World Match Racing Tour - YANMAR Racing

Portugal Match Cup 2010 -YANMAR Racing hoping for sea breeze and a win

Stage 4 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour is the Portugal Match Cup, Portimao.

Brilliant sunshine and temperatures around 25-26 degrees are likely for much of this five day event and a good sea breeze can be expected, if yesterday afternoon's practice session was any indication of things to come.

Peter Gilmour, skipper of the YANMAR Racing team, a veteran of five America's Cups and four times winner of the World Match Racing title, has assembled a multinational team over the years..

Gilmour's crew are dedicated and passionate about their match racing, but also enjoy their football. With the Football World Cup in South Africa continuing, there are supporters of many national teams within YANMAR Racing's ranks.

This morning Trimmer Thierry Douillard (FRA) was dismayed about the French team's departure at the hands of South Africa, while Cameron Dunn, YANMAR Racing's mainsheet - tactician from New Zealand, was gleefully offering free football advice.

Skipper Peter Gilmour was hoping for a miracle in Australia's match against Serbia, while pitman Yoshihiro Yaji and bowman Fuku Sofuku, were looking forward to a fierce match between Japan and Denmark. To complicate matters, Fuku who speaks English with a broad Australian accent courtesy of his Australian wife, was also hoping for an Aussie miracle.

Football aside, YANMAR Racing crew's focus is very firmly on today's task - the Portugal Match Cup. Having started the World Match Racing Tour's season slowly, the YANMAR Racing Team has been steadily improving at each event.

At the Korea Match Cup just a few weeks ago, Gilmour and team finished the Round Robin in second place but crashed out of the quarter-finals after losing to Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and his Gill Global Team.

YANMAR Racing is hopeful of further progress up the leader board in Portimao.

Pitman Yasuhiro Yaji reported this morning 'We had a strong practice session yesterday, beating Francesco Bruni in both practice matches. We won in soft conditions early, hardly more than six knots, and then enjoyed the nice 15 knot north westerly afternoon sea breeze.

'Peter loves the Swedish Match 40 and so do we all; we've had some good successes in these boats. It's a big powerful boat, with a big spinnaker.

'We had a good work-out yesterday and whilst there has never been a World Match Racing event before here in Portimao, Cameron Dunn our tactician, sailed a TP52 regatta here last year so he understands the area.

'The weather is great, like Perth summer weather but as Fuku says, less wind and much flatter water.

'We were happy with our crew-work and boat speed, so we are going into this series in a very positive frame of mind.'