Peter Gilmour retires
It was a momentous day for the Yanmar Racing team – skipper, Peter Gilmour chose the press conference at the end of the second qualifying session of the Monsoon Cup to announce his retirement from the sport.
It’s been a spectacular career, spanning 32 years and four world championship titles, but Gilmour has decided to call it a day – once he’s contested this Monsoon Cup, the final event on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Peter Gilmour told a packed press conference: "I’d like to thank each and every person that’s sailed with me over the years. It’s been fabulous racing with all of them. I’d like to pick out for a mention the current team of Thierry (Douillard, FRA), Fred (Guilmin, FRA), Martin (Berntsson, SWE) and of course Yaji (Yasuhiro Yaji, JPN) and Fuku (Kazuhiko Sofuku, JPN), those last two have been with me across 18 years and I think four America’s Cup campaigns. It’s been a great journey."
Peter Gilmour was asked to pick out some highlights from a spectacular career. "I think sailing with an all-Japanese team in the America’s Cup was a remarkable experience, and winning the two world titles back-to-back was great. Of course, winning the first world championship, that’s a big deal, the first title. And I’d probably pick out the seven Swedish Match Cup wins, and nine Nippon Cups as a highlight, along with beating Russell (Coutts) in the final at the first Monsoon Cup here, way back in 2005."
Another sad part of the announcement came with the news that Yanmar’s three-year sponsorship deal with Manchester United means that they will no longer be supporting the Yanmar Racing sailing team. It was this that had partly spurred Gilmour onto his decision – but the timing also seemed right.
"I think it’s a good moment," said Gilmour afterwards. "With my son David here at his first event. So making it my last event, after we’ve raced each other on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour for the first time, that has a good feel to it. It’s also great to see my other son Sam making a big step this year as well, winning the 2012 World University Match Racing Championships. They can take over where I’m leaving off."
Gilmour’s announcement also came after a good day on the water. After losing the first race to Adam Minoprio (NZL), the Yanmar Racing team scored three successive wins in succession, beating Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), Phil Robertson (NZL) and then his Kiwi compatriot, Laurie Jury.