Sunday 5 September 2010

WMRT: Doing things the ‘BlackMatch Way’ St Moritz

Blackie with more on the early settlers. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by David Swete

It would be fair to say that we are developing some what of a reputation for just scraping through into the final stages of World Tour Events and today was by no means an exception, as we grabbed the last remaining quarterfinal position in our final race of the day.

At the start of the day we new we would need at least one win to cement our spot in the quarterfinals and after losing out to Mathieu Richard and Ben Ainslie in our opening matches, it all came down to a nail biting race against the top qualifying Ian Williams.

Ian and his Pindar Racing Team had a great start to the race and we had to work extremely hard in the shifty conditions to close the gap by the top of the course. There was a very close incident at the top mark rounding when we were windward boat and the Brit was luffing to get around the mark. They protested us for not keeping clear while we countered believing they had gone past ‘head to wind’ to get to us. The decision was in the umpire’s hands and although we rounded the mark first there was nerve racking wait for their decision which was ultimately a green flag for no incident. We had stretched out to a healthy lead by the bottom mark but the race was far from over and by the final top mark, they were hot on our heals. The British Team rounded in better breeze and went to roll over the top of us, so we had to luff hard to defend. We sailed them out to the side of the course and executed a nice gybe back to the finish line while we felt them breathing down our necks right until the finale.

It was a huge relief to make the final cut and the way the other results panned out there were 3 other teams that finished on 6 wins, with a tiebreak needed to decide the last qualifier. Unfortunately for Italy’s Francesco Bruni he was the one to miss out due to us beating him earlier in the week, while we managed to scrape through by the narrowest of margins.

Tomorrow we look forward to finding out who our quarterfinal opponent will be, as the teams that qualified higher get the choice of who to race. We will also be looking to continue another trait of ours, qualifying last and then somehow going on to win the event, something that we did 3 times last year on the World Tour.

Round Robin Results
Williams (GBR) 9-2
Ainslie (GBR) 8-3
Richard (FRA) 7-4
Pace (FRA) 7-4
Hansen (SWE) 6-5
Iehl (FRA) 6-5
Minoprio (NZL) 6-5
Bruni (ITA) 6-5
Mirsky (AUS) 5-6
Monnin (SUI) 4-7
Berntsson (SWE) 2-9
Clerc (SUI) 0-11

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