27 Nov 2008

Defending champ makes good start in match racing

7:32 am on 27 November 2008

The defending champion Rod Davis has made a good start to the New Zealand match racing championships and will start day two on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour undefeated.

Davis won all five of his races Team New Zealand America's Cup sklipper Barker won all four of his with a bye in the fifth.

However Davis has yet to sail against Barker and the British Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, who look as if they'll be his main rivals.

Ainslie had one loss, finishing 22 seconds behind Laurie Jury in race two, while 22-year-old Jess Smyth and her all-women crew won three of their five races, including a six second winn over Adam Minoprio.

Teams had to contend with strong tides and light shifty winds.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 10 o'clock.