Saturday, 31 July 2010

Internationaux de France de Match Racing: Cracker Day in Pornichet for Black Sheep Racing

by Reuben Corbett


Black Sheep Racing are back to business after a short break from sailing and each other, since our last event in Sweden. In these two weeks new world rankings have come out and we have moved up from 33rd to 25th.

We assembled in Lorient, France on Monday 26th for some training against local PAM on the two days prior to the regatta, which is 2 hours down the road from Pornichet. We opened the regatta with a disappointing loss to Eugeniy. We had a slim lead near the top mark but could not cross so tacked on to starboard, forward and to leeward. We then gave him the lead by luffing too late to close the door at the top mark and he was able to sneak around inside us. This gave him enough to hold us off for the rest of the race.

We then hit the next six races with form, getting solid starts in all bar one race and built on them with good speed to win them all. The most exciting of these matches was against our training partner PAM, who led us off the line. We had no need to push the point as he had been given a penalty in the prestart so our game was to keep it close enough so he couldn’t complete his penalty turn.

After a lap of cat and mouse we rounded the top mark for the final run overlapped with PAM to leeward. PAM luffed aggressively forcing a red flag penalty on us meaning we must complete it immediately. We did just that then put the hammer down to rapidly haul him in so that he couldn’t complete his penalty and remain winning. PAM realised this so attempted to gain another penalty on us but we caught him off guard dropping his shoot so we held ours and rolled him to snap victory. Our scorecard reads 6-1 but there is a long way to go.

Competitors / World Rankings
Mathieu Richard 4th
Damien Iehl 5th
Eugeniy Neugodnikov 11th
Philippe Presti 12th
Pierre-Antoine Morvan 14th
Mads Ebler 16th
Alvaro Marinho 20th
Philip Robertson 21st
Reuben Corbett 25th
Simone Ferrarese 30th
Michele Perris 37th
Peter Nicolas 74th

Racing Format
Full Round Robin
Repecharge (after round robin, 5 vs 12, 6 vs 11, 7 vs 10, 8 vs 9. First to win two races)
Quarters, first to win three races
Semis, first to win three races
Finals, first to win three races

Today they completed ten of eighteen flights for the round robin so tomorrow should see the race committee conclude the round robin and start the repecharge.

Black Sheep would like to thank the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, friends and family for their generous support. Thank you!

Au Revoir,
Black Sheep Racing: Nicolas Derberque, Brad Farrand, Reuben Corbett and Tom Bentham

Internationaux de France de Match Racing/Trophée Manu Minard