Alicante, Spain (October 12, 2017) – French sailing star Yann Guichard stole the show on the opening day of the Alicante Match Cup, returning to the dock with an unblemished scorecard. The World Match Racing Tour regular’s experienced Spindrift Racing outfit were dominant as ten teams went head to head in a series of fleet races in Alicante, part of a collaboration with the Volvo Ocean Race complementing the action at the start of the 2017-18 event.

The four-day Alicante Match Cup, a World Match Racing Tour 2018 season qualifier, showcases the same high performance M32 catamarans built by Aston Harald Sports that the Volvo Ocean Race will use around the world for its guest onboard programme.

Spindrift Racing finished the first of four days of racing at the top of the standings thanks to flawless victories in all six of their races. Consistency also paid for Pieter-Jan Postma’s Sailing Team NL, with an impressive track record that saw them finish on the podium in each race to end the day in the runners up spot.

Wins in the last two races for Sally Barkow’s Team Magenta 32 puts them in the final podium spot overnight.

Packed crowds enjoying a Spanish public holiday at the Volvo Ocean Race village watched as Alicante delivered near-perfect conditions – bright blue skies, azure waters and a tricky breeze around 8 knots.

The M32 crews responded with a display of tight short-course racing that characterises the World Match Racing Tour on the waters off the bustling city centre beach before moving inside the marina for a further show just metres in front of race village visitors.

“It was a great day for us – six wins in six races,” Guichard said. “We are delighted to be here and that this WMRT event has been welcomed by the Volvo Ocean Race. The conditions were beautiful for racing, with a nice light wind. We are very happy to be in the lead after day one.”

The competition will now move from fleet racing to one-on-one knockout competition. The top two teams from today are safe from elimination but two of the remaining eight will be going home by the end of play tomorrow.

The knockout stages will continue through to the event finale on Sunday afternoon.

Not only are the crews doing battle for bragging rights but also for one of two coveted places up for grabs at the opening event of the 2018 World Match Racing Tour.

For many of the teams it will also be a chance to hone their skills ahead of the 2017 WMRT Match Racing World Championship, which takes place in Shenzhen, China, from October 24th to 29th.

“It’s great to be here at the Volvo Ocean Race and we are definitely taking this event seriously but our goal is to peak at the World Championship in China,” added Postma, a two-time Olympian. “Yann was clearly the best today but we had some good battles with him, and we hope to see him again in the match racing.”

The Alicante Match Cup will resume tomorrow from 10am local time (GMT+2).

Results

POSCOUNTRYSKIPPERTEAMR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15R16R17R18R19R20PENPTS
1FRAYann GuichardSpindrift Racing111111
2NEDPieter-Jan PostmaSailing Team NL1222323
3USASally BarkowTeam Magenta 3212543411
4AUTNico Delle KarthChilli Racing3342444
5DENJonas WarrerTeam Warrer46314325
6AUSSam GilmourNeptune Racing5523325
7USAMarkus EdegranE11even RACING23366532
7FRAQuentin DelapierreTeam Lorina - Golfe du Morbihan4445256
9SWEKim KlingCaprice Match Racing Team65651664
10POLLukasz WosinskiDelphia Sailing Team665665

High res images