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Canfield Wins First Dutch Match Cup

Posted on 29 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source:WMRT] Taylor Canfield and US One have won the inaugural Dutch Match Cup after a thrilling final against arch-rival Ian Williams and GAC Pindar. The breeze was very light and patchy, creating multiple opportunities for lead changes. No race lead, however big, was ever safe.

Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up. However on the downwind leg, Williams found a sliver of stronger breeze by the harbour shore close to the cheering crowds in Lelystad. The British came close to rolling over the top of US One but failed to keep clear from a Canfield luff. Another penalty for Williams, then another penalty towards the leeward gate, and Canfield was uncatchable. 1-0.
In the second match, Williams got the slightly better start and converted that into a five-length lead by the first windward mark. Canfield sailed over to the shore on the second beat and used the cheers of the crowd to waft him closer to Williams. GAC Pindar was still in the lead at the final turning mark, but US One again went shoreside and managed to sneak ahead of their opponent just before the finish. 2-0, and the Dutch Match Cup went to Canfield.

In the Petit Final to determine 3rd overall, Mathieu Richard took the first match but David Gilmour bounced back to win the next two and secure his first podium finish at a Tour event. The LunaJets skipper will be kicking himself for some unforced errors earlier in the day, particularly at the finish of match 4 in his Semi Final against Williams. Richard had to offload a penalty at the finish, although he had a huge lead and was not under too much pressure. When the crew went to lower the spinnaker before turning up to begin their 270-degree penalty turn, the sail dropped in the water and started trawling behind the boat like a fishing net. In just 4 knots of wind, the boat’s all-important momentum was lost, the French boat hit the finish mark as they took their penalty around it, and Williams breezed past to secure his spot in the Final.

It was that kind of day – very, very easy to make mistakes or to fall into a hole as you watched your opponent sail on by. Gilmour took an easy win in his first Semi Final match against Canfield and was showing the kind of form that could have yielded overall victory. However in another match Gilmour seemed to have an unassailable lead but allowed too much separation on the final run. So often the chasing boat would take its chances by the shore, and would be frequently rewarded for doing so. You can’t give Canfield too much rope. Give him an inch, and he’ll take a mile, all done with an assassin’s smile.

Canfield’s laid-back demeanour serves him well when the conditions get squirly. “It was never-say-die out there,” said Canfield, “and I have to pay tribute to my crew, Rod Dawson, Mike Rehe and Hayden Goodrick, for keeping at it, however we were doing in the race.” It was a vital win for the reigning World Champions who have a lot of work on to defend their crown against the frighteningly consistent GAC Pindar.

Williams might have lost the battle, but the four-time World Champion is still winning the war. “Of course we’re disappointed not to have won here today, but we’re pleased to have made this the sixth final in a row that we’ve reached on the Tour, stretching back to Monsoon Cup last year. Congratulations to Taylor and US One, they sailed extremely well, and we look forward to the next one.” That ‘next one’ is the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda in three weeks’ time. After the light and responsive Maxfun25s used in Lelystad, the larger and heavier International One Designs present a different kind of challenge.

This was the first time that Holland has been represented on the Tour, and Canfield paid tribute to the organisers and people of Lelystad. “This has been a fantastic event, great people, great racing, and we can’t wait to come back next year.”

Overall results of Stage 5 Dutch Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
2 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
4 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
7 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman
8 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
9 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team
10 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NLD) Opportunity Team
11 Philip Bendon (IRL) Glenmar Racing Team
12 Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NLD) Team BSC

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One beat Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2-1

David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour beat Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 2-1

Semi Finals
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One beat David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar beat Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 3-1

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Canfield wins qualifying while six are set for battle in the quarters

Posted on 26 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] Going into the final of 22 flights of Qualifying at the Dutch Match Cup, two of the big guns on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) were staring down the barrel of elimination. Either Bjorn Hansen of Sweden or Ian Williams of Great Britain would be facing an early bath in Lelystad.

If both teams won or lost their respective matches, Williams’ half-point advantage on the leaderboard would see GAC Pindar safely through to the six-boat Quarter Final. To go through, Hansen Sailing Team would need to win their final match against reigning ISAF World Champion Taylor Canfield while Williams would need to lose against Mathieu Richard.

After reaching the Finals of all four Tour events thus far in 2014, it was unthinkable that Williams would fall at the first hurdle. But qualification proved much tougher than normal. It was almost a photo finish across the line between the British and French crews, although Williams was narrowly ahead and Richard, in his final desperation to win, was penalised for going for a gap between his rival and the committee boat. Williams had squeaked through to the Quarter Final. 

No one has dominated the racing up to this point, although Taylor Canfield and US One topped Qualifying with a score of 9 wins and 2 losses. This puts the reigning World Champions straight through to the Semi Final, while the next six teams will battle for the other three places. US One crewman Mike Rehe was relieved to have topped the group in Lelystad. “We definitely like being at the top of the leaderboard, especially with the light wind forecast for the end of the week. It’s definitely advantageous to be up the top if they start having to cancel rounds because the wind doesn’t show up. We feel comfortable in the boats, and we feel light airs is our strong suit.”

For their concluding match in Qualifying, US One were up against their great friends from Sweden, Hansen Sailing Team, who needed to win their final match to stay in the competition. “We spoke with Bjorn before the race,” said Rehe, “and we both knew how it stood. We said, ‘We want to be top of the leaderboard. So, we’ll have a good race and see what happens.’ It was a good race going up to the top of the first leg, then Bjorn fouled us unfortunately, and we extended from there. With the forecast and our Tour standing on the line, we wanted to make sure we were the top seed going into the next Tour events.”

Just when it seemed that Qualifying was over, Keith Swinton appealed for a re-match against Phil Robertson after sailing to the wrong mark following a course change. The skipper of Team Alpari FX claimed he hadn’t been alerted to the change of course and that he had been prejudiced. In the re-match, Robertson was leading but sailed to the finish a lap too early. Swinton won, and Robertson was far from happy.

This placed Team Alpari FX in 4th to WAKA Racing’s 5th, which hardly seems significant other than the fact there is a real threat of losing racing to a lack of wind during the coming weekend. If the Quarter Final is scrapped, the top four from Qualifying go straight through to the Semi Final. No wonder the Aussie and Kiwi rivals were so keen on getting into the top four. 

A curtailed race schedule could affect Williams too, who narrowly avoided an early bath today. “Nothing we can do about that,” said the four-time World Champion when asked about the implications of a no-wind forecast. “It would be a shame if that were to happen after such good wind over the past three days. Today we didn’t really bring our A game. Not sure why, because we’re certainly trying. We just didn’t have that extra bit of speed that I feel like we often have, and it just meant that a lot of the races were scrappy, with umpires involved which we never like. Sometimes if you’re not clean and fast, you need to get them involved, and when they go against you it can make it difficult.”

The surprise package of the event thus far has been the young French team skippered by Arthur Herreman who have plugged away on the match racing circuit over the past three years to rise from 340th to 20th in the world rankings. They won six matches including two Tour Card scalps – Hansen and David Gilmour. Next, however, Herreman faces his compatriot and occasional training partner Mathieu Richard who finished 2nd in Qualifying and therefore had his pick of opponent for the Quarter Final. “I choose Arthur so at least we have one French team in the Semi Final,” was the LunaJets skipper’s decision. Gilmour said he would use similar logic to pick his fellow Western Australian, Swinton, for his Quarter Final opponent. This left Robertson and Williams to face each other in their Quarter Final.

Stage 5 Dutch Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Quarter Finals
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets vs Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour vs Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing vs Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar

Final Results of Qualifying
1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 9-2
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 8-3
3 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 7.5-3
4 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 7-4
5 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 7-4
6 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 7-4
7 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman 6-5
8 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 4.5-6
9 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team 4-7
10 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NLD) Opportunity Team 2-9
11 Philip Bendon (IRL) Glenmar Racing Team 2-9
12 Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NLD) Team BSC 1-10

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High winds on day 2 at the Dutch Match Cup

Posted on 25 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] High winds tested the 12 teams to the edge of physical and mental control on day two of the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. A new event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT), the event in Lelystad presents the crews with a new challenge, of mastering the small, light Maxfun25s with ridiculously big asymmetric spinnakers.Every time the teams hoisted, gybed or dropped their gennakers in the strong breeze was a heart-in-mouth moment and led to frequent broaches and wipe-outs, even for sailors of the calibre of four-time World Champion Ian Williams.

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Dutch Match Cup 2014-09-25, Netherlands © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk - AWMRT

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Dutch Match Cup 2014-09-25, Netherlands © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk – AWMRT

With just six of the 22 Qualifying flights to be sailed tomorrow, the scoreboard is taking shape. Topping the leaderboard with just one loss are Taylor Canfield/US One from the US Virgin Islands along with Mathieu Richard’s LunaJets from France. There’s a lot of work to be done by the bottom half if they’re to make it through to the Quarter Final. Klaartje Zuiderbaan and the all-female Team BSC have yet to get a score on the board so have no prospect of moving through to the next stage. However, the Dutch skipper was still upbeat. “Of course you hate to lose, but the Dutch Match Cup is still a great opportunity for us to compete against the world’s best,” she said. However, she is not relishing the idea of another windy day in Lelystad. Asked if she had seen the weather forecast she replied: “I don’t dare. I don’t want another day like today.” She might be disappointed, as some forecasts point to the wind being even stronger tomorrow.

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Dutch Match Cup 2014-09-25, Netherlands © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk - AWMRT

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Dutch Match Cup 2014-09-25, Netherlands © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk – AWMRT

The other Dutch crew, Opportunity Team skippered by Dirk-Jan Korpershoek, have also enjoyed having the cream of the match racing world coming to compete in Holland. “We’ve learned a lot,” said Korpershoek. “Today we made some boathandling errors. In every race there was something that went wrong. In every race we were close to the winners but there was always something that we could see that needed to be done better. It’s a fast way to improve, racing against the top guys in the world. Being so close to them at the finish line makes us happy, even if we lost all our races today.” Two qualifier teams that could yet make it through to the Quarter Final are Arthur Herreman/ Team Herreman and Philip Bendon/ Glenmar Racing Team. Today the Irish crew took a big scalp, that of Bjorn Hansen from Sweden. “Our race with Bjorn was pretty cool,” said Bendon. “We got a bit lucky at the top. He nudged the back of us and got a penalty. Really good racing against all these top guys. Good to have all our Tour Card holder matches out the way, so we’re hoping we might still get through to the Quarter Final.” Resize of AWMRT14DMC_0925_0215_RH Yann Rigal, sailing with Team Herreman, commented: “For us it’s a great opportunity to be on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, even just for one regatta. It was a dream for us four years ago, so we worked hard to get from 340th on the world rankings to 20th where we are now. It’s a great chance to sail against the best people in the world. We are in the game, but we still make mistakes. We hope to be in the quarter final and to go as far as we can in this competition.” There was controversy today with a number of collisions. Matches between Williams and Hansen always have an extra frisson of danger about them, and today didn’t disappoint the spectators, with both teams racing within inches of the unyielding harbour wall to try and gain the upper hand on their rival. At start time Hansen controlled the favoured committee boat end of the line and suckered Williams into going for a gap. Williams took the bait, hit the committee boat, and was given a double penalty for barging. Hansen took a vital win, and Williams wasn’t happy. “He’s not allowed to luff us into the committee boat, which is what I thought he did, but the umpires had a different view. So that’s the race.” Williams was later docked a half-point from his score due to boat damage, although Hansen also copped a half-point deduction later in the day after sailing into Bendon. It’s rough out there. It will be rough again tomorrow. AWMRT14DMC_0925_0229_RH Qualifying Results after Flight 16

1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 7-1
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 7-1
3 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 6-2
4 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 5.5-2
5 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 5-3
6 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 5-3
7 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 3.5-4
8 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman 3-5
9 Philip Bendon (IRL) Glenmar Racing Team 2-6
10 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team 2-6
11 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NLD) Opportunity Team 1-7
12 Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NLD) Team BSC 0-8

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Three leading lights keep a perfect score in Lelystad

Posted on 24 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] The top three teams in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) were the only teams to keep a perfect score on day one of the inaugural Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. Ian Williams, Taylor Canfield and Mathieu Richard all returned from the opening salvo of Qualifying with a 3-0 scoreline. However, not all the Tour Card holders got to grips with the Maxfun25 keelboats straight away, with Bjorn Hansen failing to get off the mark in his three matches. 

Of the Wild Card and Qualifier entries, Arthur Herreman was particularly impressive, winning two of his three matches, beating Hansen and Joachim Aschenbrenner but losing to Williams. “These boats are a bit special,” smiled the young Frenchman, who won the qualifying regatta in Lelystad and gained some valuable experience in these same boats a month earlier.

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Stage 5 - Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk - AWMRT

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Stage 5 – Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk – AWMRT

Williams, the four-time ISAF World Champion, loves the challenge of learning the quirks and peculiarities of a new class, and he made a good job of mastering the Maxfun25 for the first time today. “They’re the smallest we sail on the Tour, the most sensitive to crew weight and position,” he said. “It’s about remembering your dinghy sailing days, focusing on your crew weight and kinetics. It has worked well for us so far, but a long way to go.”

The wind was always good today, gusting up quite strongly at times and shifting through 60 degrees during the course of today’s six flights of competition. The rain came through in pulses, with the sunshine making brief appearances, although the 12 teams were too focussed on their own battles, often engaging in aggressive pre-start manoeuvring close to the harbour wall. Canfield enjoyed the fight. “It’s a bonus to have such great breeze here, in such small boats. They’re really physical, which makes the whole crew work really hard.”

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Stage 5 - Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk - AWMRT

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Stage 5 – Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk – AWMRT

Talking about working hard, there hasn’t been much time for the Tour Card holders to recover from Chicago Match Cup, the previous event on the Tour which finished just a few days ago. “We finished racing last Sunday in Chicago,” said Richard, “jumped on the plane on Sunday night and arrived on Monday afternoon, so we don’t have much time for anything other than travelling. We’re not completely ready for the competition, but it’s the same for all the teams, so we have to adapt as quickly as we can.”

For Hansen and his fellow Swedes, it’s adapt or die. “It can’t be worse than today,” smiled Hansen philosophically. “Definitely I think we’re going to go in the right direction and get some points on the scoreboard in the coming days. It’s quite a learning day for us and we had some problems during the day. Mostly I tried to do things that were not possible with this boat, so I have to apologise to the crew for that. We’ve talked it through and feel quite positive about tomorrow.”

David Gilmour comes to Lelystad fresh from finishing 7th in the 49er World Championships in Spain last week as he pursues a twin-track career in Olympic campaigning and match racing. Meanwhile two of his crew, Pete Nicholas and Luke Payne borrowed a 505 dinghy to finish 2nd overall in a 173-boat fleet at the 505 World Championships in Germany a month ago. The change of sailing seems to have done Team Gilmour’s match racing no harm, with two wins and one loss from today. “Here we’re sailing a new boat that’s similar to a skiff, so it’s quite fun out there,” said Gilmour after racing the asymmetrically-rigged Maxfun25 for the first time. “I think all the different styles of sailing make you a better all-round sailor.”

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Stage 5 - Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk - AWMRT

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Stage 5 – Dutch Match Cup © Copyright 2014 Robert Hajduk – AWMRT

Klaartje Zuiderbaan, skipper of the only all-female team at the event, may not have won any matches today, although she gave a few of the more experienced teams a few scares along the way. “We’re happy to be part of this regatta,” she said. “At the beginning of this year we weren’t even a match racing team, but somehow we managed to get an invite to this event. It’s great to race against the top guys in the world, and I think we didn’t make it that easy for them. We learn from them every time, and that’s great.”

Stage 5 Dutch Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
Qualifying Results after Flight 6

1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 3-0
2 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 3-0
3 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 3-0
4 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman 2-1
5 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 2-1
6 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 2-1
7 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 1-2
8 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team 1-2
9 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NLD) Opportunity Team 1-2
10 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 0-3
11 Philip Bendon (IRL) Glenmar Racing Team 0-3
12 Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NLD) Team BSC 0-3

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Canfield conquers Chicago Match Cup

Posted on 22 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] In a masterful display of tenacious match race sailing in today’s blustery conditions, Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team US One have successfully defended their Chicago Match Cup title, the only US event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). Canfield’s US One team consists of tactician Rod Dawson, trimmer Mike Rehe and bowman Hayden Goodrick.

Canfield started strong in the 15-20+ knot northerly breeze that puffed and shifted all day, dominating all matches in the first-to-three point Semi Final against Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team and amassing a convincing winning score of 3-0. Williams looked like he would do the same by winning his first two matches against Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, but then the French team took the third match to bring the score to 2-1. However, in Match 4 Williams once again took control early and kept control to earn his berth in the Finals 3-1.

21st September 2014, day five, semi finals and finals, at the Chicago Match Cup. © Ian Roman

21st September 2014, day five, semi finals and finals, at the Chicago Match Cup. © Ian Roman

The momentum Williams had gained in that last match seemed it would carry through to the Finals when taking the start and early lead in the first match. But on the last half of the last run to the finish, Canfield closed the gap down to nil and then got an overlap and control of Williams, who managed to stay clear in hard spinnaker luff from Canfield. Williams then managed to build enough separation to gybe back to starboard at Canfield, luff him hard, and force a penalty on him for not keeping clear. One last gybe back by Canfield on the finish line only earned him another penalty, thus ceding the win to Williams. Score: Williams 1-0.

The second match saw Williams back in control in the pre-start, not only pushing Canfield over the line early at the start, but Canfield earning a red flag penalty for not keeping clear either. After taking his obligatory turn, Canfield was left to follow Williams around the first lap, especially after a right shift on the first run made that leg a parade. But being clever on the last beat put Canfield close, then into the lead that he managed to defend to make the score even at 1-1.

In Petit Final action, Richard led in nearly every turn of both matches against Hansen to win this series for third place 2-0.

21st September 2014, day five, semi finals and finals, at the Chicago Match Cup. © Ian Roman

21st September 2014, day five, semi finals and finals, at the Chicago Match Cup. © Ian Roman

In the third match of the Finals, Williams took the right side of the start and never let go control of this match, and was helped by a right shift that deprived Canfield of any passing opportunities. Williams’s narrow lead on the last leg to the finish looked reasonably safe, until Canfield rode a puff to close the gap, overlapped Williams to leeward, and under Tour rules was allowed to luff. According to match umpires Bill Edgerton, Russell Green and Tom Rinda, Williams did not keep clear, and was not in the two-length zone at the pin end of the finish, and therefore earned a penalty before crash gybing to try to get to the line before Canfield. Score: Canfield 2-1.

In the last match, Canfield wanted and took the right and successfully defended this side to where Williams never had a chance to get ahead. Even in one dial-down defence on the first beat, Canfield simply extended his lead more. With the breeze dropping slightly, and the big puffs of earlier matches no longer available to enable the trailing boat any opportunity to catch the leaders, Canfield went on to sail comfortably to the finish and his successful defence of the Chicago Match Cup.

“It was fantastic to defend this event in front of all of our families and friends,” said an elated Canfield. “And I really have to thank my team for an incredible performance this week in only losing two matches. In these conditions when you’re behind never out of it, and this team is incredible: when we were behind they only pushed harder for us to win.

Overall results of Stage 4 Chicago Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 
2 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
5 Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
7 Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing
8 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
9 Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby
10 Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox
11 Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center
12 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing

2014 Leaderboard Standings after Stage 4

1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar  94pts
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 74pts
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 73pts
4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing 63pts
5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 52pts
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 48pts
7 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20pts
8 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 20pts

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Defending Champion On Top At Chicago Match Cup

Posted on 18 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] As defending champions of the Chicago Match Cup, Taylor Canfield US One (ISV) today have shown they’ve lost none of their prowess at this venue, leading the pack in Day One of the Qualifying Series on an undefeated 4-0 record. Current Tour leader Ian Williams GAC Pindar (GBR) lost his match to Bjorn Hansen Hansen Sailing Team (SWE) for a 3-1 record, a record also held by Mathieu Richard Lunajets (FRA), Phil Robertson Waka Racing (NZL) and Joachim Aschenbrenner Team Trifork (DEN).

After a morning delay awaiting a light 6-7 knot breeze to fill from Lake Michigan, six flights of this series were sailed today, with 11 remaining to complete this stage of the competition among twelve teams from nine nations.
The conditions were well-suited to the US One team, who have won not only last year’s Chicago Match Cup, but more recently the Chicago Grand Slam Grade 2 event last month.
“We have raced here for many years,” said Canfield, “but still learn something every time we race. Today we were feeling a little weak in our downwind legs, but made some adjustments based on what we saw on some other boats.”
This helped Canfield in his last match of the day against Pierre Antoine Morvan Vannes Agglo Sailing Team (FRA), where he trailed around the first top mark, but gained on the run and managed to take the lead by holding out the French team from getting to the leeward gate.
“Its still early, this is a tough crowd, but it’s good to have some points on the board,” concluded Canfield.
While the wind was light, the action was not, and several matches were decided in part by penalties assessed by the umpires. Just moments into the Williams-Hansen match, for example, an altercation after the start not only had Williams penalized but earning a red flag for a acquiring control of the match from the incident. This required him to do his penalty turn immediately, and thereby cede control of the match back to Hansen, who was able to maintain his lead and take the point.
Asked about the incident, Williams said simply “We screwed up.”
Each of these matches will be important once this stage of 17 flights is completed, as only four teams go through to the Quarter-Finals while the remainder will be determined only after a Repechage round raced on Friday.
Qualifying Series racing resumes tomorrow at 0930 CDT on courses set at Belmont Harbor.
Stage 4 Chicago Match Race, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
Results after Flight 6
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 4-0
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 3-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 3-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 3-1
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork 3-1
Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing 3-1
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox 2-2
Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 1-3
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 1-3
Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby 1-3
Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center 0-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 0-4

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Chicago waterfront provides stage for world class match racing

Posted on 17 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: WMRT] Starting Wednesday, the world’s top sailing talent will begin a five-day battle of high-intensity match racing for the right to claim the Chicago Match Cup, Stage 4 and the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). A total of $75,000 in prize money is at stake, as well as valuable points on the World Championship year-long series.

The action will begin at 0930 CDT with the start of Qualifying among 12 teams from nine nations. From this stage four teams will advance to the Quarter Finals, with the remaining four slots filled from the results of the Repechage held among the remaining eight teams. Race management is being led by PRO Darcy Cook of the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC).

Courses will be set near the north entrance of Belmont Harbor, site of CMRC’s operations base, and within easy shore side access for spectators. Earlier today, CBS Chicago caught up with defending Chicago Match Cup champion Taylor Canfield (ISV), and Olympic Gold medallist Tom Slingsby and his team from Australia as they were practicing on the Lake:

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Argo Group Gold Cup – Artemis Racing adds America’s Cup flavor

Posted on 08 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Artemis Racing] Artemis Racing has entered the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup. It will be a first for helmsman Nathan Outteridge, who will sail alongside team manager Iain Percy — main and tactics, and with teammates Iain Jensen and Christian Kamp. Percy and Kamp previously crewed with Sir Ben Ainslie in 2013, losing in the final to Francesco Bruni, (ITA) of Team Luna Rossa.

The Team will join a 20-team fleet in the next battle for the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

“Artemis Racing will be an exciting addition to the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup,” said event Chairman Brian Billings. “With the addition of Artemis Racing, we will have two promising America’s Cup challengers represented in Bermuda. Francesco Bruni, Team Luna Rossa helmsman, will return to defend his 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup title. We hope to see some exciting matches between these two teams.”

Iain Percy and Nathan Outteridge spoke to Talbot Wilson ahead of the Argo Group Gold Cup. You have sailed in Bermuda before with your friend but AC rival Ben Ainslie. How will this event be different without him? IP— Ben, myself and the rest of the Origin team enjoyed a lot of success on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, especially in Bermuda, where we always felt at home. The reality though was it took our team, and my partnership with Ben, almost a year to develop before we found success in this style of racing. Artemis are lucky to also have Christian Kamp, who was another consistent member of Origin match race squad with us, and between Christian and myself we will have to try and remember how we used to sail the classic IODs! Your recent decision for Artemis Racing to enter the Argo Group Gold Cup is exciting for the event and the Tour. Do you think match racing on the Tour and in Bermuda is good training for AC35? IP— At the end of the day the America’s Cup is a match race. As a team, we are relatively inexperienced on the match racing side and so the Gold Cup is a great opportunity to practice. Nathan Outteridge is a fantastic sailor… 49ers, Moths, Olympics, world championships, and more. How do you think the team members who are new to the Gold Cup will adapt to the Bermuda IODs? IP— I imagine he will ask us when the IODs will start foiling a few times… that is one he normally asks us “slow boat sailors”!  What do you think of another match-up with Francesco Bruni who defeated your team last year in the finals? IP— Bruni and the Luna Rossa boys sailed really excellently in last year’s final, and we were comprehensively beaten. We had been out of the match racing game for a while and were impressed by the improvement not only of Bruni but the rest of the Tour teams. It will be extremely difficult for Nathan in his first match race competition and for us as a new team, but I know we will all enjoy the challenge and take a lot from the lessons. To Nathan Outteridge, Nathan, this is your first Argo Group Gold Cup. How do you think you will adapt to the classic IOD style of racing? NO— Obviously it will be very different from what I am used to. The classic IOD style of boats is nothing like the foiling machines that I am used to sailing. Having said this Iain has sailed this style of boat quite a bit. I’m sure with his guidance I will do just fine. Will you and the team be getting to Bermuda early for practice? NO— We plan to come over a few days before the event to get some training in on the boats and also learn the waters. It will be the first time the four of us, Iain, Goobs (Iain Jensen), Christian and myself, would have ever raced together. It will be important for us to make the most of the training time. What do you think of the potential competition against the defending champion Francesco Bruni who is now Team Luna Rossa’s Skipper? NO— Francesco is a great sailor and I am sure he will be difficult to beat. Given the lack of experience I have in Match Racing I think I will be on a steep learning curve and hopefully we can make it through the rounds and into the finals. 

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