Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Positive start for BlackMatch in Portugal

Greetings from BlackMatch in Portugal,

Today was the opening day of the Portugal Match Cup which is the fourth event on the World Match Racing Tour. Despite a few hiccups today, we finished with 3 wins and 2 losses including a nail biting win against the world number one, Sebastian Col.

With very convincing wins against Andrew Arbuzov and Ian Ainslie we were unlucky to lose against Australian Torvar Mirsky. We had an excellent start against Mirsky and gained a massive advantage after a great start, however the wind was unbelievably shifty today and we were caught on the wrong side of a huge wind shift that handed them the victory.

David Swete on the bow for ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing at Troia Portugal Match Cup 2009. Troia, 17 June 2009. Photo copyright Wander Roberto

Following a narrow loss to an unbeaten Peter Gilmour we came out firing against the defending Portugal Match Champion Sebastian Col. Managing to force a penalty on him in the pre-start and gain an even start, the Frenchman sailed a great first beat and held a narrow lead into the first downwind. We had to fight to stay in touch as they gradually ground out enough of a lead to undertake their penalty turn which they did nearing the top mark. We lee bow tacked close to the French team and went to luff them in a defensive move, they failed to keep clear and were handed another penalty but still held the inside advantage at the top mark. They held their nerve and engineered their boat into a position to take yet another penalty turn and still hold a narrow lead as we gybed to the finish line. We however now had the inside advantage and luffed hard again to force them above the pin end of the finish line, it wasn’t until a final ‘nerve racking’ gybe back to the finish that we were able to roll them and take a very narrow victory.

Round robin action will continue tomorrow and we are looking forward to notching up a few more wins in the hope of making the final 8. It is great to be joined at this regatta by fellow Kiwi Phil Robertson and his Waka Racing Team, we would like to wish them the best in their first world tour event.

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