Sunday, 28 September 2008

BlackMatch Miss Out on Semis in Portugal

BlackMatch competing in Portugal. Image copyright Wander Roberto.

by David Swete

It was a case of deja-vu here in Portugal, close but yet so far when we were yet again left rueing our early losses and slow start to this regatta. Today we had wins over Paolo Cian and Nick Cherry but lost out in tough matches against the class of Sebastian Col and Ian Williams.

The weather conditions were far from perfect with a sea breeze fighting to establish itself while a storm was brewing over the mainland. The result was very shifty light winds all day, the storm eventually rolling in late in the day almost on cue, to prevent the last match of the round robin from being sailed.

So, with four days of sailing gone in Portugal and the round robin still not completed, the race organisers had no option but to remove the quarterfinals from the programme. This meant heartbreak for us and the many other teams who were stranded one win away from making the top 4.

Three teams confirmed their place in the semi finals, the two French skippers Mathieu Richard and Sebastian Col went through, while Swede Magnus Holmberg was also in after a magnificent comeback leaving the final spot wide open for four teams. Torvar Mirsky, Damien Iehl, Paolo Cian and Ian Williams are all still in with a shot and it all comes down to the final races of the round robin tomorrow.

We leave this event feeling confident in our sailing but remain disappointed with our second disappointing start to an event in consecutive regattas. Perhaps it is lack of experience but if the weather gods had come to the party and let us have a crack at the final 8 we feel we would have been extremely competitive here in Portugal. We would like to wish our competitors good luck for the remainder of the regatta and we are looking forward to our next World Tour Event in Bermuda in 8 days time.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors: FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7. Their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

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