Phil Robertson by default
Phil Robertson’s WAKA Racing team won Match Race Germany, the opening event on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour after taking victory against Laurie Jury in an all-Kiwi final in Langenargen.
In the end, a count-back decided both the final and petit final on Lake Constance. The event has had both the best and worst of sailing conditions throughout the week and unfortunately the wind failed to build for the final, forcing the Race Committee to end racing with no races completed in either the final or petit final.
Robertson came into Match Race Germany looking for match practice ahead of a busy season in which he hopes to make a significant impact on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. This win will give him plenty of confidence after last year when he struggled to find consistent form in his first season as a Tour Card Holder.
A jubilant Robertson, said: “Today turned into a pretty relaxing one for us! It’s a shame there was no wind but we’re really happy to take this victory. It’s our first Tour win and we’ve learnt a lot from it. We’ll have to celebrate it on our long flight to Korea!”
Robertson’s WAKA Racing team and Laurie Jury’s Kiwi Match will now become two of the teams to watch in the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Laurie Jury picked up 22 points for his runner-up spot here in the first event of his first full season on the Tour. A sole outing in 2011 came at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda and he couldn’t have hoped for a better start to this year’s series: “We were looking forward to racing Phil and felt good about way we were sailing the boat but at the end, it was just taken out of our hands. We’ll take some confidence from the event and get straight back into it at the Korea Match Cup. We want to show that this wasn’t a fluke.”
The earlier petit final which was set to pit four-time World Champion Peter Gilmour of Yanmar Racing against Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) was also ultimately a victim of the weather at Match Race Germany. Gilmour, said: “We battled back from a slow start to the event and just missed out on the final after a tight finish against Phil [Robertson].
“Sitting out there waiting for conditions for the petit final was frustrating because we knew that we’d finish 4th if the race didn’t start. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Gilmour’s performance has shown he will be in the hunt this season while Morvan has now finished on the podium for his second consecutive Tour event, having placed second at the St Moritz Match Race in 2011. The young Frenchman looked unstoppable in his early rounds before losing against Jury from a commanding 2-0 lead in the semi-finals and will be one to watch when racing gets underway at the Korea Match Cup.
The race for the 2012 ISAF Match Racing World Championship continues at the Korea Match Cup in Gyeonggi, South Korea from 29 May to 3 June, which will feature eight of the nine Tour Card Holders.
Result from the Final:
Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing beat Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match
Result from the Petit Final:
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team beat Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Overall Championship Standings – after 1 stage:
Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match – 22pts
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team – 19pts
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 16pts
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Okalys Corum – 14pts
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing – 12pts
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork – 10pts
Karol Jablonski (POL/GER) Jablonski Sailing Team – 8pts
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team - 4pts
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team – 2 pts