Tag Archive | "Mathieu Richard"

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Alpari World Match Racing Tour Announces 2014 Championship Skippers

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] The Alpari World Match Racing Tour has today announced the eight Tour Card skippers for the 2014 World Championship series. Defending Tour Champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) leads the line up of the world’s top match racers alongside four-time Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR), Keith Swinton (AUS), Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Mathieu Richard (FRA) and Phil Robertson (NZL).

Joining the race for the 2014 title is also one of the challenging teams for the 35th America’s Cup, Luna Rossa (ITA).

Francesco Bruni will represent Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli’s long term America’s Cup challenger Luna Rossa. Bruni, a former Laser, 49er and Star class Olympic sailor, was tactician aboard the Italian team’s AC72 catamaran in San Francisco during the 34th America’s Cup last year. He has now stepped into the driving seat for their match race training. Bruni competed at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda in 2013, when he triumphed over Sir Ben Ainslie in the final.

“The participation in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is part of team Luna Rossa’s preparation program for the 35th America’s Cup,” confirms Bruni. “The Tour is one of the most selective competitions at international level and is the best field to measure ourselves in a real race.”

Completing the Tour Card skipper line up for 2014 is Australian David Gilmour, following in the footsteps of his famous father, Peter Gilmour, four-time ISAF Match Racing World Champion and America’s Cup veteran.

The 22yr old match racer is no stranger to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour after competing at the Monsoon Cup in 2012 and 2013, and the Korea Match Cup 2013. He was also winner of the ISAF Nations Cup 2013 and is a two-time winner of the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth.

“I am really proud to be racing on the 2014 Tour as a first time card holder,” commented Gilmour. “It has been a major goal of ours to win the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and it’s a tough field this year, but I believe I have the right team with me that can really challenge for the world title.”

Gilmour has recently joined Team Australia representing the Challenger of Record for the 35th America’s Cup. He will be dividing his time during 2014 between competing on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and training with Team Australia.

All eight Tour Card Skippers are automatically guaranteed a berth at the six Tour Championship events for 2014. At least an additional four skippers are selected by each event to make up the final team tally.

But the man to beat in 2014 will be defending champion, US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield. His USone Sailing Team won the Chicago Match Cup in 2013 and a third place at the Monsoon Cup was enough to secure the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour overall and the World Championship title.

“USone is extremely happy with our 2013 performance as a first time Alpari Tour card holder. We have a special and talented team, which will remain the same for 2014. However, with new teams and new events, it’s a clean slate and the standards are high. We will be competing with the same enthusiasm and drive to retain our title.”

Wanting to claim Canfield’s title more than anyone this season will be British match racing legend Ian Williams. The GAC Pindar skipper has won the Alpari World Match Racing Tour four times (2007-8 and 2011-12). Victory this year would see Williams better Australian Peter Gilmour’s record and enter the record books as the person to have the most Match Racing World Championships in the history of the sport.

Williams comments: “Team GAC Pindar are very much looking forward to the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour season. It is great to see new Events coming onto the Tour and I am especially looking forward to going back to Poland for the first time since we won the Sopot Match Race in 2005.”

A familiar foe of Williams, who has been awarded a Tour Card this season, is France’s Mathieu Richard, back for an impressive 11th year on the Tour. Richard won Korea Match Cup last year, when his GEFCO Match Racing Team concluded the season seventh overall.

For Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen’s this will be his eighth year on the Tour. His eWork Sailing Team finished just off the podium in fourth place last year, following their second place in 2012.

Back for his seventh consecutive year competing at Alpari World Match Racing Tour events, and his third year as Tour Card Skipper, is Australian Keith Swinton and his Black Swan Racing team. Swinton finished sixth on the Tour last year, down two places from their 2012 position – their best to date.

Phil Robertson will be once again representing New Zealand with his Waka Racing Team. This will be his sixth year on the Tour having finished third last year and in 2012.

As AWMRT Executive Director James Pleasance commented “We have a fantastic line up on the Tour this year, testament to the level of professionalism the World Championship has now reached. We are also delighted to welcome Luna Rossa to the 2014 Tour as part of their training for the 35th America’s Cup. While the America’s Cup has moved to foiling catamarans, there is no better place for the teams to hone their match racing skills than the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.”

Alpari World Match Racing Tour – 2014 Tour Card Holders
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone Sailing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour

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Ian Williams holds onto World #1 in the Open Match Race Rankings

Posted on 20 June 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] Ian Williams (GBR) makes it 19 months at the top of the ISAF Match Race Rankings, the World Champion picked up his first Tour win of 2013 at Match Race Germany and consolidates his position at the top with almost 400 points separating him from the #2 ranked skipper.

Returning to the fray is Mathieu Richard (FRA) who climbs 14 places back up to World #4. Richard, World #1 in 2008 and 2009, finished third at Match Race Germany and went on to claim the spoils from the Alpari World Match Tour Korea Match Cup earlier this month, dispatching Taylor Canfield (ISV) in the final.

He may have been runner up to Richard in Korea but this ranking sees a lifetime best for the 24 year old from St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, as he moves three places up the rankings to World #2.

The final podium place in Korea belonged to Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his ranking rise continues since he took time out to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race. At World #31 and only counting results from four events it seems just a matter of time before the 2009 Tour champion Minoprio returns to the top ten.

Japan’s Wataru Sakamoto breezed past Maximillian Soh (SIN) at the ISAF Nations Cup Asian Regional Final in Vladivostok, Russia to qualify for August’s Grand Final in Denmark. Sakamato is further rewarded by a 30 point climb up the rankings to World #48. Soh also moves up, to World #68.

One other ISAF Grade 2 took place since the last ranking, the Sails of White Nights EUROSAF Match Race Open Championship. Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) defeated Simone Ferrarese (ITA) in the final and moves up 19 places to #67.

Staffan Lindberg (FIN) won the GKSS Spring Cup and Stena Match Cup qualifier to move up to World #18 with Joachim Ashenbrenner (DEN) using his second place to to move from 17 to World #15.

Michele Ivaldi (ITA) returns to the ISAF World Match Race Rankings after competing at his first graded event since the ISAF Match Racing World Championnship in 2005, where he won a gold medal crewing for James Spithill (AUS). Second place at the GRADO3 in Ravenna Italy sees him re-enter at World #385. The win in Ravenna went to Jacopo Pasini which is his ninth consecutive graded event win and he climbs 20 places up to World #51.

The final word goes to Ryan Davidson (USA) who picked up his first graded event win at the CMRC Spring Invitational to climb 188 places up to World #194

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Mathieu Richard wins again at the Korea Match Cup

Posted on 02 June 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Mathieu Richard has won the Korea Match Cup after beating Taylor Canfield 2-0 in the Final. Attributing his win to great team work and mental resilience, Richard and his French team mates on GEFCO Match Racing Team looked very at home today on the KM36 keelboats racing in light to moderate breezes under bright blue skies. Their mastery of Jeongok Harbour was well rewarded with a prize of 625,000 Korean Won, around US$55,000, from a total prize fund of approximately US$222,000.

Taylor Canfield was pleased with his week’s work, even if the American made a rare error of judgement in the final start. “It was a do or die situation, but we had them [the French] on the ropes for most of the pre-start. It all came down to that last decision, and unfortunately it didn’t go right for me.” Canfield left Richard to take the left-hand end of the start while he tacked away for the committee boat end. Trouble was, he gave the start boat a good smack, putting a large hole in the side and was given a penalty for his efforts. It was all about killing time and distance for the start line, but Canfield still crossed too early and had to turn back for a restart. A comeback for Canfield was looking unlikely and although he closed the gap, Richard never looked seriously threatened. The French started celebrating a few boatlengths before crossing the finish line.

Matheiru Richard takes the Korea Match Cup and leads the overall scoretable of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Gyeonggi-do, 2 June 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Richard won here three years earlier and was hard pushed to say which of his two Korea Match Cup victories were more special. “I think both victories were fantastic for us. We are a new team with a new sponsor and our team work was very good, and we stayed calm, we showed good mental strength through the knock-out stages.”

If anything the greater drama came in the Petit Final to decide 3rd and 4th overall. Adam Minoprio looked to have the race well in control against Ian Williams, but Team Alpari FX allowed GAC Pindar to split away from them on the final beat. The British skipper closed the gap and again looked for some separation on the final run to the finish. When the boats converged towards the bottom of the run, Williams on starboard was able to force Minoprio to gybe away.

When they came back together, this time Minoprio steered up behind Williams and instead of being met by a defensive gybe, they swapped sides. Now Williams was on the disadvantaged side and when he tried to wriggle past the Kiwi boat, Minoprio forced the Briton into a luff, both boats flogging their gennakers as they rounded into the breeze. Minoprio had been looking to stick a penalty on Williams and while he failed to get it, the Kiwi was able to turn towards the line first and scrape across the finish line to claim 3rd place.

Minoprio was surprised at the manner of his win. “We wanted to get closer to the finish boat, and fortunately he let us. It was a case of each of us trying to give each other the win, luckily for us he gave it to us at the last cross.”

To lose the Semi Final and then the Petit Final was a tough way to round out a regatta that Williams had dominated for much of the week. “There are some days in match racing when things don’t seem to go your way,” said Williams, whether it’s powerboat chop as you’re trying to tack, or a wind shift going against you. I think we had one of those days. I think we sailed fast and smooth, but we made a few misjudgements, especially in the start. Then again we made the Semis, and there are eight other guys who didn’t, so it’s not too bad, and we’re still in the championship.” The Korea Match Cup is the only title on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour to have eluded the four-time World Champion. “We feel strong here, we feel this is one of the best events on the Tour, and we’ll be back next year for at least one more shot at the title.”

Present to watch the final day’s racing was the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Kim Moon Soo, who is promoting the region as a major destination for sailing and marine tourism in Asia.

Event organiser Kim Dong Young said: “People were worried what the Korea Match Cup would be like once the Korea International Boat Show was no longer at the same venue, but look how many people came to watch the racing today. After six years the event has never looked better.”

James Pleasance, Executive Director of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour said: “The Korea Match Cup has cemented its position as one of the flagship events on the Tour, and the teams love racing the boats on this challenging stretch of water. We’ve had a change of leader on the 2013 leaderboard and the competition is hotting up as we go to Sweden a month from now.”

KOREA MATCH CUP – OVERALL RESULTS
1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) – GEFCO Match Racing Team 31 points
2 Taylor Canfield (ISV) – USone 28 points
3 Adam Minoprio (NZL) – Team Alpari FX 24 points
4 Ian Williams (GBR) – Team GAC Pindar 20 points
5 Keith Swinton (AUS) – Black Swan Racing 17 points
6 Johnie Berntsson (SWE)- Stena Sailing Team 15 points
7 Phil Robertson (NZL) – WAKA Racing 12 points
8 David Gilmour (AUS) – Team Gilmour 10 points
9 Björn Hansen (SWE) – Mekonomen Sailing Team 5 points
10 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) – Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 3 points
11 Kim Taejeong (KOR) – Gyeonggi Match 0 points
12 Park Gunwoo (KOR) – Busan Match 0 points

ALPARI WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR
LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 2 – KOREA MATCH CUP

1 Mathieu Richard (FRA) – GEFCO Match Racing Team 50
2 Adam Minoprio (NZL) – Team Alpari FX 46
3 Ian Williams (GBR) – Team GAC Pindar 45
4 Taylor Canfield (ISV) – USone 42
5 Johnie Berntsson (SWE)- Stena Sailing Team 31
6 Keith Swinton (AUS) – Black Swan Racing 19
7 Björn Hansen (SWE) – Mekonomen Sailing Team 17
8 Phil Robertson (NZL) – WAKA Racing 16
9 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) – Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 11
10 Karol Jablonski (POL) – Jablonski Sailing Team 10
- David Gilmour (AUS) – Team Gilmour 10

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Comeback kid Adam Minoprio barnstorms into the Korea Match Cup Semis

Posted on 01 June 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Minoprio won against his fellow Kiwis, Phil Robertson and WAKA Racing. The third and concluding match was the most exciting and controversial. After a flurry of simultaneous gybes, luffing matches and counter moves, Robertson copped a penalty from the umpires, then another in quick succession. The rules say that when you’ve got two penalties you’re obliged to clear at least one of them immediately. But in trying to manoeuvre in order to clear the penalty, Robertson fouled Minoprio a third time and gave the umpires no choice but to raise the black flag, signalling instant disqualification for Robertson.

“I’ve always felt strong racing Phil,” said Minoprio. “But that last race was pretty exciting. The best races are when the crew has got heaps on, the boats are being thrown around and penalties are being flown. Fortunately for us everything went our way, which hasn’t been the case in this regatta so far. The mojo has just flown in our direction rather than someone else’s for once.”

Robertson was unhappy but philosophical about his harsh exit. “It’s a crap way to end, with a black flag. I don’t completely agree it was the right call, but that’s the way it is. So be it. There was a lot going on in a short amount of time, especially when you’re on board, powered up, overpowered actually, trying to throw in a gybe at the bottom mark. A lot going on. It was really tough conditions out there.”

Minoprio forces a black-flag penalty on Robertson at the Korea Match Cup quarter finals. Gyeonggi-do, 1 June 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

To lose to a rival Kiwi team added salt to the wound. “Yeah, it makes it a little bit harder. You always want to be No.1 in your own country, and to lose to Adam was, yeah, definitely disappointing. We felt pretty strong against him and we look forward to coming back in Sweden a lot stronger.”

Today’s Houdini escapologist was Mathieu Richard, skipper of GEFCO Match Racing Team, who went 0-2 down to Keith Swinton and Black Swan Racing. Then the French team hit their stride and won the next three matches to book their spot in the Semi Finals. “We felt we had not sailed so badly and we felt we could have won those two first matches,” said Richard. “So we decided not to change anything but to sail the best way we could and actually it worked. Getting 3-2 after 0-2, it’s a good feeling.” As winner of the Korea Match Cup in 2010, the experience seems to be helping the French. “Winning here in 2010 is good for the confidence,” said Richard. “We know we can sail well here, but that’s all. All the other teams are sailing well too.”

Keith Swinton felt his team had sailed well even if the result wasn’t what he wanted. “There was nothing in it, just very close racing. We sailed just as well in the Quarter Finals as we did in the Qualifying stages, even if the result was very different. We’ve raised our game but disappointed not to be able to go further.”

Taylor Canfield has been one of the most consistent performers thus far in the regatta and today the USone team dispatched Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing Team 3-1. “I’m just really pleased with our boathandling and the crew keeping the boat going fast,” said Canfield, who believes they can go all the way. “We have what it takes. We just missed out on the Semis in Germany, so having another chance to prove ourselves is nice.”

Having sneaked into the Quarter Finals, Berntsson was unable to move further in the competition. “Some bad sailing from our side,” said the Swede. “But Canfield did a good job of forcing us to make mistakes. When they sail as well as they did, it’s tough to beat them. Starts were really important here, and what this week showed is that we need to improve our timing for when we make our final approach to the start line.”

Reigning champion of the Alpari Match Racing World Tour, Ian Williams, beat the 22-year-old qualifier David Gilmour 3-0. But the Briton admitted: “The first two races could have gone either way, the score line’s a bit flattering but we’re just happy to make it to the Semis.” The young Australian was pleased with his week despite the 3-0 defeat. “On the score card it doesn’t look very close but we had our opportunities. We were ahead all the way to the finish of the first race but we couldn’t quite wipe off our penalty in time at the finish. Against such a well-polished team like Ian’s, it’s hard to win.”

Ian Williams picked Mathieu Richard as his Semi Finals opponent, saying: “Mathieu was the only one to beat us in the Qualifying this week and he beat us in the Final here three years ago, so we want revenge.”

Semi Finals got started late in the day, with the race committee looking to make best use of the strong wind. In each Semi Final, the first boat to 3 points will see it through to the Final tomorrow. Richard won the first match against Williams after pulling off the manoeuvre of the regatta, overtaking GAC Pindar at the leeward mark in a daring move that paid off handsomely. In the other flight, Minoprio crossed the start line slightly too early, being forced to return and leaving Canfield clear for a first-match victory.

Tomorrow is the final day, with the two winning teams from the Semi Finals set to contest the Final of the Korea Match Cup.

FINAL SEMI FINAL RESULTS AFTER FLIGHT 1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 1-0
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone Sailing Team vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 1-0

FINAL QUARTER FINAL RESULTS
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-0
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 3-2
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone vs Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 3-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX vs Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-0

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Shock exit for the defending champion in Korea Match Cup

Posted on 31 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Bjorn Hansen was a hot favourite to win a third consecutive Korea Match Cup but today the Swedish skipper and his Ework Sailing Team narrowly missed the cut for the Quarter Finals.

Hansen knew he needed to up his game from the previous days, and he did. “We had three really good starts in our last three matches. We were well ahead of Johnie Berntsson but he did a great job to pass us on the last downwind.

“Then we had a typical Williams-Hansen match with a lot of screaming and shouting and flags flying all over the place. Ian managed to catch a penalty at the top mark which he cleared by passing our stern line. We were feeling pretty good where we were, then when he gybed, we gybed and hit the bottom and stopped. During the gybe we came off the bottom again, but that was pretty much the decider as Ian managed to cover us and was faster after that.” According to the Swede, bumping along the bottom was enough to hand the advantage to GAC Pindar who were never going to give up their unexpected advantage. “That was quite tough,” said Hansen. “We felt that was the match decider, hitting the bottom.”

Pierre-Antoine Morvan and Vannes Agglo Sailing Team had been leading the regatta at the end of day one, but were another high-profile casualty today. The French team had been leading Kim Taejeong’s Gyeonggi Match crew but then got caught in the anchor line of the windward mark. The Koreans stormed past the stricken French, and losing that match contributed to their elimination from the competition.

Ian Williams rocks while Björn Hansen is eliminated at Korea Match Cup. Gyeonggi-do, 31 May 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Hansen was philosophical about the ‘Acts of God’ that occurred. “I guess we have to accept it as part of the game, but on the other hand during the whole week there have been quite a few issues with boats hitting the bottom and boats dragging marks. There have been different decisions regarding redress and we don’t feel the umpires are keeping to their line and judging the same way in all cases. It feels a bit frustrating, but we shouldn’t put ourselves in a situation where we are relying on the umpires. We just have to come back stronger in Marstrand.”

Tour Director of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Craig Mitchell, said it was unfortunate to see sailors go out in controversial circumstances but commented: “We know this is a tight venue where we’ve had issues in the past, but we have to strike a balance between keeping the event running and stopping after every single issue arises. You don’t get much redress in match racing, that’s just how it is. We’ve just completed 66 matches in the Qualifying, and there’s a lot more to come. Today the umpires kept to the policy that was laid down at the beginning of the week. If a boat runs aground and stops while in the lead or within two boatlengths of its opponent, the match will be stopped and resailed. But today the umpires saw Hansen slow down but not stop, so the race wasn’t abandoned. As for Morvan catching the line and hooking the mark, that scenario was all discussed this morning at the skippers’ briefing. It’s just the luck of the game.”

Adam Minoprio doesn’t like his reputation for always scraping through into the knock-out phases of Tour regattas by the skin of his teeth. But Team Alpari FX did nothing to dent that reputation by doing exactly that in Korea today, the Kiwis squeaking into the Quarter Finals. “We feel like it’s been tough, a bad rub of the green. That last race against Ian Williams was a case in point. Ten seconds before the start they called off the race because they had a timing error. It wouldn’t have affected the race, we were both late for the line and we had a penalty on Ian, and had the advantage.

Adam Minoprio barely makes it to Korea Match Cup quarter finals. Gyeonggi-do, 31 May 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

“That was disappointing and then in the resail against Ian we had a fishing boat blocking our entry, and we were unable to have a dial-up with Ian and that put us on the back foot in the critical race. We’re disappointed with how things panned out and it seems to sum up our Qualifying, with things not quite going our way. But to know we have qualified for the Quarter Finals is a big relief. It’s always strong to have learned a lot of lessons in the Qualifying phase, a lot of different scenarios can happen, and we’ve had most of them happen to us, not in our favour. We’ve had the hard knocks and hopefully now we can go out there and beat up on whoever chooses us.”

Despite their lacklustre performance thus far, no one chose Minoprio’s team, perhaps fearing a big comeback from the Kiwi who scraped through qualifying at Match Race Germany a couple of weeks ago, but then finished 2nd overall. Instead, winner of the Qualifying Ian Williams joked that he would “stick with tradition and choose Gilmour”, the joke being that the Tour rookie David Gilmour is the son of four-time match racing world champion Peter Gilmour, with whom Williams has had many a high-spirited run-in in the past. Maybe Williams’ trimmer Mal Parker will be wearing his special anti-Gilmour ear defenders.

As for Hansen and the shock exit of a team that many of their rivals feared as the biggest threat in Korea, well Hansen said he would come back fighting at the next Tour event in a month’s time, Stena Match Cup Sweden. “We will make sure this is a once-in-a-season miss of the Quarter Finals, and we hope we can show we are still in the game at Marstrand.”

Quarter Final Pairings
Ian Williams (GBR) v David Gilmour (AUS)
Mathieu Richard (FRA) v Keith Swinton (AUS)
Taylor Canfield (ISV) v Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Phil Robertson (NZL) v Adam Minoprio (NZL)

STAGE 2: Korea Match Cup – Qualifying Round Final Standings
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 10-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team 7-4
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 7-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 7-4
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 7-4
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 6-5
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 5-6
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 5-6
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team 5-6
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 5-6
Taejeong Kim (KOR) Gyeonggi Match 2-9
Gunwoo Park (KOR) Busan Match Team 0-11


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Ian Williams storms to 8-0 at Korea Match Cup

Posted on 30 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Ian Williams is starting to look invincible after marching to an imposing lead on day two of the Korea Match Cup. Even when starting a penalty down against the qualifier David Gilmour, the reigning champion of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour still manage to bend the race to his iron will.

The GAC Pindar skipper acknowledged his error at the start: “A stuff-up on my part. We entered the box a little late, Gilmour was coming in on starboard on a short line, and we got caught on a port-starboard. But a great job by my tactician Bill Hardesty, he called the left side the only time the left worked all day, and we came into the top mark just ahead at the zone, and shoved Gilmour on the mark. He got a red-flag penalty and we got a big enough lead to hold on and unload our penalty at the finish.”

This was a re-run of the Williams-Gilmour match which had to be abandoned the first time after Williams hooked up on the windward mark while leading the young Aussie team. Gilmour said: “Ian rounded the top mark and caught on the anchor line. He got a penalty for hitting the mark and then he sailed out of the exclusion zone to stop us getting round the mark, I guess. Then I think he broached and got stuck in the mud, so we didn’t want to go around him and get stuck in the mud outside the exclusion zone. We were hoping to get another penalty on him to get him black flagged. But he was winning the race and he caught the mark, so really it was a get-out-of-jail-free card for us that didn’t quite work out. Ian’s sailing really well.” David, by the way, is the son of four-time match racing world champion Peter Gilmour, a record that fellow four-time world champion Ian Williams is looking to beat this year.

Ian Williams is on a roll at Korea Match Cup. Gyeonggi-do, 30 May 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

After the cold, foggy conditions of the previous day, the sun shone brightly over Jeongok Harbour and the wind was strong and steady for the most of the day. The only slight problem was the wind direction, which made the beat one-sided with the aim for the 12 teams being to win control of the right-hand side. This put a massive emphasis on getting good starts at the right-hand end of the line, and some were better than others. Along with Williams, Taylor Canfield read the conditions well and has won all his matches except against Williams and Gilmour. This puts the USone team in second overall and virtually assured of a quarter-final spot tomorrow.

There are some big names staring elimination in the face unless they can up their game in the final flights of the round robin tomorrow. Winner of the past two Korea Match Cups, Bjorn Hansen is currently in 9th overall, and very disappointed in his form today. “We won one and lost two, it was pretty much my starts that made the day bad. It was quite one-sided racing where you had to go right and I didn’t manage to put our boat on the right-hand side of our opponents, and that was about it.”

Near-upset of the day came when Kim won a penalty against Mathieu Richard after the Frenchman notched up his second pre-start T-bone collision of the regatta. The Korean team led off the line and although the French kept the race tight, Richard still had to shake off that penalty. However, Kim had failed to notice that he should have rounded a different windward mark at the top of the second lap and the French pretended to follow, only changing course and turning around the correct mark at the last minute. Although the Koreans crossed the finish line ahead, there was no local celebration for them as the French took the win.

Taylor Canfield shows his form at Korea Match Cup. Gyeonggi-do, 30 May 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Despite his collisions, Richard moves into 3rd on the leaderboard, on 5 wins along with the two Australian teams skippered by Keith Swinton and David Gilmour.

Tomorrow’s aim is to finish the Qualifying round, with the possibility of starting the early phases of the Quarter Finals.

STAGE 2: Korea Match Cup – Qualifying Round After Flight 16
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 8-0

Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 6-2

Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team 5-3

Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 5-3

David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 5-3

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

Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-4

Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 4-4

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team 4-4

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 3-5

Gunwoo Park (KOR) Busan Match Team 0-8

Kim Taejeong (KOR) Match Game 0-8

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Reeling off races

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] With the sun getting low in the sky, at the end of play GAC Pindar skipper Ian Williams and his long term French rival Mathieu Richard of GEFCO Match Racing Team hold a 4-1 scoreline, along with Pierre Antoine Morvan’s Vannes Agglo Sailing Team. The three teams’ single losses were respectively to Adam Minoprio, Bjorn Hansen and Ian Williams.

“We were a little nervous because a lot of teams have sailed these boats before and we haven’t,” said Williams. “It is an unusual situation for us to be the less experienced team, but our upwind boat speed was really good.” The GAC Pindar crew narrowly won their match against Morvan after there was a big luff at the top mark and the Frenchman ended up picking up a penalty for going past head to wind.

US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield and his USone team ended the day on three wins along with Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing, Bjorn Hansen’s Mekonomen Sailing Team and the Adam Minoprio-skippered Team Alpari FX.

Canfield won against Hansen, Robertson and Jablonski, but lost to Berntsson and Richard. “Light conditions in big heavy slow boats is always challenging and I don’t think we are totally comfortable with all of our manoeuvres and timing in these boats just yet,” admitted the 24-year-old. “As the day went on we started to figure it out a bit and got the boat going well.”

Adam Minoprio makes his comeback in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Langenargen, 16 May 2013. Photo copyright Brian Carlin / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

In Canfield’s match against Richard there was a long dial up and then, with 1 minute 30 to go, both boats were still a long way over the line but the Frenchman won the favoured committee boat end and it was game over from there.

USone had more success against Karol Jablonski when, after they had roundly dispatched the Polish former America’s Cup helmsman pushing him behind the committee boat, Jablonski retired, switched on his engine resulting in his receipt of a black flag from the umpires. Jablonski admitted that they had had a major communication breakdown on board. “We basically just retired and used the time to do a debrief. We are a new team and we don’t sail enough to get everything done the way I like to do it. When you do two events per year it is tough to compete with the best teams here.”

Adam Minoprio’s Team Alpari FX was initially docked a half point for a collision with Pierre Antoine Morvan during a tacking duel in Flight 2, when the stern quarters of the two teams’ boats touched as they attempted to separate. “In my mind it was a port-starboard and he didn’t start avoiding early enough and we had to avoid him and our sterns touched,” said Minoprio, providing his viewpoint of the incident. At the time the umpires took a different view and red flagged Team Alpari FX requiring them to carry out a penalty turn immediately, docking the Kiwi team the half point for causing damage. But at a hearing after racing neither Minoprio nor Morvan were found to have broken the avoiding contact rule (rule 14) and the half point penalty was removed from Minoprio’s scoreline.

First day of racing at Match Race Germany. Langenargen, 16 May 2013. Photo copyright Brian Carlin / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

The two German teams of leading Laser sailor Philipp Buhl and German National Match Racing Champion Sven Erik Horsch have yet to get off the bottom of the leaderboard, with Horsch on no wins and newbie match racer Buhl’s only victory taken off his fellow countryman. Johnie Berntsson is also on a single win as is Karol Jablonski.

Match Race Germany defending champion New Zealand’s Phil Robertson and his WAKA Racing team has also got off to a slow start on just two wins against Berntsson and Jablonski. “It was tough,” said Robertson. “We led around the top mark in four out of five but we lost it downwind. So we are just ironing out the creases.”

The qualifying series continues tomorrow with the start time scheduled for 0900.

STAGE 1: Match Race Germany – Qualifying Round
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 4-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team 4-1
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 4-1
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 3-2
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 3-2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 3-2
Björn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 2-3
Philip Buhl (GER) Deutsches Youth America’s Cup Team 1-4
Karol Jablonski (GER) Jablonski Sailing Team 1-4
Sven Erick-Horsch (GER) NRV Match Race Team 0-5

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Mathieu Richard and Ian Williams lead Congressional Cup at 4-1 in foul and fickle breeze

Posted on 10 April 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Congressional Cup] Not to mention Ed Baird, who had been away from the game for a few years but holds a share of third place at 3-2 with Italy’s Simone Ferrarese.

It must mean something that Richard, Williams and Baird are all former winners of the event’s traditional Crimson Blazer—Williams the last two—because the conditions were so atypical Long Beach, with its normally reliable southwest sea breeze a no-show until late in the afternoon.

Veterans and newcomers alike were boggled when the wind shifted around the clock through the afternoon—first from southeast, stirring up sand on the beach, then turning a hard left with a nor’easter from downtown and finally to the familiar southwest with velocities varying from 12 to 18 knots, with gusts to 22 over a choppy, course of whitecaps.

PRO Randy Smith and his mark boat laborers had their hands full all afternoon. The second round robin flight was abandoned after two of five races when the wind did a 180. Competitors suddenly found themselves dropping their spinnakers on the downwind legs of the two-lap matches around the 0.4-nautical mile windward-leeward course, then raising them after rounding the “leeward” mark to go … uh, upwind?

Even Williams’ four-time world champion GAC Pindar team suffered confusion that they thought cost them their only loss of the day, to Richard.

“We had a penalty to erase, and we knew that you can do that with just a jibe and a tack downwind but have to do a [270-degree] circle upwind,” Williams said, with some humor in his tone of voice.

But although they were sailing downwind toward the breakwater inside the Long Beach outer harbor they instinctively did the full upwind maneuver, which cost them just enough extra time for Richard to win by 16 seconds.

Richard agreed, “That may have made the difference.”

Nevertheless, Williams said, “It was a good day for having good guys on the front of the boat getting the sails up and down.”

Later, during the second flight, the race course aimed at downtown Long Beach shifted again to southwest—”normal” Long Beach—and kicked up from 15 to 18 knots, with gusts to 22, causing Smith to abandon the flight with only two of five matches completed. The other three were sailed at the end of the day.

Richard, who won the Congressional in 2007, said the Catalina 37s are a handful in conditions they saw Tuesday.

“Handling the boat is not easy in the strong breeze,” he said, smiling, “but I guess we did better than the others.”

Two round-robin rotations will be followed by sailoffs through Saturday. Competition is at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on the Long Beach outer harbor starting at noon daily, conditions permitting.

The Congressional has a $60,000 purse, including $15,000 to the winner, along with the traditional Crimson Blazer.

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