Ben Ainslie leads Match Race France on Day 2
[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Day Two of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) in Marseille has produced a range of results that has highlighted not only match racing experience but also local knowledge as top running variables that can make or break a professional sailing series. After a slow start to the morning with racing postponed, the sailors were let out onto the race course as the wind clocked in from the North West at 4 to 8 knots for the remainder of the day. Racing again in the Bay of Marseille was moved very close in-shore with excellent spectator appeal to the ‘Rade Sud’.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN and TORVAR Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team are still both on top of the WMRT leader board after today with 11 flights now completed overall. Ainslie has more wins than any other helm so far this week with a current score of 5-1. At a glance it could be said that international match racers with a raft of consistent accolades are steam rolling Match Race France, but the less glamorous placing currently being experienced by the likes of Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzurra tells a different story.
Highlights from Day 2 of Match Race France. Marseille, 8 April 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour
Bruni who won the Congressional Cup only 12 days ago related, “it is tough out there, today has really reminded me about spending time training at particular sailing venues prior to events”, a luxury afforded by Olympic dinghy sailors who train months in advance at a set destination for their annual World Championships. “I think more time on the water with your coach really getting to grips with the region’s quirks is a definite advantage”. This is not an option for the WMRT competitors who only have a small window of 2 hours to train on the race course area at each of the 10 venues before racing starts the subsequent day.
This leads us into the scenario of ‘local knowledge’ being a serious variable to win races at this venue. Local knowledge is a phenomenon respected the world over by the sailing fraternity. The indigenous racers revel in understanding that they have decades of tales fed in at an early age on which way to go up the all important first beat or if the rain clouds suddenly disperse and the islands appear, as happened today, then the trend is for the wind to always swing to a particular angle.
However, the Bay of Marseille has no clear answers, even French national sailors have been experiencing the woes of highly testing conditions. Pacé, a previous ISAF Match Racing World Champion who has returned to the WMRT action, after a 5 year absence, is not shining in these Mediterranean style winds. Perris our newest match racing star from yesterday has also unfortunately awoken from his ‘dream’ with no victorious matches today.
There is no clear winner today between racing experience or local knowledge; it will remain a question as to which has the greater influence until the penultimate race on Sunday. Perhaps Marseille with its legendary world famous tale of ‘a man in an iron mask’ will remain shrouded in its charming cloak of mystery both on and off the water.
Please find the final set of results from Day 2 Round Robin below:
Day 2: Current Round Robin Standings
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 5-1
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 5-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-0
Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE 4-2
Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-3
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) 4-5
Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-3
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra Racing 3-5
Gian Luca Perris (MON) 2-5
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 2-6
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team 1-5