Monday 6 September 2010

WMRT: BlackMatch with one foot in semifinals at St Moritz

Video of BlackMatch Racing's win in the first semi-final over Damien Iehl (FRA).

by David Swete

During an early morning briefing the quarterfinal pairings were decided, with the top ranked Ben Ainslie choosing to race Bjorn Hansen, followed by Mathieu Richard who chose to race fellow countryman Bertrand Pace, which left us to take on Damien Iehl.

With the south thermal breeze fighting to dominate the north gradient breeze it was an extremely tough day for both competitors and race organisers. Conditions really never settled and it was amazing that the race committee were able to get even one of our matches away. Despite the lack of breeze the only match of our quarterfinal was surrounded with huge drama, as we managed to take the victory in extraordinary circumstances.

After Damien and his team did a nice job in the start they managed to extend throughout a pretty ‘one sided’ race course, to go into the final run with what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. We rounded a long way behind and the French team looked to be cruising to victory, when they got caught in a massive light patch, only boat lengths from the finish line. We on the other hand had heated up to a great line of pressure and were making massive inroads in on the French team who appeared to be in extreme panic mode, while all we could do was hold our breath and sail as fast as we could to the finish. We came smoking into the hapless Iehl and charged past to take a much needed, but somewhat hollow victory.

No other racing was able to be completed due to the weather gods not coming to the party, so we ended the day 1 nil up in our first to 2 points quarterfinal. We are starting an hour earlier tomorrow with the intention of completing the quarterfinals, but if this is not possible the current results will stand. In the other matches Mathieu Richard is 1 up over Betrand Pace, while in the only quarterfinal to be completed Ben Ainslie secured his semi final berth with a 2 nil victory over Bjorn Hansen.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors FedEx Express and Events Clothing/Line 7. Owen Rutter from Events Clothing has supplied us with new sailing gear this season, keeping the boys looking very sharp and also warm up here in the cold mountains. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. We would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.

BlackMatch Racing this week is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour