Robertson on a roll

as WMRT turns to Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia (July 25, 2017) – Current Match Racing World Champion Phil Robertson and his CHINAone NINGBO team are in a dominant position and on supreme form as they head to the fourth round of the World Match Racing Tour Championship season – the WMRT Match Cup Russia hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, supported by Gazprom, August 1-6.

Can the unique challenges of the Neva River in St Petersburg finally unsettle the New Zealander? It may take more than that, because though this is the first Championship level WMRT event in Russia, it is not the first time for Robertson.

“I’ve sailed in Russia about four times now,” Robertson said.  It can be really beautiful – it’s quite a stunning location to sail – but it comes with its challenges, which is being a river it’s got probably a couple of knots of current, and is very shifty and puffy at the same time being in the middle of the city. So, it’s a challenging place, but nonetheless very beautiful and a cool place to sail. You’ve got some beautiful buildings right on the edge of the race course, when the sun shines, it’s a hard spot to beat.”

These are not words to encourage the chasing pack – who given Robertson’s record this year need all the encouragement they can get. Robertson won stage one, Match Cup Australia and has been generally unbeatable in July. He followed a crushing victory in the GKSS Match Cup Sweden at the beginning of the month, by winning the inaugural M32 World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden, and last weekend won the Extreme Sailing Series event in Barcelona. On the fourth week he rested.

“We’ve had a pretty good run, can’t really complain,” he said. “I’m just resting this week.”

What does he put his form over the past two seasons (after victory at the WMRT Match Racing World Championship in 2016) down to? “There’s nothing special to be honest, it’s just years of hard work starting to pay off and we’ve found a nice little balance in the team and it seems to be working well. I’m improving a lot and still have a lot to improve on, so it’s a nice spot to be in.”

Robertson will never be able to take it easy with the likes of Ian Williams, the six-time world champion, in the wings. One Wild Card to watch is Victor Serezhkin, skipper of Gazprom Team Russia, who knows these waters and surprised everyone with his performances coming from behind on day 2 of the M32 World Championships a fortnight ago. He confirmed Robertson’s view of what will face the teams.

“St Petersburg as a sailing venue is definitely one of the most interesting and beautiful in the world – just imagine that you’re racing with the backdrop of all these amazing sites that you can almost reach out touch,” Serezhkin said. “But from the sailor’s point of view, this is one of the toughest racing venues. It’s river, not a sea, so there’s lots of current and the winds are shifty and puffy (going from) 5-15 knots in just seconds.

“St Petersburg events are always surprising. Yes, local knowledge plus some luck is half of the success. But (it’s also about) smart sailing – the feature that the fleet has in abundance.”

Racing will take place in the heart of St. Petersburg at the foot of the walls of the Peter-and-Paul Fortress, with the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum to the south, Vasilievsky Island to the west, and the sailing so close to shore that spectators will not miss a beat. Fans will have unparalleled access to the event, the sailors, and the machines they race on as the event village will be situated on the beach in front of the Peter-and-Paul Fortress with the M32 catamarans landing there after racing each day.

Racing at WMRT Match Cup Russia begins Tuesday 1st August with the finals scheduled for Sunday. All action will be covered via wmrt.com.

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Result Board

current WMRT leaderboard

PosSkipperCountryTeamESMRWCCCCCSRMCGBCPMCMCAFCCCMMCCGCGMCCMCMCSSPMCMCRMCCTotal
1Phil RobertsonNZLChina One Ningbo40036404036192
2Ian WilliamsGBRGAC Pindar04040333320166
3Taylor CanfieldISVUS One2433333622148
4Yann GuichardFRASpindrift Racing2026242233125
5Chris SteeleNZL36 Below Racing2620242230122
6Sam GilmourAUSNeptune Racing002630123610114
7David GilmourAUSTeam Gilmour801030202624110
8Torvar MirskyAUSMirsky Racing Team90083391540106
9Matt JerwoodAUSRedline Racing00361516307104
10PieterJan PostmaNEDSailing Team NL010309261691
11Nicklas DackhammarSWEEssiq Racing Team00162220151588
12Harry PriceAUSDown Under Racing400151008132672
13Jonas WarrerDENTeam Warrer15014201267
14Måns HolmbergSWECFA Sports100071310*924966
15Steven ThomasAUSRPM Racing8102216864
16Johnie BerntssonSWEFlux Team36111461
17Joachim AschenbrennerDENAschenbrenner Racing602271356
18Evan WalkerAUSKA Match / CYCA091401016*849
19Markus EdegranUSAE11EVEN RACING70710121147
20Nevin SnowUSATeam 13Fifty09991441
21Sally BarkowUSATeam Magenta 32711101139
22Scott DicksonUSADickson Racing Team102434
23Eric MonninSUIAlbert Riele Swiss Team716730
24Kim KlingSWECaprice Match Racing Team40671330
25Nicolai SehestedDENEWII Racing101424
26Quentin DelapierreFRATeam Lorina-Golfe du Morbihan1323
27David StorrsUSAPequot Racing91322
28Lukasz WosinskiPOLDelphia Sailing Team8920
29Victor SerezkhinRUSGazprom Team Russia501419
30George AnyonNZLRNZYS Performance Program8816
31Patrik SturessonSWETeam Accure7815
32Anthony KotounISVKotoun Racing6814
32Evgeny NeugodnikovRUSTeam Tavatuy6814
34Hans WallénSWEWAR - Wallén Racing5813
35Will BouldenAUSAlpha Racing Team5712
36Jeremy WilmotUSAWilmot Racing5712
36Evgeny ElfimovRUSM1 Cloud5712
36Andrew CampbellUSAHeart of America1212
39Rasmus RosengrenSWEArtemis Youth Racing6511
40Pete BurlingNZLNZL Match Racing Team1010
40Nico Dellenbaugh KarthAUTChilli Racing1010
42Allan NørregaardDENTeam Nørregaard99
43Daniel BjörnholtDENYouth Vikings358
44Philip BendonIRLBendon Race Team347
44Sime FantelaHRVCroatia Match Racing Team7
46Brett BurvillAUSEdge Racing66
46Vladimir LipavskyRUSLipavsky Racing66
48Lachy GilmourAUSGilmour Racing Team55
49Chris RastSUIEFG Bank55
49Peter HolzUSAWindy City Racing55
51Jeremy KooMASSime Derby Foundation - KRT044
51Dave HoodUSADH3 Racing44
51Chris PooleUSARiptide Racing44
51Olivia MackayNZLTeam Magenta 324
51Ekaterina KochkinaRUSSailWay Match Racing Team44
56Gemma JonesNZLRNZYS Performance33
57Matthew ChewAUSKA Match / CYCA33
57Robbie GibbsAUSRPYC033
57Sydney GathridUSADRYC33
57Jo AlehNZLTeam Magenta 32033
57Anna ÖstlingSWETean Anna33
62Logan BeckNZLRNZYS Performance00
62Will DargavilleAUSRogue Racing/RPAYC00
0

CONFIRMED ENTRIES

PHIL ROBERTSON (CHINA ONE NINGBO)

SALLY BARKOW (TEAM MAGENTA 32)

IAN WILLIAMS (GAC PINDAR)

YANN GUICHARD (SPINDRIFT RACING)

SAM GILMOUR (NEPTUNE RACING)

VICTOR SEREZHKIN (GAZPROM TEAM RUSSIA)

MATT JERWOOD (REDLINE RACING)

MÅNS HOLMBERG (GOTHENBURG RACING)

NICKLAS DACKHAMMAR (ESSIQ RACING)

STEVE THOMAS (RPM RACING)

JONAS WARRER (WARRER RACING)

NICO DELLE KARTH (CHILLI RACING)

MARKUS EDEGRAN (E11EVEN RACING)

PIETER-JAN POSTMA (SAILING TEAM NL)

LUKASZ WOSINSKI (DELPHIA SAILING TEAM)

KIM KLING (CAPRICE MATCH RACING TEAM)

EVGENY NEUGODNIKOV (TEAM TAVATUY)

EVGENY ELFIMOV (M1 CLOUD