Marstrand, Sweden (July 6th, 2017) – The three remaining Quarter Finalists were decided at GKSS Match Cup Sweden in front of a substantial crowd of spectators around Marstrand Arena today. The puffy, shifty offshore southerly breeze of 6-14 knots, made for a short race course, a lot of manoeuvring and an athletic day for the crews on the fully powered-up M32 catamarans.
Of the trio it was only US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield and his US One Sailing Team that came through unscathed with a 3-0 scoreline. In the process Canfield eliminated the competition’s final Swede, Måns Holmberg, son of GKSS Match Cup Sweden founder, Magnus. Canfield’s job was made easier in the second race when Holmberg led into the first mark only to be caught by a gust as he deployed his gennaker causing the young Gothenburg Racing Team crew to experience their second capsize of the week.
“It was a great fight against Måns – he sailed well,” recounted Canfield, the two time Match Racing World Champion. “It was a really short race track and there were a lot of manoeuvres: It came down to whoever made fewer mistakes out there.”
Of the conditions today, Canfield observed: “The breeze coming over the land and dropping down onto the racecourse made for a few close calls. It was hard to read the wind and it seemed to be 50-50 out of each side. There wasn’t much time to look around, because there was so much manoeuvring on that tight, narrow race course.”
The last race saw repeated overtaking but ultimately a better gennaker hoist at the top mark and subsequent gybe enabled the US One crew to get around the bow of their opponent to take the win.
Aside from the capsize, the bigger drama of the day came in the first match between Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew and Harry Price. Having come through the Qualifying Sail Offs yesterday unbeaten, the young Aussie continued his winning streak claiming the first race off the six-time World Match Racing Tour Champion.
In the second, Price was penalised in a pre-start collision but did a great job to catch up and was provided with a last chance to roll Williams coming into the finish line when the GAC Pindar gennaker failed to deploy properly. This was much the same story in the next two races with the regular lead changes and ultimately the British match racing veteran ultimately prevailing, 3-1.
“Those guys did a great job – they pushed us all the way,” said Williams. “The extra racing they had yesterday in similar conditions gave them an advantage. It was very tough out there, but we are pleased to get through – that’s all that matters at a match race regatta.”
In his series today defending GKSS Match Cup Sweden champion, Phil Robertson and his CHINAone NINGBO crew got pushed hard by San Diego’s Nevin Snow and his 13 Fifty Racing. While the Kiwi skipper tied his opponent up in knots in the first race’s pre-start, providing them with almost a complete leg’s lead, Snow returned the favour in the third race in which Robertson hooked not only the pin mark but then charged off downwind with the weather marks tucked up under one of his M32’s racks like a rugby ball. Eventually Robertson prevailed to win 3-1.
“It was nice to do some match racing again – it was quite challenging!” admitted Robertson. “We were both pushing the starts hard and getting aggressive in the pre-start. You had to lock out the leeward start because it was favoured. We got two right and he got two wrong. They may be a young US team, but they pushed us to our limits.”
Snow countered: “We did a lot of things right and we made a couple of continual errors. The race course was pretty tricky – we were over in the last race and then there was nothing we could do to get back into it.”
Tomorrow racing continues with the Quarter Finals round of GKSS Match Cup Sweden from 10:00CET.
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