Friday, 21 May 2010

WMRT: YANMAR Racing aiming for record fourth win at Match Race Germany

by YANMAR Racing media

Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing team are looking for a fourth win at the second event on the 2010 World Match Racing Tour, Match Race Germany.

Gilmour has the best record of any skipper at Match Race Germany having won three times in a row from 2004-2006. Following an unexpected early departure from Match Race France in Marseille last month, YANMAR Racing is keen to do well on Lake Constance, Langenargen in Germany this week.

Torvar Mirsky, the 2010 World Match Racing Tour runner up and fellow West Australian, believes Gilmour will be the man to beat.

'I think Peter is going to be tough to beat on Lake Constance; he has a great record here. He likes tricky conditions and big boats.'

After a light weather practice session this afternoon Gilmour was smiling.

'We have sailed really well here in the past. I grew up as a strong wind sailor rather than a light airs sailor, but over the years our team has worked very hard to improve our light weather sailing and we have won here in very light conditions.

'We like the Bavaria Match 35. These boats have quite a tight wheel lock on the steering wheel. You only get about 30 degrees of turn, and it makes you actually match race them a lot more. Crew co-ordination is very important to sail around the corners so there can be plenty of wins and losses.

'The big challenge is often to overcome the guys with the local knowledge, but we've been here six or seven times before, so we have more of that than most. I am actually quite upbeat about it.

'The depth of talent in this field is impressive. Mathieu Richard will no doubt be out to stay on top of the WMRT leader board and sailing against Adam Minoprio, the defending WMRT champion, Torvar Mirsky, who started the Match Race France event so well, Paolo Cian, Ian Williams and Magnus Holmberg - its going to be a hard event and every win will be prized. We will just have to be very consistent.

'Lake Constance is a beautiful lake. It's the sort of venue that comes alive at certain times, just depends on which way the breeze is blowing. But there are times where the wind gets so lined, and the officials do a very good job of managing the racing - getting it off, finding the wind and so forth.

'So you really have to keep your wits about you because you might be starting one day at two or three knots and in the same day you might get to 15 or 18 knots. As a sailor, you have to really modify your thinking accordingly.'

As Gilmour concludes 'Tomorrow we will be on the water for the first five flights, so it will be vital that we get a good start.'

Yasuhiro Yaji, the YANMAR Racing team's pitman has competed with Gilmour at all the Match Race Germany events and is in agreement.

'It could be a light weather regatta again this year. Lake conditions can be shifty, light, and up and down. It's quite a risky regatta, we must win the starts but we are confident our team can do well.'

Joining the YANMAR Racing crew for Match Race Germany will be Christian Ponthieu, a world champion Melges 24 sailor, who is also sailing well in the Melges 32 series. New to the YANMAR crew line-up, this week he will be on the mainsheet and calling tactics. However he is familiar with this role having sailed at Match Race France with Phillipe Presti in the same position.

Martin Berntsson, the YANMAR Racing bowman sailed four events in 2009 with Gilmour's team and has introduced another Swedish match racing sailor, the headsail trimmer Nils Bjerkas to the crew. Nils has sailed a lot on the Tour with Stephan Lindberg and other top notch Swedish crews.

After the practice session Berntsson reported 'We started well today - we passed the weigh-in, we were quite close to the maximum limit but didn't need to go running or to the sauna.

'In practice time this afternoon we matched up with Magnus Holmberg and showed good speed in a couple of laps in about six to eight knots of wind.

'We managed some starting sequences against Magnus and YANMAR Racing won most of them, so we had a really good feeling in the boat. But by about 4pm the wind had dropped to one to four knots and we lost a sequence of races against Magnus in the really light conditions.

'But we continued practising and I think we won two or three of the last races which was really good for our team confidence.

'Tomorrow we will sail the first five flights so it will be an important day as after those races, there will be only six more races in the round robin.'

Skipper List - Stage 2 - Match Race Germany

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo
Mads Ebler (DEN) Ebler Matchracing
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge
Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team
Kathrin Kadelback (GER) EWE Sailing Team

Match Race Germany
World Match Racing Tour