Dackhammar joins battle of champions in semifinal showdown
Marstrand, Sweden (6 July 2019) Local favourite Nicklas Dackhammar (ESSIQ Racing) today secured his place in the Semi-final of GKSS Match Cup Sweden for the 2018-19 Match Racing World Championship, sending home six-time world champion Ian Williams in a straight 2-0 match. Dackhammar joins former match racing world champions Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Taylor Canfield (USA) and Phil Robertson (NZL) in the Semi-final line-up as the event moves to its final day tomorrow.
Starting the day in heavy rain, it was Australia’s Harry Price, AUS (Down Under Racing) from Sydney that were first to fall victim to USA’s Taylor Canfield (US One). In the first-to-three points match, Price clinched the first race, but Canfield and team found their stride in the second race and followed up with three straight wins to finish 3-1.
“We had a great match against Harry, he is definitely one of the up and coming sailors on the Tour; we may be getting a bit older but we still plenty of fight and we have a lot of experience in the M32” commented Canfield.
In the second Quarterfinal pairing, defending world champion Torvar Mirsky, AUS was matched against Spindrift Racing’s Yann Guichard, FRA in the closest of for the day with multiple lead changes and penalties. After equalising 2-2, it was Mirsky that pulled out the stops to win the decider 3-2.
Sweden’s Dackhammar knew he had his work cut out in the third pairing match against Quarterfinal opponent, six-time match racing world champion Ian Williams, GBR (GAC Pindar). But taking advantage of a right shift in the first race, Dackhammar was able to reach the leeward mark straight from the reach mark, stretching to a 25 second lead which he held to the finish.
The gloves were off for the second race of the shortened first-to-two points match, each team aggressive in their pre-start manoeuvres. After Williams led the start, Dackhammar again clawed back to steal the lead at the top mark and close out the match 2-0.
“We are thrilled to get to the Semifinals” said Dackhammar. “We had two very tough races against Ian [Williams] today but we have been sailing well and we know we are fast around the course. The way we are sailing, we feel we deserve to be in the finals.”
In the last Quarterfinal pairing, New Zealand’s Phil Robertson (China One Ningbo) defeated Swede Måns Holmberg (Stratsys Racing) 2-0 to secure his place in the semis alongside his fellow world champions Mirsky, Canfield and Robertson.
But team of the day went to Nicklas Dackhammar and ESSIQ Racing whose quest for their first Match Racing World Championship edged one step closer today as they face off the ultimate battle of champions in the Semi-finals tomorrow.
Phil Robertson (NZL) v Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE)
Taylor Canfield (USA) v Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
For more information on WMRT, visit www.wmrt.com
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organised and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, the top twelve teams from which compete in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous Champions include Bertrand Pace (FRA), Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Jesper Radich (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS).
The WMRT is a match racing competition with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which change for each event and which place a firm focus on teamwork, strategy and skill. Racing takes place close to shore to create stadium-style viewing for spectators.