Tuesday, 30 June 2009

WMRT: French Make the Early Running at Match Cup Sweden

Holmberg vs. Richard in Match Cup Sweden 2009. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik.

DS 37s set sail on the shores of Sweden’s Marstrand Island

by Dobbs Davis

The beautiful island of Marstrand located an hour north west of Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, plays host to Match Cup Sweden, the 5th stage of the 2009 World Match Racing Tour, this week. On the occasion of its 15th anniversary the organisers are expecting 140,000 people to enjoy the sights, sounds and carnival atmosphere. Promoter of Match Cup Sweden Pierre Tinnerholm said “It’s going to be another spectacular week of racing and partying. As one of Sweden’s biggest sporting events we look forward to welcoming everyone to the Island to watch the Match Racing and enjoy all the shore-side festivities too.”

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Swedish sailing with the Volvo Ocean race pitstop here in Marstrand and the 9th leg finish in Stockholm both of which drew huge crowds to welcome the round the world sailors and see them off on their final leg to St Petersburg.

The next seven days will see two events intertwined, the 14 team World Match Racing Tour event and an 8 team women’s Grade 1 event, which is sure to be a build up event to the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship being held in the same boats just up the coast in Lysekil at the end of July. As a result of the expanded program the Tour event started today at 8am with practice sessions between 8 and 12. A short break between 12 and 1pm was taken to allow any issues with the boats to be fixed and at 1pm sharp racing got under way. The format sees the 14 teams split into two groups of 7 for a round robin each, the top three of both groups go to the quarter finals, the rest go into a repechage round to select the final two for the knockouts. From there follows the usual semi finals and finals with the finals scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The ladies will race a double round robin followed by semi finals and culminating in the finals on Saturday afternoon.

It was a good day for the French Teams with all four taking 2 wins. Also starting well was Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team, fresh from his victory at Portugal Match Cup and the runner up here last year, Mirsky is clearly happy to be back and wants to go one better than his second place position from '08. Current World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) and the Bahrain Team Pindar crew had a solid start to the event and returned a 2-1 scorecard for the day.

Racing will continue tomorrow along with the womens teams taking to the water for their practice session.

Results from Day 1
Group A
Sebastien Col, FRA, French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 2-1
Torvar Mirsky, AUS, Mirsky Racing, 2-0
Adam Minoprio, NZL, ETNZ/BlackMatch, 1-1
Damien Iehl, FRA, French Match Racing Racing Team, 2-1
Bjorn Hansen, SWE, Team Onico, 1-1
Mattias Rahm, SWE, Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 0-1
Peter Gilmour, AUS, YANMAR Racing, 0-1

Group B
Mathieu Richard, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 2-1
Ian Williams, GBR, Bahrain Team Pindar, 2-1
Philippe Presti, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 2-0
Johnie Berntsson, SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team, 0-2
Peter Wibroe, DEN, Wibroe Racing Team, 0-1
Magnus Holmburg, SWE, Victory Challenge, 1-0
Francesco Bruni, Team Joe Fly Match Racing, 0-1

World Match Racing Tour

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