Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mathieu Richard tops Match Cup Sweden round robins

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Day Two of Match Cup Sweden, stage 5 of the World Match Racing Tour saw more beautiful weather, more spectators and of course more great match racing. Marstrand turned on the weather and entertainment for spectators and sailors alike. With interactive games, boat trips and numerous hospitality stands it was easy to get distracted from the on-water action. But one look out on to Marstrand Fijord and the calibre of world class sailors easily reminded you there is some top class sailing happening.

Today saw Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team finish first, second and third respectively from Group A. They were joined by French Match Racing Team members Mathieu Richard (FRA) Philippe Presti (FRA) and Magnus Holmberg (SWE) of Victory Challenge from Group B. All six now qualify for the quarterfinal round which will start on Friday. The remaining teams from both groups will now go through to the repechage which will be a full round robin where each skipper will race against each other team. The top two skippers from the repechage will then go through to join the other quarter finalists.

Second day of Match Cup Sweden. Marstrand, 30 June 2009. Photo copyright Dan Ljungsvik

Day Two was once again dominated by the French with three members of the French Match Racing Team all through to the quarterfinals. Leading the way in Group B with 5 wins was Mathieu Richard, his only loss coming at the hands of countryman Philippe Presti. Richard said “We are very pleased with winning the Round Robin but it is just one part of the regatta, there is much more to go yet. We had a good day and we managed our strategy very well, there was no set thing to do and flexibility was the key. We sailed well in the light and also managed the gear changes as the wind came up. It will be tricky now to have two days off, I think the guys winning the repechage will be in a strong position having have more racing practice.”

In Group A Peter Gilmour showed why he has won this event six times, losing only to the last two winners of Match Cup Sweden, Bjorn Hansen and Mattias Rahm. When asked if he had been particularly aggressive during the round Gilmour said “Not really, that’s just normal,” then he added “Everyone out there was working really hard and there was no easy win. The Round Robin is really just practice for the quarter final and when we get there we’ll see some people under pressure.”

Joining Gilmour direct into the quarter finals was his old rival and local hero Magnus Holmberg, still looking for that elusive victory at the event that he started 15 years ago. “I was very happy with the team today, we haven’t spent much time together as a crew but it seemed to click very well. There was a nice mode on the boat. We’re learning in each race and really enjoying the racing. My kids love this week and with some time off now I get the chance to spend time with my family so everybody is happy.”

At the opening ceremony yesterday there was a fitting tribute to two of the Tour veterans. In its 15th year the organizers of one of the Tours most successful events have created the Match Cup Sweden Hall of Fame in order to honor the great skippers of professional sailing. The first two inductees were Magnus Holmberg and Peter Gilmour who were both very gracious of this recognition and vowed to continue to keep the younger generation coming through the match racing ranks on their toes. “Magnus and I still have some fuel in the tank to stay ahead of the younger guys that we see making their way on the World Match Racing Tour,” said Peter Gilmour “it is genuinely a real honour and I am sure that more will join, there is plenty of potential out there.”

Second day of Match Cup Sweden. Marstrand, 30 June 2009. Photo copyright Dan Ljungsvik

Results from Day 2
Group A

Peter Gilmour, AUS, YANMAR Racing, 4-2
Damien Iehl, FRA, French Match Racing Racing Team, 4-2
Torvar Mirsky, AUS, Mirsky Racing, 4-2
Sebastien Col, FRA, French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 3-3
Mattias Rahm, SWE, Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 3-3
Bjorn Hansen, SWE, Team Onico, 2-4
Adam Minoprio, NZL, ETNZ/BlackMatch, 1-5

Group B
Mathieu Richard, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 5-1
Philippe Presti, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 4-2
Magnus Holmburg, SWE, Victory Challenge, 4-2
Ian Williams, GBR, Bahrain Team Pindar, 3-3
Peter Wibroe, DEN, Wibroe Racing Team, 3-3
Johnie Berntsson, SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team, 1-5
Francesco Bruni, Team Joe Fly Match Racing, 1-5

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