Friday, 29 August 2008

Danish Open Match Race 2008 - Day One

Sunshine and breeze on the first day of racing in the Danish Open match race off Frederikshavn. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

by David Swete, BlackMatch Racing

We are currently competing in the Danish Open World Tour Event. This is the 5th stage of the World Match Racing Tour 2008. With 7 of the top 10 teams in the world competing here, not to mention the reigning champion and world number 14 Jesper Radich, the Danish Open is again set to be a great spectacle.

Today we opened the regatta with three races, managing to take 2 wins and a narrow loss to the world #1 Mathieu Richard. Our wins came against local guru and ex-World Tour Champion Jesper Radich and world #4 Bjorn Hansen, who is currently 2nd in the Tour standings.

Jesper Radich and his all Danish crew look to retain their 2007 title win at the Danish Open 2008. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

It was a very positive start to the regatta in the new venue of Frederikshavn and it was great to take victories against the two Scandinavians who are very accustomed to the powerful DS 37 boats that we are racing here.

For this regatta we have our regular crew of Adam, Dave, Tom and Nick, but we also welcome aboard Emil Wiberg from Sweden, who is doing mainsheet for us. Emil is a regular on the world tour and his knowledge on the DS 37's has been invaluable, giving us the head start we needed especially as the single round robin format here in Denmark means every race counts.

Adam Minoprio (BlackMatch Racing), with Emil and Tom trimming, on Day One of the Danish Open 2008. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

Our loss against Mathieu Richard was a little unfortunate. After an even pre-start we fought hard up the first beat, showing good boat speed against the French team we held a 3 boat length lead nearing the top mark. We tacked to cover them and thought we were heading to the favoured left hand side of the course.

However, conditions were extremely shifty approaching the top mark and Richard managed to get a massive right hand wind shift that we had not seen, to gain the lead. We kept close for the rest of the race but the world #1 showed his class and held on to take the victory.

After today's racing no team is unbeaten, with Williams, Richard, Wibroe and us being the teams to only have one loss, it is going to be a very close battle to gain the top 4 position needed to make the semi final and a task made even tougher with only one round robin to do it in. We are looking forward to the challenge ahead and a big day of racing tomorrow.

A special thank you to our sponsors, FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is making this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else thank you for your support and we hope to do you all proud tomorrow.

Results after Day One - partial completion of Round Robin (wins - losses):

1 Ian Williams 4-1
2 Seb Col 3-2
3 Magnus Holmberg 3-2
4 Mathieu Richard 2-1
5= Adam Minoprio 2-1
5= Peter Wibroe 2-1
7 Mads Ebler 2-3
8 Torvar Mirsky 2-3
9 Johnie Berntsson 1-1
10= Bjorn Hansen 1-2
10= Jesper Radich 1-2
12 Andrey Arbuzov 1-4

Danish Open 2008

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