Robertson fights back
On a day when a lack of wind eventually stopped racing at the St. Moritz Match Race, Kiwi Phil Robertson profited from a return to the form which has seen him climb to fourth in the Alpari Match Racing Tour leaderboard after four events.
Robertson finished yesterday’s opening qualifying session with a disappointing three losses from three, but showed no signs of repeating those results today, beating Yanmar Racing's Peter Gilmour and current Tour leader Sweden's Bjorn Hansen, before the wind became too light for sailing to continue.
Robertson's compatriot Laurie Jury remains at the head of the qualifying table on five points, without having taken to the water on the second day of competition. Swede Johnie Berntsson remains in second despite losing his unbeaten record to Hansen in his first match today.
Berntsson, said: "We picked up a penalty in the pre-start against Bjorn but the outcome of that didn‘t affect the overall race, I don’t think. It was very much about starting well and getting the left side. We didn‘t manage to close the gap and he was in a controlling position for most of the way around. He did a good job in keeping us behind."
Berntsson went on to beat local favourite Jerome Clerc to take his tally to 4 points, but is hopeful that conditions will allow a full qualifying stage to be completed: "We’re pleased to be 4-1 which puts us in a good position after two days but we would prefer to be back out on the water completing Qualifying. We’re here as dedicated sailors and want to race as much as we can, perform well, and win because we are the best on the day."
Despite the loss to Berntsson, Clerc still feels that his team are in with a chance of qualifying for the Quarter Finals, having earlier beat rival and Okalys Corum skipper Eric Monnin in their national battle on home water. Clerc, said: "We were very happy to beat Eric because it’s our third time at this regatta in St Moritz and we haven’t beaten him before. He had a better start than us and was in front from the start but we got a good shift which allowed us to overtake and hold on for the win.
"We’re from Geneva, which is six hours away so it doesn‘t feel like a home event for us here. There isn’t a lot of pressure on us because we aren’t really one of the favourites so we’re here to learn and improve our match racing.
"So far I think we’ve done well because we have a new crew member for this event and if we can continue taking each match as it comes, we have a chance for the Quarter Finals."
The St. Moritz Match Race will take to the water for the third qualifying session tomorrow, starting from 1000 CET.
St Moritz Match Race – Results after Qualification Round 2:
Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match 5 - 0
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4 -1
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3 -2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) Loire Atlantique Sailing Team 3 - 2
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2.5* – 2 (0.5 point deduction for boat collision)
Jerome Clerc (SUI) Team CER 2 - 3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum 2 - 3
Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing 2 - 3
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 2 - 3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 2 - 3
Josh Junior (NZL) Wellington Spirit 1 - 4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 1 - 4