Saturday 30 August 2008

Danish Open Match Race 2008 - Day Two

Ian Williams and Team Pindar have the best win-loss scorecard after most flights in the round robin have been completed. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

by Yvonne Reid

The second day of racing at the Danish Open saw true champagne sailing conditions with wind ranging between 10 to 20 knots and clear blue skies. Race officials took advantage of the conditions and completed 10 flights in the day’s schedule. With a shifty northerly breeze that made life very difficult for the sailors no match was a done deal right until the end. The big question of the day is ‘will 7 wins be enough to make the cut?’

Ian Williams ended the day 7-3. “7 wins should be enough to get into the count back but I’m not sure that it will be good enough for us to get through. We’ll need to go out there and disappoint the locals tomorrow and beat Peter Wibroe”, said an optimistic Williams.

Mathieu Richard was pleased with his win loss record of 6-2 for the day. “We had a good day and sailed better and better every race. It was not an easy morning but we kept improving. The tatics today were great as it was very tricky. The wind was shifty and the pressure was up and down a lot. We didn’t focus so much on the opponent; we looked for the wind instead. It was nice to beat Ian Williams. We got a good shift and pressure and managed to sail away from him. The round is not finished yet so we will be happy to make the final four”, said a contented Richard.

Danes go head to head at the Danish Open Match Race 2008. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

Torvar Mirsky finished the day on 5-3 and considering two of his crew were ill on Thursday night he felt the day went well. “With two of the guys a bit crook today was a bit of a struggle. We felt pretty comfy with the conditions today with the wind around 10-12. Yesterday’s bigger breeze was a bit of a handful. It was hard today no one gets it right all the time and you had to follow your own race. It was a bit like hurdling where you were jumping between patches of breeze and trying to stay ahead. We had a good win against Jesper Radich. It was a big moment; a do or die race if you like. We got the first shift off the line and got ahead but up the second beat we got an over rider on the jib sheet that we had to cut out and lost some time. Jesper caught up and so we had to dial him down pretty hard, we were right on the edge of a penalty. We managed to keep the right but he rounded the mark on our hip and after a bad gybe he got the march on us. We just kept the overlap and carted him off to the bottom corner of the course, just missing the obstruction line along the shore. We had to take him along.”

Magnus Holmberg ended the day 6-4. “It’s all really close and definitely too hard to call. We have a few new guys in the team this week and Staffan Rahm hasn’t sailed in a year so we are trying to pull it all together, I also need to try and improve my starts”, said a relaxed Holmberg, “We had a close match with Johnie Berntsson. He got a penalty for hitting the start mark but edged ahead and led us around the course. It was really close down the last run he tried to hook us to offload the penalty but we managed to soak below him and get to the line leaving him still carrying the penalty.”

Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing in pensive mood after close races on Day Two at the Danish Open 2008. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

Adam Minoprio finished 4-4 which leaves him with plenty to do. “We mucked up a few today including one against Ian Williams when he passed us upwind. It was very shifty and harder to read today than yesterday, we sailed a lot more defensively”, said Minoprio. “We had a good race against Peter Wibroe. We were ahead but he caught a good shift and passed us. We fought hard downwind and he luffed and hit us and a result got his second penalty of the match which gave us the lead along with the win. It was a bit of a scramble though.”

Johnie Berntsson also finished 4-4 so tomorrow is crunch time for the Swede. “I think it is still open, nobody has straight wins but we must win all three tomorrow if we are to make the cut. It would have been nice to end today 5-3 but we are where we are. We have a new crew combination but they are working very well. We like the conditions and it has been exciting racing. It is vital to work the pressure and if you are ahead to push your opponent away from the breeze. We focused on trying to sail our own race and keep a loose cover when ahead. We are also going to try not to involve the umpires as we have had some tight manoeuvres that have resulted in decisions going against us”, said Berntsson.

Local hope Peter Wibroe currently has six wins and knows that his match with Ian Williams tomorrow is critical. Trimmer Philpe Guhl said “We need to get better starts. When we were behind we gained on the other team all the way around and had really close finishes with Torvar Mirsky and Sebastien Col. We are really happy with our speed and I think if we can get an even start with Ian tomorrow we can win. We feel great and are looking forward to it.”

With 4 flights left to run there are still 8 teams with a chance to make the cut but even those that can’t qualify for the semi-finals will be pushing hard until the end and have every chance of ruining someone’s day.

Standings on Day 2 (after 18 out of 22 flights of the Round Robin):

Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 7-3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit 6-2
Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team 6-4
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 6-4
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 5-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 5-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4-4
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 4-4
Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 4-6
Mads Ebler (DEN) Team AWL Grip 3-5
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 2-8
Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) 2-8

Danish Open 2008
World Match Racing Tour

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

Thursday 28 August 2008

Skipper Comments on the Training Day of the Danish Open 2008 Match Race

Jesper Radich leads Peter Wibroe in the final of the 2007 Danish Open Match Race. Both skippers are back at the event, being held in Frederikshavn for the first time, this year. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

by Danish Open 2008 Media (in translation)

"It was really good to be able to practice against many of the other teams in Gothenburg over the last few days... It is a strong field with many top sailors, however, we have the benefit of being familiar with the boats used", said Peter Wibroe, one of three Danish skippers at the event.

"We have come to the Danish Open to compete for first place in the World Match Racing Tour, in which we have a seven point lead just now. It is special for us to sail the DS 37 match racer... Actually, we did practice for a couple of days in Gothenburg, so in spite of everything we are well prepared. However, it is of course a challenge to sail in seven different types of boats in just nine events. Nonetheless, so far, we have been in three semi-finals, out of a possible total of four", said Ian Williams, from England.

"I have never been to Denmark before, so I am delighted to be sailing here in Frederikshavn. It is exciting to be sailing the DS 37, which places a premium on teamwork. Actually, I just hope that there will be good wind. That is what we like best", said Adam Minoprio from New Zealand, ranked eighth in the world.

Note from SailRaceWin: The automatic language translator used to confirm the wording above also made alterations to some of the subsequent list of the competing skippers names, turning one into 'Listlessness' and another into 'Circus'!

Danish Open 2008

Wednesday 27 August 2008

BlackMatch to Compete in the Danish Open, World Match Racing Tour

Peter Wibroe, who has had close matches with the Kiwis in BlackMatch Racing this year, was runner-up to Jesper Radich in the Danish Open 2007 and competes in the event again this week. Seven nationalities are represented in the 2008 entry list, including Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing. Image copyright Per Heegaard.

by World Match Racing Tour and SailRaceWin

The top sailors of the world will be making their way to Frederikshavn, at the northern end of the Jutland peninsula, for the 5th event on the World Match Racing Tour 2008 - the Danish Open.

The Danish Open runs 27 - 31 August and is organised by the Royal Danish Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Match Race Centre and Frederikshavn Sejlklub, and is sailed in the DS37 Match Racers.

There is a very strong entry line-up with more than 50% of skippers in the top 10 of ISAF World Rankings and all in contention for the Match Racing World Championship - it’s going to be a really tough event to win.

The racing waters for the 2008 Danish Open, off Frederikshavn, Denmark. Image copyright World Match Racing Tour.

The Royal Danish Yacht Club will be show-casing the City of Frederikshavn as its new event venue. The City of Frederikshavn is known for its expansive open spaces and pedestrian streets with beautiful old buildings and exciting architecture, as well as good sailing conditions.

Who’s Entered?– 12 teams including 6 of the top 8 from the current Tour leader board, the current World Tour leader, the current ISAF No 1 ranked skipper and four teams representing America’s Cup syndicates.

Entry List
Seb Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team
Peter Wibroe (DEN) Team Wibroe
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar
Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing
Andrew Arbuzov (RUS)
Mads Ebler (DEN) Team AWL Grip

World Match Racing Tour

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Images of the Official London 2012 Flag

The Official London Olympic Games 2012 flag flying at the WPNSA sailing venue. Image copyright WPNSA.

from Cailah Leask, Fast Track Sailing

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy unveiled the official London Olympic Games 2012 flag in a ceremony attended by local residents on 24th August 2008.

Weymouth Sea Scouts and local residents attended the flag ceremony. Image copyright WPNSA.

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy