The best seat in the house in Match Race Germany
Having guests, VIPs or sponsors onboard a competition sailing boat with one of the teams during an official race is nothing of a novelty in the top professional circuits and depending on the size of the crew, the privileged guest is called the 18th man, the 12th man or 11th man, etc. Due to the form of the racing yachts, the guests always sit at the stern, at the very back of the yacht.
Well, there is an exception and the following photo from Match Race Germany clearly shows it. During the semifinals, the lucky guests had the privilege of experiencing real racing with the world's top match racers, sitting in the middle of the boat, right in the middle of the action.
I don't know how much the gentleman in the photo knew about sailing but I doubt it's an experience he will soon forget. He sure had the best seat in the house, right in front of the world's number 2 match racer, Torvar Mirsky, and his crew.
During the Match Race Germany semifinals, guests were sitting INSIDE the racing yachts. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Richard Walch / Match Race Germany
This photo onboard Peter Gilmour's yacht isn't from a training session. It was taken by the guest during the semifinals where the Australian match racing legend was beaten by young gun Torvar Mirsky. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Audrey Lakai / Match Race Germany