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World Championship Title In The Balance

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: WMRT] Monsoon Cup Malaysia, the final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned.

Much is at stake for Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team. To date Williams has won the World Match Racing four times (in 2007-8 and 2011-12). If at the Monsoon Cup he can score a fifth World Championship victory, then he will surpass Australian Peter Gilmour’s record of wins (in 1990, 1997-8 and 2006) and will enter the history books as the person to have claimed the world title the most times in the Championship’s 27 year history.

In 2013, Williams narrowly missed out on achieving the record when he finished runner-up, five points shy of US Virgin Island skipper Taylor Canfield and his US One team. For the present championship, Williams is in better shape. Once again the main threat is Canfield, but going into the Monsoon Cup the British match racing ace holds a six point advantage over his rival. Unfortunately in real terms this doesn’t represent much of a cushion: Williams still has to finish within a place of Canfield if he is to secure his fifth World Championship title.

“We’re six points ahead of Taylor and last year we were ten behind, so it is the same sort of magnitude and whichever team progresses furthest will probably win, unless something unusual happens, like last year, when we ended up only one place ahead with the second place in the final,” says Williams. “For us, our approach is to try and win the regatta and if we do that we’ll be World Champions. He has more to think about trying to knock us out early.”

Meanwhile Canfield is out to defend his World title. “While we worked hard to close the gap in the overall standings after Williams took a big lead in the beginning of the season, we are in a position to still take the title. It is our Championship to win and Ian’s to lose. With the pressure on Williams, any mistakes will be costly as we only have to put one boat between us in the Monsoon Cup to win the AWMRT Championship.”

A championship victory for Canfield will also be significant for his Kiwi tactician Rod Dawson as personally this will represent his fifth World title, having previously scored three with Peter Gilmour, and one with Canfield in 2013.

Mathematically as it stands, any one of the top five crews on the leaderboard could win the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

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Statistically however, for Australian Keith Swinton to clinch the title – he is currently lying in fifth place – he would need to win the event and Williams would need to finish in 11th place or worse, Canfield in 9th or worse, etc.

12 points adrift of Canfield at present, third-placed Mathieu Richard and his Lunajets crew are better placed to gun for the top spot, but this would require yet more stars to align: the Frenchman would have to win the Monsoon Cup, Williams to finish sixth or worse (unlikely as this would be his lowest Monsoon Cup result in five years) and would require a fourth or worse finish for Canfield, who, again, has not finished off the podium since Match Race Germany in June.

The chances are even slimmer for the Stena Match Cup Sweden winning skipper, Bjorn Hansen, who lies in fourth place on the leaderboard going into the Monsoon Cup, a further seven points astern of Richard.

More realistic is the prospect that any of the top five could reach the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour podium. Mathematically sixth-placed Phil Robertson and his WAKA Racing Team are in with a slim chance, even if they are 20 points adrift of it at present. However it should not be forgotten that it was the young Kiwi skipper who is the defending champion of the Monsoon Cup, following his victory in Kuala Terengganu in 2013. Sixth going into the Monsoon Cup that year, Robertson’s ended up elevating WAKA Racing to third overall in the championship.

As Tour Director of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour Craig Mitchell observes: “The overall result still hangs in the balance with Williams holding a slight edge over Canfield and any of the top five still technically able to win. Qualifying will be all on from the outset as those results will decide who selects their opponent for the crucial Quarter Final knock-out stage. We’ve had some pretty big championship deciding showdowns in the Quarter Final in previous years and depending on where teams are placed in Qualifying I can see some fireworks happening again.

“The Monsoon Cup is going to be an intense event and with a new venue in Danga Bay, Johor teams will have curve balls coming in from all over the place. Add to that the inevitable mind games, it will add to a spectacular finale.”

In addition to winning the World Championship title and the chance to enter the history books alongside the likes of Chris Dickson, Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird, James Spithill and Ben Ainslie, also at stake is the prize money, both for the Tour as well as for the Monsoon Cup.

From a prize purse of US$ 500,000 – the largest across the breadth of professional sailing – the World Champion and winner of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour receives US$ 100,000, the second placed finisher US$ 80,000, with prize money on a diminishing scale to all eight Tour Card skippers.

As if this were not pay day enough, there is also substantial prize money on offer for the Monsoon Cup itself with a prize purse of MYR 1,475,000 (US$ 412,760) up for grabs and with the winner receiving MYR 310,000 (US$ 86,750).

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The WMRT will countinue in 2015 despite Alpari insolvency announcement

Posted on 17 January 2015 by Reporter

The news of the leading international Forex operator Alpari Limited to enter insolvency procedure will not affect The World Match Racing, states the seires official page. The Tour will go on as planned with last 2014 season event scheduled for February. Also, The Tour plans to announce 2015 calendar in the nearest future.

On Firay 16th January, Alpari (UK) Limited announced that: “The recent move on the Swiss franc caused by the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected policy reversal of capping the Swiss franc against the euro has resulted in exceptional volatility and extreme lack of liquidity. This has resulted in the majority of clients sustaining losses which has exceeded their account equity. Where a client cannot cover this loss, it is passed on to us. This has forced Alpari (UK) Limited to confirm today, 16/01/15, that it has entered into insolvency.”

Later that day The World Match Racing Tour confirmed that it is continuing as scheduled, including the final event of the 2014 World Championship in Malaysia from 10-14 February. The Tour will shortly announce its 2015 calendar of events, including two new official stages.

Furthermore, the Tour announced that “with over 250 sponsors involved across all Tour events worldwide, we have already received interest from potential global partners for the coming season.”

On 22th of December 2015 it was announced that Swiss watchmaker Albert Riele has become the Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s first ever Official Watch Partner.

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Congressional Cup Joins Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Posted on 19 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:WMRT] The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) today announced the addition of the Congressional Cup to the 2015 World Championship Tour schedule. The announcement follows this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic Congressional Cup event, organised by Long Beach Yacht Club, in Long Beach, California.

James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT commented, “I am delighted to welcome the Congressional Cup to the Alpari Tour family. It is one of the most coveted trophies in match racing, and a fantastic addition to the World Championship, particularly as a new Tour event in the United States.”

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From L-R: James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT; Bill Durant, Chairman Congressional Cup; David Stotler, Commodore LBYC; John Fleishman, Vice Commodore LBYC; Cheri Busch, Sponsorship Chair Congressional Cup © PHOTO BY LBYC

The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965; introducing on-the-water umpiring in the early 1990s, and embracing a high level of organization with a unique volunteer force of more than 300 members of Long Beach Yacht Club – one of the premiere boating institutions in the United States since 1929.

Each spring, five days of heated competition take place directly in front of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on the Long Beach waterfront, providing a natural stadium atmosphere for spectators to enjoy. Since 1990 the regatta has been sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event, and still used today.

The winning skipper of the Congressional Cup is awarded the coveted ‘Crimson Blazer’ – an honour bestowed to some of the best known names in professional sailing including Ken Read, Gavin Brady, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner and Dean Barker. The 2014 anniversary event was won by defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield, from the US Virgin Islands, who is slated to return in 2015 to defend his Congressional Cup title.

Commenting on the announcement Canfield added, “As one of the most prestigious events and trophies in sailing, I am excited to see the Congressional Cup join the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It is one of my personal favourites, and a spectacle as an event itself. With the best hospitality there is, and the driving force of the proud supportive membership, this event will add great value to the AWMRT.”

The 2015 Congressional Cup will host 12 competing teams from 13th-17th May, including eight AWMRT Card Skippers, winner of the 2014 US Grand Slam of Match Racing, two qualifying entries from the Ficker Cup, and a Long Beach Yacht Club representative.

The full 2015 Alpari World Match Racing Tour schedule will be announced before the end of the year.

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Alpari Tour Final Stage Expands With New Date And Venue

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:WMRT] Organisers of the Monsoon Cup Malaysia – the final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour – have confirmed today the event will be hosted from 10-14 February 2015 replacing the earlier published dates of 26-31 November 2014. The 10th Anniversary of the event will also be staged at a new venue in Johor, the southern most state of Malaysia. Details of the venue will be released shortly.

The change of dates for the Monsoon Cup Malaysia is part of an expansion of the event by Kuala Lumpur based event organisers Innovatige in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, the NSA (National Sports Council) and MYA (Malaysian Yachting Association).

The Monsoon Cup has now been split into two separate events, Monsoon Cup Terengganu – a regional qualifier event to be held in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu from 19-22 November 2014, and the Monsoon Cup Malaysia – the World Championship grade event and final stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour in Johor from 10-14 February 2015. The winner of the MC Terengganu will qualify for entry to the final in Johor.

The creation of the two separate Monsoon Cup events is a further development of the highly successful initiative to grow the sport of match racing in Malaysia. Last year, organised by Innovatige, the National Sports Council announced a comprehensive sailing development programme with the re-introduction of the Liga Layar Malaysia (LLM), a series of eight match racing events around Malaysia, and the Belia Belayar programme. a grassroots programme aimed at introducing youth sailors to the sport. So far this year, the Belia Belayar has introduced over 4,500 youth sailors to the sport via the government-backed programme.

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Berntsson joins sailing’s elite

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Reporter

[Source: WMRT] Johnie Berntsson and his Stena Sailing Team today followed the world’s top sailors such as Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Ben Ainslie and Chris Dickson in becoming a two time victor of the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. The 42-year-old Swede claimed the title 3-1 over Switzerland’s Eric Monnin in perfect conditions on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour with 11 knots of northwest wind and the morning’s cloud cover giving way to glorious sunshine.

The first two races were close featuring lead changes despite big splits between the competitors across the race course. In the first race Berntsson sneaked ahead of the Swiss team coming into the weather mark for the first time and hung on to the lead from there, despite Monnin continually nipping at his heels. In the second Berntsson led Monnin down the run, eventually taking the Swiss team well beyond the leeward gate before gybing back with the advantage. Monnin kept it close, but was unable get in front.

For race three, at match point for Berntsson, Monnin narrowly won a tacking duel going into the top mark to sneak inside Berntsson. After big splits down the run and again up the second beat, when the two boats converged coming into the top mark Monnin had extended and maintained his lead to the finish.

The fourth race saw the most lead changes with Berntsson ahead out of the start, Monnin pulling in front by the top mark, Berntsson then rolling the Swiss on the run…. However the decisive moment came towards the end of the second beat when Monnin picked up a penalty for tacking too close.

Eric Monnin and Johnie Berntsson in the Finals of Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Eric Monnin and Johnie Berntsson in the Finals of Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

3-1 to Berntsson, who with his crew of tactician Robert Skarp, Bjorn Lundgren, Oscar Angervall, picked up the winner’s King Edward VII Gold Cup as well as the US$50,000 prize for first place.

“Winning this is so extraordinary,” commented a jubilant Berntsson after his victor’s dip in Hamilton Harbour. “We have done it once, we never thought we could do it twice. We are so happy that we have been so successful this week.” Berntsson previously won here in 2008. “This and the Congressional Cup are the two top victories we have.”

Of his Swiss opponent, Berntsson said: “We were never safe – the races we won, they were so close behind we had to fight really hard. Thanks to Robert, Bjorn and Oscar, who drove the boat fast and picked the right shifts allowing us to come back when we were behind, which were really crucial to winning.”

Explaining the big splits, the winning skipper explained: “The wind was not shifty – it was more puffy, so it was crucial to find the best spot and with these boats if you tack too much, you lose speed. I think the corners were better than the middle of the course, so if one of the teams chose one side you had to choose the other one if you wanted to get in front.”

Runner-up Eric Monnin praised Berntsson. “Congratulations to Johnie and the whole team – they did an excellent job. We just tried to find somewhere to squeeze in, which we could sometimes, sbut in the end they were stronger than us. We made some little mistakes, but honestly speaking Johnie had a great race throughout.”

Semi Final surprises 

This morning there was upset for the Alpari World Match Tour frontrunners when both Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar team and Taylor Canfield’s US One were knocked out in the Semi Finals. These races were held in a light northerly breeze blowing off downtown Hamilton, making for tricky, shifty winds on the race course.

Williams had picked Monnin to race in the Semi Final, leaving Canfield to line up against Berntsson. Williams, at this point unbeaten throughout this Argo Group Gold Cup, got off to a good start winning the first match, however Monnin went on to claim the next three.

© Charles Anderson/ RBYC

© Charles Anderson/ RBYC

The start of the penultimate race was particularly disappointing for Williams, as he described it: “We had him [Monnin] put away and we just got hooked and were a second over the start line with a penalty when we should have led comfortably off the line. He did a nice job, he did one tack and one gybe on each run and picked the left side and got it right. It was very hard to attack him from there.”

Berntsson v Canfield Semi Final went the full distance and then wasn’t decided until the final run when Berntsson rolled Canfield. Canfield gave his take on this: “Johnie tried to roll us. We had a piece of him as we luffed up. By not coming up as well he was able to get over the top of us and lead down to the leeward mark. If he had gone up with us, we would have been in better shape and he wouldn’t have had as big of a lead or have even have gotten the lead. But the umpires saw it differently.”

In terms of the top of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s overall scoreboard, the outcome of the Argo Group Gold Cup makes no difference, with Williams still holding a six point lead over Canfield going into the final event of the season, the Monsoon Cup. However by finishing fifth here, Bjorn Hansen has moved to within seven points of third placed Mathieu Richard.

Overall results of Stage 6 Argo Group Gold Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team
2 Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
4 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
6 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
7 Staffan Linberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing
8 Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing
9 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
10 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
11 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
12 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
13 Nathan Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing
14 Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing
15 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
16 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Match The World
17 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NED) Korpershoek Racing
18 Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics
19 Lance Fraser (BER) Digicel Bermuda
20 David Storrs (USA) Pequot Racing Team

Final
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team bt Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team 3-1

Petit Final
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One bt Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2-1

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Light air drama

Posted on 26 October 2014 by Reporter

[Source:WMRT] A frontal system edging its way towards Bermuda resulted in light winds, a grey sky and racing eventually being canned early, but not before the remaining Quarter Final flights had been completed at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Today patience and maintaining focus reaped dividends and it came as little surprise when Swiss lake racing specialist Eric Monnin provided a masterclass in light air racing. 1-0 up at the close of play yesterday, Monnin roundly dispatched France’s Pierre-Antoine Morvan’s Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 3-0, finishing both today’s matches almost half a leg ahead, to earn his Semi Final berth.

“We like these conditions – it is what we are used to!” said Monnin, who normally races in the typically light winds on Lake Geneva. “We were able to get speed in the boat and got the puffs and the shifts, sailing a bit like we were alone. It is great for us.”

Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson

Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson

 

Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew also went through the Quarter Finals with a 3-0 scoreline against Poland’s plucky Marek Stanczyk and his Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing team. For Williams the racing was much closer. In both his matches today Stanczyk was over early and had to restart immediately putting him on the back foot. However on both occasions he managed to fight back into contention.

As Williams observed: “It was tricky out there and it was hard to defend the lead. Often the boat behind at the top mark would be quite strong down the run, but we were able to dominate the starts and be able to start a little faster, which gave us options and we were generally just far enough ahead at the top mark, which made it easier to defend on the run. It worked out well for us.”

Quarter Final deciding race between the two Swedish teams © Charles Anderson

Quarter Final deciding race between the two Swedish teams © Charles Anderson

 

Impressively Williams’ GAC Pindar team has made it all the way through Qualifying and the Quarter Finals without suffering a loss. Obviously this comes through experience and sailing well, but Williams believes there may be more to it. “It is often the way in Bermuda that you can get on a winning streak or a losing streak and if it’s the latter, they are hard to turn around. Obviously things have gone our way.”

Taylor Canfield and his US One team had a hard fought series against Finland’s Staffan Lindberg and his Alandia Sailing Team. Lindberg initially levelled the scoreline to 1-1 in today’s first flight. In the opening two races Canfield managed to plant a penalty on his opponent. In the first Lindberg managed to get suitably far ahead to be able to carry out his penalty successfully at the finish line, but in the second he didn’t. Ultimately in the fourth flight it was the defending Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion who sealed the deal 3-1 to go through to the next round.

Marek Stanczyk trails Ian Williams in the Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson

Marek Stanczyk trails Ian Williams in the Quarter Finals © Charles Anderson

 

Today’s most closely fought matches came in the ‘Swede-off’ between tour card holder Björn Hansen and former holder Johnie Berntsson with his Stena Sailing Team. This was the only Quarter Final bout to go the full distance and proof that even in the lightest conditions match racing can still provide edge of the seat tension.

Prospects were not looking good for Hansen this morning starting Match 3 0-2 down against his opponent. However he successfully fought back to level the score 2-2 and was clearly on a roll. The first attempt at a decider came to nothing when the wind severely clocked right, turning the beat into a ‘one tacker’ and was stopped by the Race Committee. In the second all was going well for Hansen as he led around the race track until the very last run. During this he was rolled in a gybe, a text book match racing play by Berntsson who then carried the lead to the line.

“We did it pretty well even in the last race,” mused Hansen, “but the second time at the top mark the breeze just died and when the new breeze came from behind, Johnnie managed to catch up and that gybe was a very difficult decision for us to make. He was coming in with more speed, and there is always the risk to be rolled in that situation. I think over the series they did a better job than we did and that is why they are in the Semi’s not us.”

Johnie Berntsson was ecstatic about winning against his fellow countryman. “It all came down to the last downwind. When the wind is so light it is really tricky to lead, even for Björn. We covered him as much as we could and put the gybes in the positions where we wanted and after two gybes we passed him and could just stay in front. Our tactician Rob Scarp did a really good job especially during the downwinds – that made a big, big difference and meant we could pass Björn.”

The race committee postponed proceedings waiting for the wind to fill in until mid-afternoon when the racing for the day was cancelled. However by this time Ian Williams had already drawn his Semi Final opponent in Eric Monnin, leaving Taylor Canfield to face Johnie Berntsson.

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Tour Card Holders Crash Out

Posted on 25 October 2014 by Reporter

[Source:WMRT] Picture perfect conditions returned to Bermuda for the third and final day of Qualifying at the Argo Group Gold Cup. After yesterday’s torrential rain, Hamilton Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and breeze that by lunchtime was gusting up to the mid-teens. With the conclusion of Qualifying, the top four of the ten teams in each of the two Groups made it through to the Quarter Finals while a surprisingly high number of Alpari World Match Racing Tour card holders failed to make the cut. In fact just three – Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew, defending Tour champion Taylor Canfield and his US One team and Bjorn Hansen – made the top eight.

While the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaders, Williams and Canfield, qualified in comfort yesterday, ending the series on 8.5 and 8 points respectively, with Bjorn Hansen and former Tour Card holder Johnnie Berntsson also standing out in Group 1, for the final four it was the usual close run thing. This was particularly true for Group 2 where in the final flight the winner of the Monnin v Poole and Gilmour v Stanczyk matches would go through while the loser would be on the flight home. Ultimately it was Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and Poland’s Marek Stanczyk and his Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing crew that were successful.

Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team aced the Qualifying at Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team aced the Qualifying at Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Stanczyk was over the moon to have got through after a bumpy ride through this regatta, leading the first day while one of his crew suffering an injury yesterday. Today he bounced back. “I feel very good,” he said. “I was a little disappointed in the first race which we lost because of a problem with the jib tack which we didn’t solve as well as we should have. We sailed the second upwind leg with the jib totally eased.” His crew Lukasz Kacprowski was back on board with a plaster covering the gash to his forehead, caused when he was hit by the boom yesterday as the Polish team threw themselves into a penalty turn in their match against Taylor Canfield. “He had the choice of having the cut stitched or glued and he had it glued because he is worried about his looks and didn’t want stitches!” confided Stancyzk.

 Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Argo Group Gold Cup © Charles Anderson / AGGC

For Tour Card Holder David Gilmour the outcome today was less good, losing their final match to the Poles. “We felt in control of most of the prestart and then we made one small mistake right at the end – I tried to go for the kill rather than just getting a clear start and that cost us the whole race. I look back to the rest of the regatta and we had so many missed opportunities, which made it quite tough,” said Gilmour. France’s Mathieu Richard and his LunaJets crew also came close to making it through in Group 2, but were put out of the running when they were docked 0.5 points for causing damage following a collision in their match against Canfield.

In Group 1, the outcome was a more complex and controversial one. This stemmed from a pre-start collision between Francesco Bruni and his Luna Rossa team and Keith Swinton’s Team Alpari FX crew. Swinton described it: “There was a dial-up – we were on starboard, they were on port. I think there was a bit of extra pressure today which we hadn’t really sailed in yet in this event and I just misjudged the dial-up and maybe turned up a little bit too late and we had small contact with them – our bow just hit the side of their boat. We were turning slightly later than him, so we got the penalty.” This collision saw Swinton docked 0.5 points and unhappy with this decision Swinton resorted to the jury. A hearing was promptly held and it was deemed that the points deduction had been appropriate. With this his Quarter Final berth evaporated. “We had a feeling that potentially the damage had been caused previously to that boat,” explained Swinton. “But the boat guy said we had caused some damage, so unfortunately we lost half a point and that made all the difference. It was unfortunate. We’ll just have to put it behind us.”

Polish match racer Stancyzk mastered the conditions today © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Polish match racer Stancyzk mastered the conditions today © Charles Anderson / AGGC

As a result of Swinton’s half point deduction, former tour card holder, France’s Pierre Antoine Morvan and his Vannes Agglo Sailing Team claimed the final Quarter Final berth in Group 1.“We were a bit lucky, because we lost two races today,” admitted Morvan, who finished fifth at the Chicago Match Cup recently. “We need to up our level for the quarters.” The match that Morvan felt had made the most difference to their scoreline was when they beat defending Argo Group Gold Cup champion, Francesco Bruni and his Luna Rossa America’s Cup crew.

Quarter-Finals Results

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team bt Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 1-0

Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team bt Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 1-0

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One bt Staffan Linberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 1-0

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar bt Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing 1-0

Final Results of Qualifying 

Group 1

1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 8.5-0

2 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 7-2

3 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 6-3

4 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 5-4

5 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 4.5-4

6 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 4.5-4

7 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Match The World 2-7

8 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NED) Korpershoek Racing 2-7

9 Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics 2-7

10 David Storrs (USA) Pequot Racing Team 1.5-7

Group 2

1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 8-1

2 Staffan Linberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 5-4

3 Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing 5-4

4 Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team 5-4

5 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 4.5-4

6 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 4-5

7 Nathan Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing 4-5

8 Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing 4-5

9 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-6

10 Lance Fraser (BER) Digicel Bermuda 2-7

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Canfield and Williams shine in Bermuda

Posted on 24 October 2014 by Reporter

[Source:WMRT] Conditions turned decidedly damp for the second day of racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup, stage six of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. A front slowly crossing Bermuda brought with it an overcast sky and rain squalls. Nonetheless, despite squelching their way ashore completely soaked, the Group 2 crews enjoyed the morning’s stronger breeze, the wind less shifty having veered into the southwest overnight, blowing down Hamilton Harbour rather than across it.

Mathieu Richard mastering the brisk conditions © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Mathieu Richard mastering the brisk conditions © Charles Anderson / AGGC

At the close of play, with the competitors divided into two groups for Qualifying, 10 of the 12 flights have been completed in Group 2 and nine in Group 1.

Qualifying will conclude tomorrow, but already the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour championship leaders have secured their berths in the Quarter Final top eight with first placed Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar crew unbeaten in Group 1 and second placed Taylor Canfield’s US One team, holding just one loss in Group 2.

This morning saw the wind gusting into the high teens, which was enough to make the classic International One Design yachts a handful for the crews, who struggled to prevent ‘death rolls’ and Chinese gybes. Unfortunately during one match, Lukasz Kacprowski, crewman for yesterday’s overall leader Marek Stanczyk, sustained a cut to his head after he was struck by the boom. He was subsequently taken to hospital and received stitches.

Eric Monnin chases Canfield downwind © Charles Anderson / AGGC

Eric Monnin chases Canfield downwind © Charles Anderson / AGGC

The most dramatic race of the morning was between Nathan Outteridge and Taylor Canfield. As the US Virgin Island skipper and defending Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion described it: “We were just behind coming on the first run and gybed on his breeze and probably the max puff of the day came in and we had a big windward heel, wipe-out situation as he started to luff us…” The result was the rigs of the IODs locking momentarily and a penalty for Canfield.

The two boats split at the leeward gate with Canfield taking the right and managing to plant a penalty on Outteridge for tacking too close, wiping his own penalty in the process. Outteridge made a last ditch attempt as the port tack boat to get in front coming into the top mark, but failed and was rewarded with a red flag penalty. Game over.

“It was good, the tightest race we’ve had all week,” commented Outteridge. “I think when it gets shifty one boat gets ahead but in that one, no one was ever clear ahead the whole way around.”

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Wet conditions for Artemis Racing © Charles Anderson / AGGC

As to racing at both his first Tour event and first Argo Group Gold Cup, the 49er gold medallist from London 2012 added: “It’s been good apart from the weather, which was a bit average today. We are happy – we won a couple of starts today which was a good improvement. We are on the rise.” Sadly with a 4-5 scoreline, his team, representing Swedish America’s Cup challenger Artemis Racing, looks unlikely to make the Quarter Finals, strangely also true of the other America’s Cup team competing – Luna Rossa – defending champions here, which ended the day on a disappointing 2.5 points.

Among the success stories of the day was Mathieu Richard. “Coming from Brittany – we love the rain!” said the LunaJets skipper. “It is obviously better to sail in the sun – it is a bit different in the rain, because you can’t read the shifts on the water, but that is the same for everyone.” However the Frenchman’s mood was more due to winning all his three matches today: Yesterday he won just one.

Group 1 took over from Group 2 at lunchtime, coinciding with the rain stopping, the heavens clearing marginally, but the wind dropping below 10 knots.

GAC Pindar skipper Ian Williams won all his matches leaving him on 7.5 points with one race to sail tomorrow. “It was a little bit more straightforward today with the breeze in the west,” he said. “Not a great deal of excitement, but that’s how we like it!”

Fellow Tour Card holder, Bjorn Hansen was also unbeaten and now holds second in Group 1 to Williams. Being among the second group to have gone out today, the Swedish skipper was pleased to have missed the rain, sailing in this afternoon’s slightly brighter and more benign conditions on Hamilton Harbour. “I am extremely happy about that. The first group coming in looked a little bit wet!” he said.

In Bermuda Hansen is sailing with Danish match racer and stand-in tactician Rasmus Køstner, who is having to change gears, returning to the Tour from catamaran racing at the Extreme Sailing Series. “It feels good on board – everyone has found their roles and I think that we are sailing fast and we are making them right decisions,” said Hansen.

But the main memory of the day will be the soggy conditions. “I was saturated head to toe!” commented Taylor Canfield after he’d dried off. “But it was great breeze and that was all you could ask for. Hopefully we’ll have more of that tomorrow.”

Stage 6 Argo Group Gold Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Group 1 Results After Flight 9
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 7.5-0
2 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 6-1
3 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 5-2
4 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 4-3
5 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 4-3
6 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 3-4
7 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NED) Korpershoek Racing 2-5
8 David Storrs (USA) Pequot Racing Team 1.5-5
9 Arthur Herreman (FRA) Match The World 1-6
10 Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics 1-7

Group 2 Results After Flight 10
1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 7-1
2 Staffan Linberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 5-3
3 Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing 4-3
4 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 4-3
5 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 4-4
6 Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team 4-4
7 Nathan Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing 4-5
8 Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing 3-4
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-6
10 Lance Fraser (BER) Digicel Bermuda 2-6

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