No more fighting

Trying to minimise collisions at the St Moritz Match Race where Team Pindar remains unbeaten

Thursday September 3rd 2009, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
Following slight over-enthusiasm by the crews yesterday that had resulted in numerous contacts between boats and ensuing penaltyies, so Chief Umpire Bill Edgerton this morning reminded the teams that crashing boats is not necessary to secure a penalties against your opponent while points will be deducted from a teams score if they were found to have caused damage. The skippers took heed, and Sébastien Col (FRA) commented that “these boats are very lively and manoeuvrable, which incites you to go for the contact and keep the pressure on your opponent. As a consequence, there were several light contacts yesterday and quite a few penalties.”

After a short delay for the weather to improve the Race Committee got racing under way just after lunchtime and benefited from a good breeze - although quite shifty and not as strong as yesterday - to complete eight flights. Altogether the 12 teams racing in St. Moritz Match race have finished 18 flights in two days out of the 22 required to complete the Round Robin.

Francesco Bruni (ITA) of Joe Fly Match Race and Peter Gilmour (AUS), Yanmar Racing are the great winners of the day. The Italian sailor won all of the six matches he sailed today whilst Gilmour managed to win five. The Australian veteran demonstrated once again his impressive capacity to progress through the event after a rather disappointing first day.

“I think that we were still lacking some practice on these boats yesterday," said Gilmour. "We needed one more day than the others to get comfortable with it. I haven’t sailed much recently and I needed this time to adapt. We were therefore not too frustrated at the end of the first day and the progress we’ve made today is satisfying. We very much enjoy sailing here in St. Moritz.”

At the other end of the leaderboard, Björn Hansen (SWE), Onboard Sailing Team suffered from a shocking day, loosing all of his matches whilst local favourite Eric Monnin (SUI), Swiss Match Race Team, finally managed to grab a point.

The French Match Racing Team sailors Mathieu Richard (FRA) and Philippe Presti (FRA) both managed to win a race whilst Sebastien Col (FRA) grabbed two precious points.

“The conditions are typical of St. Moritz although the wind is lighter than yesterday," said Col. "You need to be opportunistic and you must not try to understand everything or to anticipate. The only rule is to play with the wind in real time instead of trying to imagine what’s going to happen. It’s also good to remember that a race is never over until the finish line.”

Arguably the leader of the Round Robin so far remains Ian Williams (GBR), unbeaten after two more victories this afternoon and with the ability to end the round without loss.

An unfortunate incident happened to Dan McLean, bowman onboard Team Joe Fly, who dislocated his shoulder when he fell overboard. The courageous sailor managed to knock his shoulder back into place and carried on racing as if nothing had happened.

Match-race, provisional results after 18 flights :

Skipper (ISAF ranking), Nationality, Team, Number of victories / losses

Francesco Bruni (50) ITA, Team Joe Fly Match Race; 8/3
Ian Williams (4) GBR, Team Pindar; 7/0 (-0,5 point penalty)
Peter Gilmour (11) AUS, YANMAR Racing; 6/5
Philippe Presti, (7) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 5/3
Sébastien Col (3) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 5/3
Torvar Mirsky (6) AUS, Mirsky Racing Team; 5/2
Adam Minoprio (1) NZL, ETNZ/BlackMatch; 4/2 (-1 point penalty)
Matthieu Richard (2) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 4/4
Alvaro Marinho (17) POR, Seth Sailing Team; 3/7
Johnie Berntsson (9) SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team; 3/7
Björn Hansen (10) SWE, Onboard Sailing Team; 2/8
Éric Monnin (31) SUI, Swiss Match Race Team; 1/9

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