Thursday, 2 June 2011

Black Swan Racing 3rd at GKSS Spring Cup

by Black Swan Racing media

Over the weekend the team competed in the GKSS Spring Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. This regatta was special in a few ways, firstly and most importantly is was the qualifying regatta for the prestigious Match Cup Sweden world tour event. Secondly, with some of the team being based in Gothenburg it felt in some ways like sailing at home, with that certain amount of local support. Lastly skipper Keith Swinton has been working at GKSS over the past year, coaching match racing so it was interesting sailing against some of his students.

The event consisted of 10 competitive teams sailing on the Ds37 match racing yachts. These boats are quite difficult to come to terms with as they are big heavy yachts, but are able to turn extremely tightly. We began the regatta sailing against defending champion and previous Match Cup Sweden winner, Mattias Rahm and his Stena Bulk Sailing Team. We sailed well in this race, gaining a penalty against Rahm and holding the lead to finish ahead. However things didn't continue this smoothly, the wind continued to build to a steady 18-22 knots. Unfortunately we lost the next two races, struggling a little in the stronger breeze.

This put us under some pressure, but we came out on day 2 with a positive mindset and managed to put together five straight wins. Unfortunately time was running out and it became evident there would be no semi-final stage. This meant we had to win our final race to progress to a top two final. In this race we started well but we made a mistake up the first leg tacking to close to our opponent and being given a penalty. This made things difficult as we tried to extend enough to take the penalty and finish ahead. We completed our penalty turn on the finish line but in the end we didn't quite have enough distance, loosing the race.

This left us stranded in 3rd position (6wins-3loss) after the round robin missing the final on count back.

"I am quite happy with our performance at Spring Cup. It was difficult to jump into these heavy 5 man boats after sailing the smaller Tom 28 four man boats in our last two events.

The strong wind during the event also made things very tough, especially with very limited training. It was disappointing that we didn't get to sail the semi-final as we really started to sail to our potential by the end of the regatta. Hopefully we may still have some chance to participate in Match Cup Sweden anyway." Keith Swinton, Helmsman, Black Swan Racing.

Next up we travel to Tallin, Estonia for a grade 2 event. We will use this event to gain ranking points and train for the grade 1 in Pornichet, France next month.

Black Swan Racing would like to thank our supporters: Westrac Pty Ltd - the Equipment Management Company, Abbotts PTY LTD Chartered Accountants, McNally Group PTY LTD, Musto Australasia and Trendmark Sweden Agent for Musto.

GKSS Spring Cup