Perth, Australia (February 10th, 2017) – Anyone who has even a passing interest in sailing, and particularly match racing, will know the names Holmberg, Gilmour, Mirsky, Jerwood and Walker. Some of them have been around for two generations, and they are all on the list of skippers contesting the Geographe Bay Cup from 11th to 13th February.
The competition is looking hot, probably even hotter for the recent WMRT Swan River Match Cup, with three out of the top four on the current season’s leaderboard all in the line up. The stakes are high with places at the prestigious WMRT Match Cup Sweden championship level event up for grabs.
Sweden’s Måns Holmberg is currently top of the leaderboard for the season and will be desperate to make up for what was, by his normal standards, a disappointing result in the WMRT Swan River Match Cup. A fourth place on the Swan River was not as good as was expected by this skipper, who is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps and reach the top of the ranking ladder.
Currently second on the leaderboard is Western Australian skipper Torvar Mirsky, who has recently returned to the World Match Racing Tour after a break of a few years. Mirsky is a former world number one match racer from the monohull era of the Tour and a fiercely competitive sailor. He too would have been unhappy with his fifth place in the last event on the Swan River. Will the waters of Geographe Bay suit him better?
The Gilmour family are synonymous with match racing, and brothers David and Lachy will be competing in the WMRT Geographe Bay Cup. Their father Peter is a former number one match racer, world champion and America’s Cup skipper. David has already made his mark on the World Match Racing Tour and is currently fourth on the leaderboard.
Lachy Gilmour is the youngest of three brothers and has had his competitive skills honed on some fierce sibling rivalry. When any of the Gilmour brothers meet on the water there is no quarter given or expected, they fight it out to the last metre.
Western Australia has always been a hotbed of match racers, so it is not surprising that when Matt Jerwood decided to get into the discipline he would be proving himself in one of the toughest schools in the world. His second place in the WMRT Swan River Match Cup is testament to his rise up the world ladder, finishing third in the WMRT Match Racing World Championships. Can he win on Geographe Bay?
Evan Walker from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is another skipper making the transition from the monohull era of the Tour to the M32 era. With a regular crew he is still climbing the ladder and has already put some good results on the scoreboard. His record of successes from the past would suggest he will return to the top of the ladder.
Could the surprise package of this event be Gemma Jones from Auckland’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron? She is no stranger to multihulls, having an impressive record in the Nacra 17 catamaran that is used for Olympic competition, finishing fourth at the Rio Games last year as the highlight of her career to date. Gemma could be the dark horse of this qualifier if her multihull ability can out weigh her lack of match racing experience.
Others in the Geographe Bay line up are Harry Price who finished seventh in the Swan River Cup, Will Dargaville from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney and Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Robert Gibbs.
Racing begins Saturday February 11th. Follow all the action via wmrt.com and on social media.