Young Phil Robertson has knocked out World Match Racing Tour leader Mathieu Richard

23-year-old Phil Robertson (NZ) is still young enough to sail in youth regattas, and is outside the top twenty on the World Match Racing Tour leaderboard, but that was no barrier to him eliminating the world number one, Frenchman Mathieu Richard in the quarter-finals of the Sunseeker Australia Cup.

The Kiwi started the regatta in great form, undefeated on day one, but faltered on the second day – dropping down the rankings to end the round robin in seventh.

However, during his quarter-final against the Frenchman, he chalked up two quick wins in the shifty easterly breeze, before dropping the next two races, then taking the decider to progress to the semis.

“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves,” was his assessment. “We lost the two races that he won, we should have won the first three, but we gifted him two races.”

“This will give us a bit of a boost going into Malaysia (Monsoon Cup). We’re feeling pretty good,” he added.

In the other quarter-final this morning, Britain’s Ian Williams downed local skipper Keith Swinton in three straight races, to progress to the semi-finals that will be sailed on Saturday morning. The final will be held in the afternoon.

Results – Quarter-finals
P. Robertson (NZL) bt M. Richard (FRA) 3 – 2
I. Williams (GBR) bt K. Swinton (AUS) 3 – 0