Thursday, 18 June 2009

WMRT: Positive Start for BlackMatch in Portugal

Big fella (David Swete) on the bow showing off his new Line 7 crew gear. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.

by David Swete

Today was the opening day of the Portugal Match Cup which is the forth event on the World Match Racing Tour. Despite a few hiccups today, we finished with 3 wins and 2 losses including a nail biting win against the world number one, Sebastian Col.

With very convincing wins against Andrew Arbuzov and Ian Ainslie we were unlucky to lose against Australian Torvar Mirsky. We had an excellent start against Mirsky and gained a massive advantage after a great start, however the wind was unbelievable shifty today and we were caught on the wrong side of a huge wind shift that handed them the victory.

Following a narrow loss to an unbeaten Peter Gilmour we came out firing against the defending Portugal Match Champion Sebastian Col. Managing to force a penalty on him in the pre-start and gain an even start, the Frenchman sailed a great first beat and held a narrow lead into the first downwind. We had to fight to stay in touch as they gradually ground out enough of a lead to undertake their penalty turn which they did nearing the top mark.

We lee bow tacked close to the French team and went to luff them in a defensive move, they failed to keep clear and were handed another penalty but still held the inside advantage at the top mark. They held their nerve and engineered their boat into a position to take yet another penalty turn and still hold a narrow lead as we gybed to the finish line. We however now had the inside advantage and luffed hard again to force them above the pin end of the finish line, it wasn’t until a final ‘nerve racking’ gybe back to the finish that we were able to roll them and take a very narrow victory.

A second Kiwi team, Phil Robertson's Waka Racing, are also competing in Portugal. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.

Round robin action will continue tomorrow and we are looking forward to notching up a few more wins in the hope of making the final 8. For all media coverage on this event please visit . It is great to be joined at this regatta by fellow Kiwi Phil Robertson and his Waka Racing Team, we would like to wish them the best in their first world tour event.

BlackMatch would like to again thank their sponsors FedEx Express and Line 7 New Zealand. We would also like to thank our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand, as without their support we would not have this opportunity.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

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