Williams into the lead
Current Tour Champion Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar look set to progress to the knockout rounds after taking pole position after the second Qualifying Session at the Korea Match Cup 2012, recording 6 wins and 1 loss so far.
Williams took a confidence-boosting victory over Yanmar Racing's Peter Gilmour (AUS), whose record four World Championships he is chasing down this season. “We always have an exciting race against Peter! Sometimes he doesn’t feel that he’s been in the race unless he’s had a couple contacts between the boats. He used the new rules well by forcing a collision and managing to wipe his penalty straight away."
His only loss of the event came against Laurie Jury (NZL) in controversial circumstances, Williams claiming that the starting boat had dragged its anchor and skewed the line. The subsequent request for redress was unsuccessful and Williams, said: “We were disappointed with the loss against Laurie. When the race committee boat drifts like that and moves the line, it’s frustrating not to get a redress but that’s how it goes. Today’s results should take us to the Quarter Finals, which was the first challenge. We’re sailing well and we’re getting used to the new rules."
Phil Robertson (NZL) and Team Korea's Torvar Mirsky (AUS) are heading the chasing pack in the qualification table, ending the day 6-2. Robertson continues his hot run of form, having taken a victory at the first event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour season, Match Race Germany.
Mirsky competes with a crew who haven’t done a lot of sailing together previously, but he doesn’t think that’ll harm his chances: “We’ve not sailed together that much before but we’re gelling on well as a team and all the guys are successful sailors so we feel competitive and positive about our chances. If we get everything right, we’ve got a team strong enough to finish at the pointy end in the next few days. It’s refreshing to be back at a Tour event. I’m not a Tour Card Holder this year but it’s great representing Team Korea, in Korea. I’m loving it so far.”
Winner of the 2011 Korea Match Cup, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) went into an all-Swedish match up with Johnie Berntsson (SWE) in flight 9 as one of three skippers who finished the first day’s qualifying unbeaten. After picking up a penalty in the pre-start, Berntsson looked on the back foot but managed to pass his compatriot with an aggressive move around the mark on his last lap. Berntsson, said: “We know Bjorn [Hansen] had a good day yesterday but it’s not so much about being leader at this stage. We just want to get points on the board to get us qualified. We always have fun racing him and this was a particularly exciting one. We did well to turn around the penalty that we got early on, when approaching the finish line.”
Hansen went on to finish the day 5-2 and will know that he only needs one more victory in the last Qualifying Session tomorrow to progress to the knockout rounds and stay in with a chance of holding on to his Korea Match Cup crown from last year.
The final Qualifying Session takes place on Friday 1 June from 1000 local time (KST). Live TV will be broadcast 1400 – 1600 local time on Saturday 2 June and Sunday 3 June.
Results after the Second Qualifying Session:
Ian Williams (GBR) – GAC Pindar 6-1
Phil Robertson (NZ) – WAKA Racing 6-2
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) – Team Korea 6-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) – Mekonomen Sailing Team 5-2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) –Berntsson Sailing Team 4-3
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) - Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 4-4
Laurie Jury (NZ) - Kiwi Match 4-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) – YANMAR Racing 3*-2
William Tiller (NZ) – Full Metal Jacket Racing 3-4
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) – Ferrarese Racing Team 3-5
Byeong-Ki Park (KOR) - Geoje City 0-7
Tae-Jung Kim (KOR) – Gyeonggi 0-8
* Deducted 1 point for causing damage