Porec, Croatia (May 26th, 2017) – Day one at the Croatia Match Cup has proved yet again that sailors on the World Match Racing Tour write their own fate. Quentin Delapierre with his Team Lorina-Golfe Du, newcomers to the Tour, top the Round Robin series so far and end today looking like the dark horse of the competition.
With an impressive score of seven wins and just one loss the French team find themselves topping the leaderboard of the Round Robin stage. Three days of licensing earlier this week are the only time this crew has spent in the M32 catamaran, the high performance carbon fibre monohulls used at World Match Racing Tour events.
Immediately reflecting on his first experience of the WMRT, Delapierre said, “It’s fantastic to be here at the World Match Racing Tour. The Tour is one of our goals for the upcoming years. We have seen a lot of videos and could see the level was really high in this series.” Looking back on today’s surprising performance, the French skipper added, “The pre-starts are so close and you must push the boat so hard to gain just one or two metres. Being new into match racing I had a couple of problems using the exclusion zone in the prestart. We were not so strong in the prestart but my strong crew pulled us back through the race.”
Hot on the heels of the Frenchman is Sailing Team NL skippered by PJ Postma and ART Sailing skippered by Danish sailor Joachim Aschenbrenner, both on five points. The team from the Netherlands were in high spirits coming back into the race village after racing. Skipper PJ says, “Porec delivered! With all our training we are slowly progressing. Our team works nicely together and I understand better how to lead it. We are so happy with the progress.”
Other new teams joining the World Match Racing Tour for the first time this week are Lukasz Wosinski’s Polish Delphia Sailing Team and local hopefuls Croatia Match Racing Team skippered by Olympic Gold medallist Sime Fantela. Despite a lack of experience in the boat, both teams scored wins today and left the race village with big grins on their faces, knowing they have learned so much today and will debrief heavily to come back stronger tomorrow.
The Magenta Project also brings a team, but with a new skipper. Former crew member Olivia Mackay takes the helm for Croatia Match Cup. “Moving from crew to skipper has been a bit more stressful but I like the pressure. The crew are great and made the sailing really fun.” Commented Olivia after the first day of skippering. “The biggest learning point was the prestart. A few times I thought “we’re definitely not supposed to be here.””
Concerns around a light wind forecast were soon put to bed as a steady 8-10 knots blew in across the racecourse late morning, enabling a fair playing field for the ten competing teams to battle out. After lunch we saw the wind build to around 18 knots forcing PRO Mattias Dahlström to order a single reef in the mainsail. Racing continued late into the day, with the sun setting on Porec after a record 38 races completed.
The final 7 races in the first Round Robin must be finished tomorrow morning before moving on to the second Round Robin and then to semifinals and the final on Sunday.
Round Robin 1
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