Monday, 2 August 2010

Internationaux de France de Match Racing: Black Sheep Prevail in Quarters

Corbett vs. Neugodnikov in the quarterfinals off Pornichet. Image copyright Bruno Bouvry/

by Reuben Corbett

Another long day on the water with a directionally steady but significantly patchy breeze tested the patience of many. It was a day of minimal tacks, sailing to the pressure and finding a good lane rather than keeping it tight. Penalties aplenty made many matches closely fought and undecided until umpire calls in the proximity of the finish line.

Check out results below:

Quarter Final Results
Mathieu Richard (FRA) vs Alvaro Marinho (POR) 1-3
Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) vs Phil Robertson (NZL) 3-0
Philippe Presti (FRA) vs Black Sheep Racing (NZL) 2-3
Damien Iehl vs (FRA) Pierre-Anton Morvan (FRA) 1-3

Semi Final Results
Eugeniy Neugodnikov vs Black Sheep Racing 1-1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) vs Pierre-Anton Morvan 1-1

The quarter finals were yet another ding dong battle but in the end superior team work prevailed. We had a glamour start in the first race but uncharacteristically struggled for pace to lose the first. Second race, we lost the start but did a great job of minimising the loss and with some new found boat speed took off to even up the scores. Race three we started with pace found clean lanes throughout the race to take the score to match point. Philippe Presti stepped it up in the next match to win a very tight race and levelling the score 2-2.

In the decider we were in all sorts of trouble late in the prestart to windward of the line. Presti was leading back fully in control so we took a gamble, hoisted our chute and attacked his leeward quarter on port gybe forcing him to gybe in order to protect his lane to the line. We kept the chute up, took his windward quarter and gybed to leeward of him on starboard from where we gained control, luffed and with a glamour drop from mouse we kept pace to start at the favoured end right on the gun. Presti was slow and at the unfavoured end, from here we didn’t relinquish the lead.

In the semi finals we have had two extremely tight races with Eugeniy Neugodnikov with four penalties included. We took a race each so tomorrow we will resume battle for the finals spot.

Thank you to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, friends and family for your support and enthusiastic comments!

Bed time,
Black Sheep Racing: Tom Bentham, Brad Farrand, Nicolas Derberque and Reuben Corbett

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