Friday, 4 December 2009
BlackMatch Racing at the opening ceremony in Malaysia. Supplied image.
by David Swete (after Day One of racing in Malaysia)
With typical 'Monsoon' conditions on the opening day, we battled torrential rain, huge currents and 15 knot breezes to finish with a 3-1 scorecard. Despite the rain, conditions here in Terengganu were great for racing and the umpires were kept busy with plenty of penalties as the 12 teams pushed it to the limit. First up we had world number 5 Damien Iehl and after completely controlling him throughout the start managing to shut him out at the boat end of the start line, we made a silly mistake by hesitating to tack and by the time we went for it the Frenchman got a small piece of us. The result was a 'red flag' penalty to be done immediately and essentially game over, with such a one sided race course.
After the disappointment of our first race the team regathered and won the next 3 races in row, including a very exciting race against Ben Ainslie. Adam again did a great job in the start and completely controlled the America's Cup helmsman, forcing a penalty on him and coming of the start line even. Left hand pressure however kept the British team in the race and they held a small lead at the top mark. We knew we had to keep it close to prevent them from gaining a big enough lead to do their penalty turn and going into the final run we had closed the gap substantially, also managing to gain the 'right of way' right hand side of the course which locked them out to windward and secured a great win for us.
BlackMatch is Adam Minoprio, Nick Blackman, Tom Powrie, Dan McLean and David Swete. We would like to yet again thank our sponsor Fedex Express and we welcome David Ross and his wife Therese from Fedex to Terengganu this week to enjoy the racing. We would also like to welcome our Maori friend Nigel Smith and his wife Debbie Fowler this week and we are hoping the odd dockside Haka will help keep the team motivated. To Emirates Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron thank you for your support.
World Match Racing Tour