by Reuben Corbett
After qualifying as the bridesmaid (from the round robin, in which Kiwi Match were third), Black Sheep were up against Laurie Jury and his team Slam Kiwi Match for the semi finals here in La Rochelle, France. The two top French teams were battling it out in the other semi final. Laurie took the first race but BSR bounced back to win the next two to win 2-1. Cédric Chateau of France also won his semi final 2-1 against his own countryman Mathieu Durand.
For the finals the shifts were enormous in an oscillating fashion but on average gradually clocking to the right. Puffs and lulls were riddled throughout the course making it a real challenge to defend and attack. The first shift off the start line proved to be the most critical, so setting up for this prior to the start would go a long way to determining the winner of each race.
In the first, Cédric had great patience after an indifferent start by being well to leeward and plugging away at the left until the mother of all shifts came through enabling him to tack, cross and hold the margin to take the first. Second race, BSR was right on Cédric’s tail for the majority of the race before setting up on his inside on the final run and rolling immediately after gybing for the finish. Third race, BSR comfortably won the start and grew a handy lead throughout to go up 2-1 in the first to win three final.
Race four, BSR got a bit greedy and took a little gamble shortly after the start in an attempt to make some big gains, however, it didn’t pay. Cédric sailed on to notch another win, score 2-2. Fifth and final race proved the decider. BSR started strongly, covered in a smothering manner and grew a large enough lead to finish with a sizable margin. Black Sheep Racing win the Coupe d'été Match Race 3-2!
This is another step in the right direction for BSR who are working their way up the world rankings. Next up on the list is our first world tour event of the year, Stena Match Cup Sweden where the competition will be a lot more intense. BSR look forward to mixing it with the world best!
Black Sheep Racing would like to thank the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, friends and family for their continued support. Thank you all!
Au Revoir from Black Sheep Racing: Brad Farrand, Tom Bentham and Reuben Corbett in France.
Black Sheep Racing
Summer Cup (Coupe d'Eté), La Rochelle Grade 3 Match Racing