Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Sopot Match Race - Canfield tops leaderboard after day 1

by Alpari World Match Racing Tour on 1 Aug 2014
Team Alpari FX's Keith Swinton in action during Qualifying day at Sopot Match Race © Robert Hajduk / WMRT
The Alpari World Match Racing Tour’s newest event, Sopot Match Race, commenced today. Eleven flights of Qualifying were sailed in a light to moderate north-westerly wind. At the close of play Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion Taylor Canfield tops the leaderboard unbeaten on 5-0, ahead of Phil Robertson’s WAKA Racing on 5-1 and local Polish legend Karol Jablonski on 4-1.

This is the 11th occasion Sopot Match Cup has been held in the Polish seaside resort, but the first time it has been part of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. There was some relief that an overcast sky prevented yesterday’s scorching 30+?C temperatures recurring. Today the offshore breeze proved tricky for the competitors, but was light enough for them to ease into this regatta.


Phil Robertson suffered his one lost match today to Jablonski; a tight race which saw the lead change twice. Otherwise the Kiwi skipper was pleased with his team’s performance, after they failed to make it through to the Semi Final round at Stena Match Cup Sweden earlier this month. 'It’s been a really good start for us,' he said. 'We are very happy and we’ve still got plenty to work on which is good. It is our first time here and the list just goes on in terms of what we can do better which is a positive.'

WAKA Racing had a particularly intense race today with Australian David Gilmour. This fired up first when the two boats collided coming out of a dial-up in the pre-start – Gilmour bore away causing his transom overhang to hit Robertson’s boat. Then there were two lead changes on first downwind leg. As Robertson recounts: 'We chose the right gate mark and managed to extend from that, but then he caught up and passed us on the last downwind, but we rolled him back on the finish line.'


Part of the challenge for the skippers new to Sopot Match Race is it being raced in a type of boat not used at any other event on the Tour. The 34ft Diamant 3000 is an IOR-style design from the mid 1990s with long overhangs, large overlapping genoa, relatively small cockpit plus running backstays that are requires crews to adapt their roles on board.

'It is the first time we have match raced on a boat with runners,' continued Robertson. 'The main sheet trimmer sorts them out, but it is good fun – it adds another element and makes it exciting.'


Another match racer renowned for being a live wire on the race course is Polish hero, former America’s Cup helmsman and ISAF Match Racing World Champion, Karol Jablonski. His 4-1 scoreline should have been 5-0 today had it not been for an oversight, sailing around the wrong weather mark in one race.

'Okay, we messed that up, but that was the only race we lost,' said a beaming Jablonski. 'We feel more comfortable now.'

Jablonski rarely match races these days but it is a staunch supporter of Sopot Match Race. Here he is racing with an unfamiliar crew, who normally sail with another Polish match racer, Patryk Zbroja. 'It is our first regatta and maybe the crew are trying to over-compensate, but we are getting slowly into the right groove,' said Jablonski. 'I am very lucky to have them. They are doing a great job, are learning a lot and it is good to sail with them.

'Today our boat speed and our pre-starts were okay and we were choosing the right side in the shifty conditions so we were sailing quite smart and the result is very good us. I didn’t expect this, but I’ll take it!'

Apart from unfamiliarity with the boats, today was all about picking the shifts correctly. In this respect Jablonski believed he had done well. 'It wasn’t one side regularly paying - you had to look two minutes before the start to make the call as to where the first shift will be. That has worked quite well for us and I hope it will continue.'

Team Alpari FX skipper Keith Swinton, who sailed his first ever Grade 1 match race here in 2008, admitted that he had been slow out of the blocks. 'We lost the first couple of races, but it was always going to be difficult jumping in these boats and with very difficult conditions as well. We lost a couple of races and then we got on a mini run and won the next three, including some close races.'

In today’s final match against Swede Johnnie Berntsson, Swinton said he had let victory slip through his fingers. 'We should have done better. We were well ahead off the line, but the wind is very difficult to read - we basically just got sailed past and there wasn’t much we could do. All in all it was an okay day and we are still in it, which is good.'

Qualifying continues tomorrow at 1000 local time but with lighter winds forecast it promises to be a challenging day for teams and race officials alike.

Stage 3 Sopot Match Race, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Results after Flight 11

Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 5-0
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 5-1
Karol Jab?o?ski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team 4-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 3-2
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 3-3
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 3-3
David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour 2-3
Przemys?aw Tarnacki (POL) Tarnacki Yacht Racing 2-4
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 2-4
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 1-5
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team WMRT website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
T Clewring - GenericPacific Sailing School 660x82 1Pantaenius - Fixed Value