Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mathieu Richard Set to Win His 6th Attempt at Match Race Germany

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Match Race Germany, Stage 2 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour, will see Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team back to defend his convincing win against Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN at Stage 1 of the 2010 Tour.

Richard is sitting comfortably on top of the leadership ladder with 25 overall points and a 5 point lead over close rival Ainslie. Skipper of the French Match Racing Team and previous tactician for the French America’s Cup Team, Aleph in Auckland, he has not won Match Race Germany to date. 2010 could be Mathieu’s year to take both wins at Stage 1 and 2, giving Richard a significant lead over all the other World Match Racing Tour Card Holders.

Richard, a fan of Lake Constance, has taken part in the 5 consecutive Match Race Germany events since 2004, this will be his sixth World Match Racing Tour event at ‘Langenargen am Bodensee’. Richard demonstrated his natural gift for racing in the light wind while in the Bay of Marseille and the German venue is also famous for testing the patience of skippers and crew during longer tactical races. Mathieu Richard commented, “I like Match Race Germany as the venue is beautiful when the weather is in our favour, the racing is always challenging because of the shifty winds on the race course”.

Mathieu Richard sailing to victory in Match Race France. Marseille, 5 April 2010. Photo copyright World Match Racing Tour

The French Match Racing Team will be backed up by their coach, Benjamin Bonnaud, who will be attending Match Race Germany and can provide support and advice first hand throughout the event as racing progresses. Coaches being on site during events can be a substantial psychological boost to a team’s overall focus and morale, and is seen as a logical and positive step in maintaining an athlete’s competitive attitude.

The team also likes to attend Langenargen due to the event being well organized every year and is now in its 13th edition. Match Race Germany is a firm favourite with all the sailors, “Match Race Germany is such a great event, the organizers really know how to put on a wonderful regatta”, said Richard.

Mathieu however, finds the Bavaria 35 Match a testing model to race. It is heavier and older in style to the J80 yachts raced in Marseille, with a traditional spinnaker system which is significantly more physical for the crews.

Richard explained, “these yachts are very challenging to sail because they are so different to the other yachts we sail on the circuit”. Richard will be spending two days training on the Bavaria racing yachts prior to racing, which starts on May 20, and has been training seriously since Match Race France.

“We had an excellent practice session in Pornichet with Damien Lehl. It was very interesting for us working on tactics, rules and mental as well as physical skills”.

Mathieu also decided to change his team set up since Marseille - Erwan Vanier from Damien Lehl’s team will be joining the team instead of Olivier Herledant and Yannick Simon will be back onboard as bowman. Richard still sees Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/ BlackMatch Racing, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing as his top contenders, but he only has one aim for Germany, ‘victory’.

With this total determination the high profile racer will be aiming to build yet another outstanding series, “I am aiming to maintain a high level of sailing during the entire week and to be at the top on the last day”.

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