from David Swete, BlackMatch Racing
After finishing the round robin we (BlackMatch Racing, helmsman Adam Minoprio NZL) found ourselves in 4th position, qualifying for the semifinals along with Jacopo Pasini, Evan Walker and Bjorn Hansen.
2008 Hardy Cup Champion Evan Walker from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia again showed his form today, finishing the round robin in first place with only 1 loss in 11 races. This meant he had the choice of who to race in the best of 3 semi final and he choose Italian Jacopo Pasini. BlackMatch were left with the unenviable task of racing world #4 Bjorn Hansen, and he eventually won the semifinal 2-1 after some very close racing.
After two tight races we were both on match point in the semifinal and facing scoreboard pressure. The last race provided some exciting action on the water, but, in a bottom mark incident, we were handed two penalties which essentially gave the Swede the victory.
The incident came about when we surged inside Bjorn at the bottom mark. We thought we had gained an overlap and thus inside rights to round the mark, but the umpires deemed we had not obtained an overlap outside the 2 boat length zone and we were handed a penalty. After about another minute of sailing we were handed a second penalty to be taken immediately as the umpires thought we had gained an advantage from the incident. This was, however, not true as Bjorn had gained a 3 boat length lead after the rounding so following our penalty the Swedish team's lead was too big for us to recover.
The form team of the week from Australia suffered an upset loss against the Italian team. This meant we had to race Evan Walker for 3rd place and we managed to take a very comfortable win to finish the regatta on a positive note.
It was a little disappointing to not step up for this regatta and win our 4th regatta of the year, however it has been a great experience and has put us in good stead for our next two World Tour events in a fortnight.
Fedex Express and Line 7 have given us support throughout the year and we would again like to extend to them a special thank you. Again a special thank you to our yacht club The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadon.