Wednesday, 8 September 2010

WMRT: Team Azzurra Eager to Fight Back on the Tour

Team Azzurra competing at the St Moritz Match Race. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by Jill Campbell

Team Azzurra of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has just arrived in Denmark to compete in the Danish Open 2010, Stage Seven of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour that will run from 8 to 12 September. After last week’s slight disappointment at the St. Moritz Match Race, where Team Azzurra wasn’t able to qualify for the quarter finals, Francesco Bruni and his trusted crew – Matteo Auguadro, Tom Burnham and Pierluigi De Felice – are ready to fight their way back into this highly competitive and challenging arena.

“Last week in St. Moritz we felt slightly out of shape due to our long summer ‘vacation’ from match racing. We suffered mainly in the pre-starts but we analysed and worked on improving our mistakes, and I hope that that we were able to shake the cobwebs away. The level of the competitors on this Tour is the best you can get and it is no easy task to stay ahead of the game. We look forward to some intense racing in this new venue of the WMRT. Danish sailors are excellent match racers and I am sure they will fight hard to win the limelight in their home waters.”

In 2010, the Danish Open has shifted location from the city of Aarhus to the Island of Bornholm, on the Baltic Sea. The competitors will race onboard the DS 37 One-Design Match-Racer, considered a next-to-perfect boat for match racing, designed specifically for this discipline by a Danish design team in 1991. The Danish Open is one of just two remaining events for teams to qualify for the ISAF World Match Racing Tour deciding Monsoon Cup, so expect some fierce competition.

Most of the top teams in the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Championship will compete at the Danish Open, including current Tour leader Mathieu Richard (FRA), defending World Match Racing Champion Adam Minoprio (NZL) and triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie. Four-time World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour (AUS), former World Champion Bertrand Pacé (FRA), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Francesco Bruni (ITA) and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) complete the group of Tour Card Holders set to compete.
The group of ‘Wildcard’ entries includes local match racer Mads Ebler (DEN), the 20-year old William Tiller (NZL), Susanne Ward (DEN) and Michael Buckley (USA).

2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 6 of 9)

1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 96 Points
2. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 72 Points
3. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 69 Points
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 60 Points
5. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 57 Points
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 45 Points
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 43 Points
8. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 40 Points
9. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team 29 Points
10. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 23 Points

World Match Racing Tour