Match Race Germany line-up

Sean McNeill on today's practice race

Tuesday June 8th 2004, Author: Sean McNeill, Location: none selected
Practice day at the Swedish Match Tour's 8th annual Match Race Germany, offered the sailors competing on Lake Constance a likely preview of the five days ahead: light and streaky winds.

Lake Constance, in southern Germany, is a gorgeous venue. Looking south/southwest across central Europe’s second largest freshwater lake you can see rolling green fields of Switzerland. And in the distance to the south are the Austrian Alps.

While it’s a dramatic backdrop, the wind conditions aren’t always the best for racing. Especially on a day like today, when it’s hot and sunny.

A high pressure system is centered over Lake Constance, and robbing the area of all wind. But that scenario should change after tomorrow when the high pressure is expected to move out of the area.

The competitors took to the water and practiced in the new German-built cruiser/racer Bavaria 35 Match. The boats are equipped with large overlapping genoas, which helped power them along today.

The light conditions are of some comfort to event organiser Eberhard Magg as they may prevent a skipper from winning 10 straight races.

Any crew that can win 10 races in a row wins a Mercedes Benz SLK 200 roadster, valued at approximately Euro 40,000, from event sponsor Wuerttembergische Versicherungsagentur Speth.

Skippers featured at Match Race Germany are
- Peter Gilmour (AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team)
- Gavin Brady (NZL/BMW Oracle Racing)
- Bertrand Pacé (FRA/Team France)
- Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Denmark)
- Karol Jablonski (POL)
- Mathieu Richard (FRA)
- Luc Pillot (FRA/le Defi)
- Ray Davies (NZL/Team New Zealand)
- Lars Nordbjerg (DEN)
- Michael Dunstan (AUS/OzBoyz Challenge).

Two other teams qualified over the weekend at the Grieshaber Youth Challenge, a feeder event for Match Race Germany. Eric Monnin of Switzerland defeated local sailor Tino Ellegast for the championship, but both teams qualified for this week’s regatta.

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