GKSS Match Cup Sweden. Triunfo para Phil Robertson y su equipo CHINAone NINGBO.


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Robertson defends his title at GKSS Match Cup Sweden

Marstrand, Sweden (8th July, 2017) – After beating Pieter-Jan Postma’s Sailing Team NL in this morning’s semifinals, Phil Robertson and his CHINAone NINGBO crew went on win the final of GKSS Match Cup Sweden, dispatching Taylor Canfield’s US One Sailing Team. This repeated the Kiwi team’s victory on the Marstrand Arena in 2016, against the same opponent, but this time with a more emphatic 3-0 scoreline.

“Last year we had a slip up when we holed him after we were 2-0 and a lost a point and lost a race. We said after we were 2-0 up not to hole him this year. It was nicer this way!” said Robertson.

Racing took place with the wind building into the mid-teens, causing the nimble M32 catamarans to light up. More stable conditions compared to yesterday resulted in more boundary-to-boundary racing, while picking the right marks to round was vital to ensure sailing in the best pressure.

In the first race, Robertson impressively won the start and went on to lead for the entirety of the course. In the second Canfield struck back, starting to weather of his opponent and pulling the trigger faster. However at the top mark rounding Robertson was able to get the inside berth, luffed Canfield and then to head off unchallenged to take the win.

In the decider, Robertson won the start, but Canfield had managed to draw level, crossing ahead up the beat. However on the run the overrider broke for the gennaker sheet winch on Canfield’s boat, preventing his crew from sheeting in the gennaker. This handed Robertson the eventual win and the overall GKSS Match Race Sweden title for a second year.

Robertson sailed this year with his same winning crew from 2016, comprising Kiwis Will Tiller, Stewart Dodson and Aussie James Wierzbowski. “We aren’t the most ideal set-up weight-wise – we were one of the lightest teams here, but we seemed to make it work,” Robertson said.

In today’s final, Robertson’s starting seemed in a different league. “We have trained in tight starting and it probably played into our hands a little bit. We were getting off the line pretty well and managed to keep our lead. But was close and tough – Taylor did a good job.”

Canfield and his US One Sailing Team had overcome Ian Williams and GAC Pindar team 3-1 in the semifinals to gain their berth in the final (while Williams went on to win the Petit Final against Postma). This he had achieved in such surgical fashion that many had him as favourite for winning overall. He conceded: “I am a little disappointed. It was a really close battle and those guys sailed better than us today.

“Obviously I take a lot of the blame. We can call three or four mistakes which cost us the regatta. There were a few boat handling errors, but nothing major. It is more about getting all of the moves perfect.”

As to GKSS Match Cup Sweden, both finalists paid tribute: “This is no doubt the best event we do. It has been that way for the 23 years it’s been running. This is a fantastic location and a great crowd,” said Robertson. Canfield concurred: “I have been coming here six or seven years and finished on the podium four or five times. It would be nice to win it one day! Obviously it is an incredible event. Marstrand turns it on. It is one of our favourite events and everyone in Sweden seems to care about the sailing.”

Håkan Svensson, CEO and Owner of Aston Harald, builder of the M32 catamarans and owner of the World Match Racing Tour, concluded: “It has been an interesting week: We had a rough start with a lot of wind and then we had a postponement when we started the next day, then a couple of really good days and yesterday, a bit slow. It shows what a wide range the M32 has – from three knots to thirty – and that the boat is the right one for what we’re doing.”

As to the winner, Svensson added: “Phil has done an extremely good regatta, bringing on some manoeuvres that most of us are just envious about.”

The M32s are now staying in Marstrand ready for next week’s World Championship fleet racing when 17 of the one design catamarans will be competing on Marstrand Fjord.

GKSS Match Cup Sweden. Williams, Canfield, Robertson y Jan Postma a semifinales.


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Canfield and Gilmour keep the drama going at GKSS Match Cup Sweden

Marstrand, Sweden (7th July, 2017) – Light winds on Sweden’s Marstrand Arena demonstrated how versatile the one design M32 catamaran can be, providing good close racing in the lightest winds. As GKSS Match Cup Sweden’s defending champion Phil Robertson put it: “To be honest they are the nicest boat to sail in these conditions because they are super light, have curved foils and you aren’t dragging anything around under the boat.” Thanks to this, the Quarter Finals were all decided and the giant spectator turn-out was not disappointed.

The top fight was between two hardcore match racers – two time Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield and David Gilmour, who shares all his America’s Cup skipper father Peter’s race course aggression. This was the only Quarter Final match to go to five races.

With the courses shortened to four legs, Canfield got off to the better start claiming the first two matches, even winning from behind in the first. But the young Australian fought back impressively, levelling the score 2-2.

After a long wait for the breeze to settle the decider saw Gilmour win the start. Canfield forced a dial-down on the upwind and then, after tacking beneath Gilmour coming into the top mark, forced a dial-up. Gilmour tacked away and found some extra pressure to power away, only to throw it away with a course boundary infringement.

Canfield was then able to ‘engage’ just metres from the finish. “It was always going to be a close cross coming back together,” he said. Canfield dialled Gilmour up, causing them to be penalised for a minor collision. From there Canfield peeled away and sailed on to the finish unchallenged, turning the tables.

There were minor palpitations when British six time World Match Racing Tour champion Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team were beaten in their first race by France’s Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Racing team who had read the upwind leg better. However from there Williams was not to be beaten and converted winning all three starts (despite being OCS in the final one) into victories, winning his series 3-1. “It is great to qualify through against Yann Guichard. He is always a tough competition,” said Williams.

Of today’s conditions, Williams said it played to the guile and experience of the ‘older’ teams. “At times it was a bit like the old days going around in 5-6 knots! But you deal with what you’ve got. A lot is down to how you sail the boat – tacking with a gennaker is hard, knowing what angles to sail upwind, and the pressure and current differences – it is easy to make mistakes.”

The remaining two matches both went 2-0. The Kiwi derby saw defending champion Phil Robertson and his CHINAone NINGBO crew out manoeuvred Chris Steele’s 36 Below Racing. Having won the first race in the start, in the second Steele turned the tables and was looking strong until the upwind. As Robertson explained: “We identified before the race that we wanted the right turn at the bottom (looking upwind) and Chris chose the right turn. Then we managed to find pressure and take the lead back off him.”

An incident at the top mark then sealed the deal for Robertson. “We were a little under layline so the boat stopped dead and we had to tack again. Fortunately the rules worked in our favour and we rolled over him and got around the mark.”

Sadly the last Swede in the competition, Nicklas Dackhammar and ESSIQ Racing, was eliminated by Dutch former Olympic Finn sailor Pieter-Jan Postma and his Sailing Team NL. Postma left his opponent tied up in both starts going on to win 2-0, in a series that was shortened due to the lightening breeze.

Postma observed: “It was very light today and our team is at the heavier end. Dackhammar’s team have good boat handling, good speed, good sailors and are local favourites.”

The Dutchman was also pleased to be the sole new boy among the four semifinallists – all old match racing hands. “I am super stoked. It is amazing to be here.”

Tomorrow’s semifinals and finals of GKSS Match Cup Sweden are forecast to be held in more wind than today and can be viewed live at 14:00.

Quarter-finals results

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 3-1 Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift racing

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One Sailing Team 3-2 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour

Phil Robertson (NZL) CHINAone NINGBO 2-0 Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing

Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL 2-0 Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) ESSIQ Racing Team

Semi-final matches

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar v Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One Sailing Team

Phil Robertson (NZL) CHINAone NINGBO v Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL

GKSS Match Cup Sweden. Primer día del “Super 16 Knockout”.


© Ian Roman

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Swedish David topples Aussie Goliath in five race marathon

Marstrand, Sweden (5th July, 2017) – GKSS Match Cup Sweden is renowned for drawing out exceptional performances from local sailors, fired up by crowds cheering them on from the perimeter of Marstrand Arena and with assistance from the Nordic wind gods. This occurred today when Nicklas Dackhammar’s ESSIQ Racing Team, 15th on the World Match Racing Tour leaderboard, overcame Australian Matt Jerwood’s Redline Racing 5th placed team in a five race marathon.

The southerly wind veered west mid-afternoon and there were large holes across the course, with wind speeds of 4- 14 knots. Aboard their high performance M32 catamarans, Dackhammar won race one, then in the second Jerwood prevailed after three lead changes. Jerwood planted a pre-start penalty on his opponent taking it to match point but then the young Swede bounced back the level the score. The final race seemed to all be over when Dackhammar copped another pre-start penalty. Advantage Australia.

However “there were puffy conditions. It was getting quite light and we thought that would favour us, sailing upwind with the gennaker,” explained Dackhammar. “We tried to avoid the light patches and make good manoeuvres sailing fast all the time.”

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GKSS Match Cup Sweden. Team GAC Pindar de Ian Williams, el mejor de la fase clasificatoria.


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Williams firing on all cylinders at GKSS Match Cup Sweden

Marstrand, Sweden (4th July, 2017) – Qualifying at GKSS Match Cup Sweden concluded in magnificent conditions on Marstrand Arena today with northwesterly winds gradually building to 15 knots by mid-afternoon. With the teams divided into three groups of six teams, all sailed five races and the stand-out performer was Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar. The British six time World Match Racing Tour champion scored consecutive bullets in the first three races with no result off the podium.

“It was a pleasing start for Team GAC Pindar,” said Williams. “With the racing out there, when you are at the front you have to take advantage and when you’re at the back you have to battle your way through and find the passing lanes. We managed to do that.”

In their group Australian Matt Jerwood came out on top, but tied on points with two time Tour champion Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands. Jerwood enjoyed three race wins, but consistency failed them: “The middle race was a shocker but we managed to sort it out and got two bullets after that. We didn’t think we’d topped the group, but then found out we had.”

While Perth-based teams like Jerwood’s and those of the Gilmours and Torvar Mirsky were able to practice last year on the local fleet of high performance M32 catamarans, this year Jerwood said they have been racing smaller boats to stay sharp. He is very much enjoying being back on Marstrand Arena after finishing third on his first visit here last year. “There is nowhere better to match race than the fjord. It is absolutely perfect, world class.”

The tightest group was the last to race and ended up topped by three antipodean teams – Phil Robertson, Chris Steele and Torvar Mirsky – all tied on points.

Like Steele, Pieter-Jan Postma scored two bullets in this group, but inconsistency caused him to finish fourth. “Overall it was good, we had good speed and tactics and good starts, but there is lot more we can do to improve – we stopped for a red flag which wasn’t ours, for example,” said the Dutch former Olympic Finn sailor. “But the guys worked hard – we had good starts and good strategy. Boat to boat quick manoeuvring is something we need to work on.”

Phil Robertson and his CHINAone NINGBO crew got off to a slow start but ended on a 2-2-1, results more befitting the winning team from here last year. “We struggled a bit to start off, to get the mode-ing right on these boats and we weren’t nailing our starts,” the New Zealand skipper and present World Match Racing Tour leader explained.

The day’s drama also occurred in this group, when Måns Holmberg capsized soon after the beginning of race three. As the young Swede explained: “We had a pretty good start in the first row with three other boats and Chris Steele just to windward of us. We thought we had room with an overlap to leeward but he put his bow down and we had to avoid. We hit the mark and put it on the daggerboard and we had to gybe and fly the hull to get it off. We were a bit too eager to get it flying and to get the buoy off and the gennaker didn’t come off for some reason. And then we flipped…”

Fortunately their M32 catamaran was rapidly righted and Holmberg and his crew were back in the saddle in time for the next race.

Tomorrow and Thursday will be the first-to-three Super 16 elimination round, while the three bottom-ranked teams from Qualifying will race to decide the 16th team to go through: Harry Price will face Eric Monnin, the victor then lining up against Evan Walker.

Resultados parciales click acá

WMRT Coconut Grove Cup, triunfo para Evan Walker del Team KA Match.


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Evan Walker Steals Coconut Grove Cup at Final Turn

Miami, USA (April 16th, 2017) – In a day filled with leaderboard upsets, the event winner was decided rounding the final mark in the final race of the regatta. Australia’s Evan Walker and his Team KA Match struck lucky on the last beat to win the final cross and pop a wheelie on the finish line to take the win in style.

Coming in to this final day of competition, US Virgin Islander Anthony Kotoun led the fleet after a string of wins in the early round robin series. Conditions today were the strongest of the week, averaging 20knots, so perhaps this increase in pressure is what caused Kotoun to slip down the pecking order after three losses this morning during the conclusion of the round robin.

Fresh from their podium finishes at last week’s Tour event Miami Match Cup, Harry Price and Nevin Snow finished the round robin series in the top two spots respectively. Denmark’s Daniel Bjørnholt and his Youth Vikings Denmark team continued their success from day one of competition. Improved boat handling saw less unforced errors by the Danes which allowed them to climb to fifth seed going into the quarter final knockout round. Another big mover was The Magenta Project team, skippered by New Zealand Olympian Jo Aleh, who moved from bottom of the table after wins this morning and coming out on the right side of a three-way tie.

In the quarter final round, Australian Harry Price going down to USA local Jeremy Wilmot was the shock of the day. Despite winning the first match Price, who won the recent Miami Match Cup, couldn’t seem to bring it all together in the series that went 2-1 to his American opponent.

In the first semifinal pairing Anthony Kotoun failed to find his rhythm and he would be the first to admit that he didn’t perform to his greatest, getting bested 2-0 by Evan Walker. It was a similar story in the other semifinal with Jeremy Wilmot being outsailed by fellow American skipper Nevin Snow in a 2-0 series. As well as making the final, both Walker and Snow also qualify for the World Match Racing Tour Championship level event, Match Cup USA.

With the event winner and Tour Championship points still to be decided, the two remaining teams took to the racecourse once more for the final, which was to be sailed in a sudden death style, first to one point match. Snow and the 13 Fifty Racing team won the start and led Walker around the track. On the final beat the race appeared to be over with teams on the change boat declaring it a full gone conclusion. “We had a good lay coming down the run into the left turn. We came out of the bottom strong. And at that point you’re just lucky.” Commented Walker, reliving the race. It wasn’t until the final cross before the last mark that Walker got ahead, to the surprise of all watching. From there the team glided around the final mark and reached home to victory.

Looking back on his time at the two events here in Miami Walker said, “In both events we felt that we were sailing below our potential. And a big thing for us was having two new people join the crew, which was a bit of a setback.” Clearly by today the team had gotten over these setbacks and found their groove.

The Coconut Grove Cup concludes the World Match Racing Tour’s time in Miami, with M32 Match Racing licensing clinics and two World Tour level events. Biscayne Bay provided five days of conditions ideal for match racing the high performance M32 catamarans. Next, the Tour heads to Europe for the World Tour level event Gothenburg Match Cup, with the next Championship level event being Match Cup Sweden.

Coconut Grove Cup – Overall Results

1. Evan Walker (KA Match)
2. Nevin Snow (13 FIFTY Racing)
3. Anthony Kotoun (Kotoun Racing)
4. Jeremy Wilmot (Wilmot Racing)
5. Harry Price (Down Under Racing)
6. Daniel Bjørnholt (Youth Vikings Denmark)
7. Markus Edegran (E11EVEN Racing)
8. Jo Aleh (The Magenta Project)
9. Chris Poole (Riptide Racing)
10. Victor Serezhkin (Gazprom Team Russia)

WMRT Match Cup Australia. Phil Robertson y equipo se llevan el triunfo.


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PHIL ROBERTSON SHOWS HOW IT’S DONE AT MATCH CUP AUSTRALIA

Perth, Australia (March 25th, 2017) – New Zealand’s Phil Robertson, the reigning world champion, made it look easy as he cruised to a 3–0 victory in the final of the Match Cup Australia, beating local skipper Matt Jerwood.

“It was a very, very good day for us,” was Robertson’s description of the final. “We always try to learn at all the events, you’ve got to be taking whatever you can to make any marginal gains, and we managed to make a few and get up to speed.”

Talking about the conditions today he said, “today was a bit lighter, which was nice, and very shifty which played into our hands. The boys got the boat going fast, and going the right way, it seems to all fall into place if you can pull those two things off.”

The Kiwi put on a master class of match racing, winning all three starts, and only allowed Jerwood to cross in front of him once in the three races.

Matt Jerwood was gracious in defeat, “I’m incredibly proud of the guys, it’s always disappointing to lose, but Phil and his team were better than us this week, and we can’t wait to sail against him again.”

Robertson had progressed to the final by defeating another local skipper, David Gilmour of the host club, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, 3 – 1 in the semi-finals, definitely finding the lighter breezes to his liking.

Until the final, Matt Jerwood had been the giant slayer of the week, moving smoothly through the opening rounds, until the quarter finals where another Kiwi, Chris Steele pushed him to five races. This seemed to set him up to cruise through the semi-final defeating Torvar Mirsky in three straight races, but the dream run ended in the final.

This was the first event on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour, a seven regatta circuit, which takes in venues in Europe, and the United States before ending in China for the World Championships.

Match Cup Australia
Final Results

1. Phil Robertson (NZL), Robertson Racing
2. Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team
4. David Gilmour (AUS), Team Gilmour
5. Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing
6. Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One
7. Steve Thomas (AUS), RPM Racing
8. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing
9. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), ESSIQ Racing
10. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Warrer Racing
11. Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match
12. Måns Holmberg (SWE), CFA Sports
13. Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar
14. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing
15. Nicolai Sehested (DEN), EWII Racing
16. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL
17. George Anyon (NZL), RNZYS Performance Program
18. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32

WMRT Match Cup Australia. Los locales Mirsky y Thomas dan pelea.


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MIRSKY & THOMAS COMPLETE LOCAL LINEUP AT MATCH CUP AUSTRALIA

Perth, Australia (March 23rd, 2017) – Royal Perth Yacht Club skipper Torvar Mirsky kept the spectators on the edge of their seats as he came back from 2–1 down to defeat Sweden’s Nicklas Dackhammar to become the fourth local skipper into the quarter finals of the Match Cup Australia.

Earlier in the day Steve Thomas, also of Royal Perth Yacht Club, had become a giant slayer, eliminating Tour Card holder Nicolai Sehested in three straight races, to join yesterday’s local qualifiers David Gilmour and Matt Jerwood.

Thomas has seen his confidence grow since sweeping undefeated through last week’s qualifier, then continuing his impressive performances this week. Attributing his teams success to on board communications he said, “for us just making sure we have good communication all the time is critical, and you know that when the communication breaks down that’s when things go wrong, and were really disciplined on simple things and it’s paying off for us.”

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WMRT Match Cup Australia. Gilmour sigue, Williams se va.


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David Gilmour Flies Local Flag Whilst Williams Makes Shock Exit

Perth, Australia (March 22nd, 2017) – The upsets continue on the third day of the Match Cup Australia, as Ian Williams, who has won the world championship a record six times, is eliminated by local skipper Matt Jerwood. Williams and his GAC Pindar Team were never really in the game, with Matt Jerwood’s Redline Racing leading all three races from start to finish.

“We’re pretty stoked to have won that, it was great,” commented Jerwood through an ear to ear grin. He is full of praise for his team, and quick with self deprecation.

“My team is fantastic, Patrick, Niall and Alex, they are so up to speed with what needs to be done on the boat, we just got in front on the starts, then just sailed away,” was his run down of the races. Then he added “I don’t do a lot on the boat, I just sit there and don’t fall off, but it is quite mentally tiring”.

Others to go through to the quarter-finals in three straight races were Frenchman Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Racing, and Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands, defeating Sam Gilmour and Pieter-Jan Postma respectively.

The tightest match of the day was between Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Kiwi Chris Steele, which went to a fifth and deciding race, Warrer had gone 2 – 0 up, but Steele clawed his way back to level the score. In the decider it was all over on the starting line, with Steele sailing away unopposed.

Home town skipper David Gilmour beat east coast rival Evan Walker from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 3 – 2 in a series of tight races.

Match Cup Australia, the first event on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour, is being hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, and sailed on the Swan River. The event continues with further eliminations tomorrow, with the final on Saturday.

Match Cup Australia
Results Day 3: SUPER 16

Pair 1
Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One 3-0 Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL

Pair 2
Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing 3-2 Jonas Warrer (DEN), Warrer Racing

Pair 6
Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing 3-0 Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing

Pair 7
Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing 3-0 Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar

Pair 8
David Gilmour (AUS), Gilmour Racing 3-2 Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match