Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mathieu Richard wins the 2010 Korea Match Cup

Going from strength to strength Mathieu Richard, the current leader of the ISAF World Match Racing Championship, prevailed over Britain's Ian Williams 3-1 and claimed the 2010 Korea Match Cup. "Third time lucky" didn't apply to Williams today as he found an opponent that mastered the light and shifty conditions off Jeongok Marina, and in particular the timing of the starts.

Mathieu Richard has now extended his lead in the World Match Racing Tour standings with 65 points, followed by Adam Minoprio on 39 points and Ian Williams on 30 points.

In the petit final, Sweden's Bjorn Hansen had no problem taking on Torvar Mirsky 2-0 and grabbing third place overall in the 2010 Korea Match Cup.

Race 1: It was a painstakingly slow race with a breeze that probably never passed the 4-knot barrier. First blood went to Ian Williams but it wasn't without pain. He got off the starting line with a clearly faster pace a couple of boatlengths ahead of Richard but the French found that slight puff on the right during the first beat and rounded the top mark ahead. Yet, the very light breeze played out in favor of Williams who regained the lead in the first run and held it until the finish line.

Mathieu Richard, the 2010 Korea Match Cup winner. Jeogonk Marina, 13 June 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Race 2: Mathieu Richard started the second race on a better foot as he managed to force a penalty on Williams just 30 seconds after the entry for a port-starboard incident. In addition, the French hit the starting line on much better pace, ahead of Williams that stayed very close, yet unable to close the gap with the French, let alone force a penalty on him or offload his and get ahead.

Race 3: Richard went from strength to strength and took the third race. Although the prestart was absolutely eventless, Richard had his timing on the spot while Williams gybed and stalled half a minute before the start in order to avoid being early. Richard was ahead by a boatlength on the pin end of the starting line and head all the way to the left, getting as close as possible to the exclusion zone. With just one tack in the first beat, Richard rounded the first weather mark half a minute ahead of Williams. The breeze had gotten a bit stronger and steadier and as a result, Williams couldn't count on its whims to find a passing opportunity. Richard kept his half-minute lead almost through the entire race.

Race 4: In the fourth race it seemed we were in the middle of the "Groundhog Day", reliving the action that took place 20 minutes ago. Once again, Richard was perfect in his timing and, once again, Williams missed his. Richard crossed the starting line on the pin end, two boatlengths ahead of Williams and again head to the left, rounding the top mark ahead. Not only did Mathieu held on to its lead in the 1st run, he saw the right shift coming in the 2nd beat, took advantage of it and stretched his lead.

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