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WMRT Match Cup Russia
WMRT Match Cup Russia
|1||Robertson||CHINA ONE NINGBO||1||1||1||3|
Sam Gilmour (Neptune Racing)
“We started really slowly. Had a really bad first one and actually finished last, which was pretty poor because there’s a bit of split in the fleet between the levels of the teams. We weren’t expecting that. But we got a third and then finished with two wins. We had a really fun race with Yann Guichard in the last one, crossing tacks the whole way around the course and we just managed to hold onto it. It’s such nice conditions out there with that moderate wind level (10-12 knots), quite easy to sail, but you can’t make any mistakes, even a small one mucking a tack up or missing a layline at a mark – you go down a couple of position. We were vying for second place in the group, but I think we lost to Måns (Holmberg) because he had a pretty consistent day.
Yesterday the start was really important because it was pretty much a soldiers’ course (following each other going back and forth with no overtaking opportunities). It was really pin-end bias so you had to win that position and Yann won that in three of the four races. More boats were pushing the start today. We got it right in the last two.”
Måns Holmberg (Gothenburg Racing)
“The first two races we won both starts, then we kind of got away from the pack a bit and it was not that hard to stay up front. But in the second two races we had to fight as well, we were last at the reach mark in both those races and then we did a really nice job to climb up. We had to really work on the boat-on-boat situations, good for the match racing coming up. We learned from our mistakes yesterday, we started talking a lot more about the boats around us today, communication of the boat-on-boat situations.”
Yann Guichard (Spindrift Racing)
“Four seconds places in a row, but it’s a solid day because it was completely different conditions, shifty, patchy. For me, it’s important for us to have a lot of races. Sam (Goodchild), my bowman, has been out for three months with a dislocated shoulder. We’re improving. It’s not just a skipper’s game, it’s a team game. You have to get your tacks right or you can lose a lot. In the last two races we had a lot of tacking with the leader, Sam (Gilmour). We came from behind and tried to catch them up, it was was really close, like match racing but he sailed really well. Tomorrow it will be quite windy and then Friday (when the event moves into the city), it will be different again.”
Britain’s six-time world match racing champion, Ian Williams (GAC Pindar) finished top of Group 2, but not quite in the way expected after receiving a black flag and two penalty points in the last race for a dramatic crash with Sweden’s Nicklas Dackhammer (Essiq Team Racing). Both boats were OCS at the start and were at the back of the fleet rounding the first reaching mark when Williams attempted to gybe behind Essiq Team Racing but succeeded only in ramming them, breaking a bowsprit strut of and their rivals’ rack. As well as a last place finish, GAC Pindar, who had won the first two races of the day, received two penalty points to leave them on 19 overall. That will probably make them third seeds when the groups are finished.
America’s Markus Edegran (E11even Racing) took advantage of the chaos behind him in the last race to score his first win of the group stages and edge the battle-within-the-battle against Denmark’s Jonas Warrer, who he passed on the final downwind.
America’s Sally Barkow and Team Magenta 32, the only women’s team in the event, put together their best race of the season. They stayed strong in the third race after leading off the line, holding off a charge from GAC Pindar and E11even Racing on the upwind beat and enjoying it on the final downwind.
Ian Williams (GAC Pindar)
“I would say a day of 3/4 and a 1/4, two first places and then a third, a good result in this fleet and then obviously a big mistake at the end. 1,1,3 is a great start, but then a big mistake from myself. I was trying to gybe behind. I’m guessing that I’d lost him behind the gennaker because I thought he was clear, but obviously he wasn’t so that’s my bad. We’d just round mark one, so we were trying to gybe early on the run. We’d both been OCS since we were at the back. It was an unexpected situation because from my perspective he didn’t have any room in there and so we wanted to gybe set around the front of him and then he came in, so we had quite a lot to do to slow down enough to get behind him to then gybe and obviously we didn’t do enough. The strut on our boat was broken and apparently his rack has sustained some damage as well.
It’s a mistake by me.
Winning the group was target number one and you would expect that to leave us in third (overall). Interestingly in the last regatta by winning the fleet racing it felt like we got a harder last 16 because we got the guy who’d just had a load of practice and come through quite a tough sail-off series. But if you want to win the regatta you’ve got beat everybody anyway.”
Nicklas Dackhammer (Essiq Racing Team)
“We had a decent day. Started with two second places and finished with two fourths. Unfortunately we had a little of a collision with Ian in the last race. He got a black flag and two penalty points. We got a broken boat – the race – and we were little bit scared because we had his bowsprit right in our faces, so, that affected us in that race.
We were coming into the first reach mark on starboard, on the inside and we went round the mark and then I think Ian just tried to make a quick gybe and go behind us and when he did that gybe he just hits us with his bowsprit. It was a hard collision but no one was injured, that was the most important thing.”
Jonas Warrer (Aarhus Innovator)
“Not such a good day today. It was bad technical decisions – from me, so I can’t blame it on anyone else.
It was our bad starts nearly all the time, but our boat handling and speed were ok.
Tomorrow is a completely different game with the tactics and the strategy. When you’re racing in a fleet it’s not good to focus on one boat but when you’re match racing you only focus on one boat.
It’s not like I forgot how to sail, although it felt like a bit.”
Sally Barkow (Team Magenta 32)
“The third race we really clicked. We got off the starting line and it was a bit of a one-way race track but it showed we’ve got good speed and the team is really improving every single race. We’re finding a good balance and it’s pretty fun racing. I think our timing was just a click better, we were late for the line by three seconds on the first two starts. In race 3, our timing was on and the two boats that overlapping with us were over the line (OCS). The allowed us to make first choice at the first turn mark and it was to set an early gybe and then ran the long gybe and then just blasted away.
We’ve had our ups and downs. Newport last year we were first in our group. We’ve come here with a new combination in the team and if we can keep finding that balance between everybody then we can compete.”
“It was a solid day for us. We had a lot of fun on board. I’m so happy to have Sam Goodchild back with the team after an injury. When you’re fleet racing the key is the start. We were OCS in the first race and we came back from behind to finish second, so it was a good performance. After that we made three really good starts in a row and when you’re not in the pack, it’s not tricky to control the other ones. We had good timing and positioning on the starting line.“
“I haven’t sailed since Perth back in March, so it’s been a while, but the boys were really excited and we still feel like we’re sailing well even though we haven’t been in the boat. The first race, well, it’s pretty easy when the three boats around you are OCS and you get a little break. When you were out in front it was easy and when you were in the pack it was tricky with the boundaries and all that.
(Last race, OCS at the start and another penalty for not being the last boat at the first turning mark) We couldn’t slow down fast enough as it turned out, so we ended up getting another penalty. We got a little bit of a break at the bottom of the course, all the boats went left turn and we took the right turn and we got out of phase with the fleet and had our own clear lanes and that got us back into the race pretty quickly.“
“We’ve just arrived from Risør In Norway, we did the M32 Scandinavian Series there, so feel pretty warmed up and this was just continuing to do what we did last week. Short courses, little bit different conditions here than we’re used to, with the choppy waves. We’re more used to the west coast of Sweden, where it’s a little bit more stable sea breeze and when we sail the Series we’re always inside the cities, this was more open water. (So, in terms of these events) We’re more used to what we’ll see later in the week in the city (on the Neva River from Friday). But it was really fun out there today and we started out really well with a first place. We definitely didn’t lose it today. You can’t win the regatta on the first day but you can definitely lose it. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. We had the same feeling as them (Ian Williams/GAC Pindar), we were always gaining places, even if we had OCS starts and were at the back of the pack, we managed to climb positions all the time and I think that’s key when you’ve got only 6 boats, to try to eliminate the last places.”
“I don’t if we were too (excited) to begin with, because we had two false starts, two OCS, so we had to wait at the back of the fleet. But it was nice to see when we got going, we had really good handling. It’s a different game in these small courses because you don’t really go full speed, the way I would sail the boat on a bigger course. You always have to find the right mode, and sometimes we got that wrong, but in general we had good speed and we won the last race, which showed us that we beat the good guys out there.
It’s a really tactical game with short course boundaries. Get the number of tacks right, not too many, and that’s decided at the bottom gate – whether you have two or three tacks and that can have a big influence. The wind was fairly stable out there, so it’s all about the start and then positioning yourself.”
“It was good, nice just getting back into the swing of things. It was very much a starting day, if you get ahead you get to stay ahead. Nice day, nice breeze, little bit shifty, breeze up and down, so, kept everyone on their toes.
It averaged about 12 knots, probably dropped down to about 8 knots at one stage, top end 14 knots.
Nothing too out of the blue. Everyone seemed to be going pretty fast. Placing your boat right seemed to be the key. A couple of times we got nice starts and it lead to race wins, a couple of others we were a bit deep and it was hard and we were battling.
Matt had a pretty good day, I think he had a little wobble there, race 2, but they’re a fast team and always going pretty nicely, and if they can get a clean start they’re definitely a bit of a threat.
I’ve never sailed out there, it’s a nice area, it’s shallow, so the water was quite steep, steep waves, choppy, 2-foot chop, which made it that more challenging. It’s a nice race course.”
“You can’t complain. You’re always aiming just to have a solid first day, no crashes, no massive blowouts, we’re pretty happy.
The last race was definitely the best, we just nailed the start and the first gybe and we were gone, we were absolutely launched. It was an easy race from the there.
The first race was really close, we had a good fight with Phil Robertson and PJ Postma all the way around, but our tactician kept putting us in the right place and we just snuck around Phil at the final mark.
Race 2, we were a bit slow to deploy off the start, the wind went a bit soft and we were slow to get our gunmaker out. From there we actually sailed a pretty nice race, but we were just too far behind to get back into it. We were a bit disappointed because it was a pretty basic error, but we’ll move on and learn from it.
The wind really dropped down in the middle two races, the last race it came back up again. It was quite tricky out there, there was a little bit of current running we thought, but that wasn’t a major factor, it was more getting the start right.
As frustrating as it is drawing the number one seed in your group it always toughens you up for the coming regatta. It’s always fun racing Phil because he and his boys are so good, you’re racing the best in the world when you race Phil.”
“It was a good day. We stuffed one (race) up with the gennaker sheet, there was a big heel, the loops were swimming and then looped round the rudder. It was disappointing for us, we finished last, we touched the boundary, they (the umpires) gave us a penalty. But after that, in the next race, we recovered and finished second.
I don’t know the conditions here, I sailed here 8 years ago, but I’m told the westerly winds are typical.
I think if we can cut out these situations (the mistake) we can do well. I think our group was quite strong with Robertson, Jerwood and PJ Postma. At the starts, upwind was quite good and downwind was not quite right. But if we can finish second in this group it’s not bad.”
“We had 9-11 knots, medium wind. We had a real nice fight; we had Jerwood and Robertson, so it was quite close racing and I’m really proud of the teamwork, we’re getting there. It felt like we’re on the verge of getting more to the top.”