Match Race Germany 2010 - Aussies to battle in Quarter Finals

Match Race Germany is the second event of the 2010 ISAF World Match Race Tour and day 3 has delivered good results for two Australian teams, who will now meet in the Quarter Finals.

At Langenargen on Lake Constance, Germany, competitors and spectators enjoyed plenty of sun, blue skies, and a light westerly breeze. The left hand (offshore) side of the course has been favoured over the last few days and today with the westerly blowing, there was more pressure on that side of the course.

Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing crew of Christian Ponthieu, Nils Bjerkas, Yasuhiro Yaji and Martin Berntsson are aiming for their fourth Match Race Germany title and today's results did not hurt their chances.

YANMAR Racing had to complete three more matches before the Quarter Final cut and started the day on five wins and three losses.

Their first match was against Ian Ainslie (Team Proximo RSA). Ainslie started alone at the favoured pin end but was a little early and had to slow, while Gilmour had room to build good speed down the line. Gilmour managed to hold his position to windward and with the speed advantage was first around the windward mark, ahead of Ainslie. Gilmour made gains down the run, something he has been doing consistently throughout the Round Robin series.

Up the second beat Gilmour protected the favoured left hand side and had a big lead as they headed down the run. YANMAR Racing took the win, to go to 6-3.

In their second match, another veteran skipper Magnus Holmberg (Victory Challenge SWE) was up against Gilmour. YANMAR Racing were slow into the box and Holmberg controlled the prestart.

Yasuhiro Yaji, the YANMAR Racing Pitman told the story. 'We made a mistake - we were late and that cost us the start but we managed to come back. We were five lengths behind at the top mark; we gained almost four lengths on the first run. They protected the left on the second beat and made a small gain.

'From the top mark for the second time, we gained with a simultaneous gybe and closed up rapidly. We overlapped them and their spinnaker was collapsing.

'But Magnus was able to gybe for clear air just before the line, it was very close and we only just lost by a metre.'

The last match of the Round Robins for YANMAR Racing was against the Danish skipper Jesper Radich (Radich Sailing Team). Gilmour won the start but only just and led at the top mark by only a length. He engaged the Danish team in a luffing match and succeeded in getting Radich penalised. While Radich was fast in doing his 270, Gilmour sailed away and by the end of the second beat was six lengths ahead and went onto cross for a comfortable win.

The win gave YANMAR Racing a scorecard of 7-4 which put them through to the quarter finals.

Yaji smiled after the quarter final match ups. 'We were aiming for three wins today - sometimes yesterday our starts were not as good as they could have been, but we improved today.

'Against Ian Ainslie we had good speed, good tactics. In our match against Holmberg we came back from an ordinary start, to lose by just a metre.

'Against Radich, our match racing tactics were better; we were only just ahead of them but we forced penalties. After the Round Robins we finished fourth, Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) fifth.

'None of the top three skippers wanted to choose us. I guess our record here causes concern, so Torvar Mirsky had no choice.'

Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing team are confident they can repeat their Monsoon Cup result against Mirsky, when they knocked his Mirsky Racing Team out at the quarter final stage, possibly costing MRT the 2009 World Match Racing Tour championship.

Mirsky, with a steely glint in his eyes, said 'We look forward to taking on Gilly in the quarters, we have unfinished business with him.'

Gilmour summed up. 'It will be a big day tomorrow, first up against our fellow West Australians. We are confident, our sailing is getting better, we had good wins and even if we lost the starts we were very competitive and we are ready for some tight matches ahead.'

Semi Finalist
Mathieu Richard French Match Racing Team FRA 8-3

Quarter Finals
Torvar Mirsky MRT AUS 7-4 vs. Peter Gilmour Yanmar Racing AUS 7-4
Adam Minoprio ETNZ Black Match NZL 8-3 vs. Magnus Holmberg Victory Challenge SWE 6-5
Ian Williams Team Pindar GRB 8-3 vs. Jesper Radich Radich Sailing Team DEN 7-4

8th Paolo Cian Team Italia ITA 5-6
9th Ian Ainslie Team Proximo RSA 4-7
10th Mats Ebler Ebler Match Racing DEN 3-8
11th Kathrin Kadelbach Ewe Sailing Team GER 2-9
12th Bjorn Hansen Gill Global Team SWE 1-10