows in 'their' final.

The New Zealand Herald reported Davis as saying, "I needed to get back on the match racing circuit to get ready for the next America's Cup - it's been six years since I was on it. Who ends up driving the Prada boat is still open. It won't be decided for a while yet. But you know I love driving boats."

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