Mr Organic wins in Brindisi
Mr Organic Match Race Team (formerly Cherry Racing) took first place last weekend in the Brindisi International Match race. The British team of Helmsman Nick Cherry, Trim and Tactics Ed Hill and Bow Sam Goodchild improved throughout the event and having never sailed as a complete team before took the overall title after a tough final against the German team skippered by Max Gurgle.
Day 1 started with cloudy skies and fresh wind and this combined with almost no practice time gave stand in bowman and future single handed star Sam Goodchild a lot to contend with at the pointy end. After a disappointing first race losing to a young Slovenian team due to some untidy sail handling and a short unplanned swim, Mr Organic finally got the gremlins out of their system to win the remaining four matches of the first day and set themselves up second on the leaderboard overnight.
Nick Cherry gave his account of the final day. "It was an early start for the boys on Sunday morning as the clocks going back combined with an ambitious schedule of 14 flights in one day meant getting out of bed on the right side would be crucial. Fortunately this was the case as strong Italian coffee and an early arrival at the yacht club set us off to a flying start seeing off our remain five races of the round robin with out a loss."
The racing couldn't have been better positioned for spectators with all the action happening just metres away from the shore in gusty winds between 15 and 25 knots combined with clear blue skies and powerful sunshine.
After a powerful display in the round robin, the Mr Organic Match Race Team took on Italian local Nicola Vescia in the semi finals, which while being over in two straight races was packed full of action with the sail handling skills of both teams being put under lots of pressure on the super short course in winds nearing the upper limit for racing.
This pitched the British team in the final up against the young Germans skippered by Max Gurgle who were fresh from dealing out a black flag to Fabio Mazzoni in the other semi final.
A heated prestart with lots of circles, right underneath the ruins of an old fort, gave the Germans a small advantage off the line which they converted into the slimmest of leads at the top mark. By now the British crew work was looking a lot more polished and after a slick hoist and some aggressive tactics Cherry was able to gain the lead on the run while landing a penalty on the opposition. But then some slightly over cautious manoeuvring at the bottom gave Gurgle the inside line at the leeward mark putting him ahead but with an all important penalty still standing. The final run turned into a classic game of cat and mouse with neither boat hoisting spinnakers and the Germans trying to lure the Brits into attacking and giving them a chance to offload their penalty. In the end a fumble at the committee boat left the Mr Organic Match Race Team with enough space to sneak into the finish whilst Gurgle span off his penalty turn.
The second race provided slightly less drama after the Brits edged out from a long drag race on the first beat to gain the lead and gradually extend around the course.
"As well as providing some much needed ranking points, winning our first regatta of the year gives us a great confidence boost heading into our next two regattas, the Seaview Mermaid match race on the Isle of Wight and the European Championships in Austiria," commented Cherry.
The final results were:
1st Mr Organic GBR
2nd Max Gurgle GER
3rd Fabio Mazzoni ITA