Saturday, 31 July 2010

Internationaux de France de Match Racing: Quaterfinals Beckon for Black Sheep Racing

Black Sheep Racing competing in Pornichet, France. Image copyright Bruno Bouvry/

by Reuben Corbett

With four remaining matches in the round robin, we were looking to continue the form of the previous day. Once again though, we had a slow start to the day and went down in the first race of the day to Michele Perris in a very light but building sea breeze.

We then met Damien Iehl in a tight race where he was given two penalties for causing contact, the second handing us a comfortable lead to take the win.

The match of the day though was against world no 4 and current leader of the World Match Racing tour, Mathieu Richard. We were given a penalty in the final seconds of the prestart and managed to keep it close enough to get inside, and take the lead at the bottom mark. This didn’t get rid of our outstanding penalty though so we had to engage Mathieu on the final run.

We managed to overlap him to windward and luffed, clearing our turn and bore away to hoist. We were now just behind and traded gybes the rest of the run. Mathieu was able to hold us off though and crossed the line only inches in front. At the end of the round robin our scorecard read 8-3, now we move into the quarter finals with a clean sheet.

Quarter Finalists
In order of qualification - higher ranked qualifier chooses opponent until all are matched:
1 – Mathieu Richard (FRA)
2 – Engeuniy Neugodnikov (RUS)
3 – Philippe Presti (FRA)
4 – Reuben Corbett (NZL)
5 – Damien Iehl (FRA)
6 – Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA)
7 - Alvaro Marinho (POR)
8 – Phil Robertson (NZL)

We will find out who our opponent is tomorrow morning. After having the afternoon off today we will be fresh and ready to come out firing.

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

Black Sheep Racing is Brad Farrand, Nicolas Derberque, Reuben Corbett and Tom Bentham.

Black Sheep Racing
Internationaux de France de Match Racing/Trophée Manu Minard