[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Match Race France, Stage 1 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has put a new twist on an ancient maritime tale. The scenario of English sailors battling French sailors is reminiscent of the famed 1805 Battle of Trafalgar when UK’s Lord Nelson defeated Emperor Napoleon of France. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN took on Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, the French local, Richard, took a convincing victory winning both of the final two matches raced under a testing 6-7 knot westerly. Richard celebrated with local Marseille supporters, who were quick to take to the water in boats of all sizes.
Mathieu Richard, who is also tactician for the French America’s Cup syndicate, Aleph, was in jubilant form with the back drop of Queen’s notorious lyrics playing ‘We are the Champions’, “It is really great to win Stage 1 of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour, we are very happy to have won here in Marseille. We had a slow start to the regatta, but a slow start motivates you to really improve when it counts. My team worked fantastically with great communication and tactics”.
Highlights from the final day of Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour
Ainslie sees his time invested in attending WMRT events as a profitable way to keep his match race training fresh, “My ultimate goal for the ISAF World Match Racing Tour events is to improve my match racing skills and rules knowledge”. The Tour forms an important ingredient in Ainslie’s long term America’s Cup ambition with TEAMORIGIN.
For Richard, instead of winning back trade routes through lifting sea blockades as in the 1800s, today’s victor heads home from Match Race France with a prize packet of 10,000 Euros. This is a very lucrative reward for five days of racing against some of the world’s most esteemed match racers and also provides French Match Racing Team with 25 points in pursuit of the ultimate ISAF Match Racing World Championship title.
Despite a slow start, Mathieu Richard went on to take Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images
This French event has seen a significant elevation of the Tour’s profile across social media networks, the communication channel now essential in satisfying the public’s thirst for ‘real time’ sports results. The live blog, newly introduced to the WMRT media machine this year, has been a certain success. It has formed the engine to accelerate the Tour into virtual on line conversations through tweets and Facebook Wall posts. A one hour television show on Match Race France is also being broadcast internationally later this month.
The beach based prize giving closes Stage 1 of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour and leads us into the 9 remaining Stages around the globe. Stage 2 of the WMRT will be run in Langenargen, Germany 19 – 24 May where Mathieu Richard will again be racing.
Overall Standings After Stage 1
1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 25 Points
2 Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 20 Points
3 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 15 Points
4 Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 12 Points
5 Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE 10 Points
6 Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 8 Points
7 Philippe Presti (FRA) 6 Points
8 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4 Points
9 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
10 Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
11 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
12 Gian Luca Perris (MON)
No luck for Ben Ainslie and Team Origin. Match Race France. Marseille, 11 April 2010. Photo copyright Brendon O’Hagan/Subzero images