Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Sopot Match Race - Williams claims victory in Poland

by Alpari World Match Racing Tour on 4 Aug 2014
Ian Williams now leads the leaderboard with 72pts. © Robert Hajduk / WMRT
Sopot Match Race, the latest event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, saw an impressive come-from-behind victory for British skipper Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar team on a day that seemed set to be sailed in light northerly winds. That was until the wind shut down, performed a 180 degree turn, and then filled in with a sudden blustery 20 knots from the south.

The day started with the last Semi Final races. France’s Mathieu Richard and his LunaJets team were able to able to secure their Finals berth promptly, taking their score from 1-1 to 3-1 against defending Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion Taylor Canfield. For Williams it was much harder, 0-2 down against Phil Robertson’s WAKA Racing team and having to win three straight races to make it through. In the event Williams managed to level the score to 2-2 but in the last race trailed the Kiwi team around the race course, until this all changed in the very last metres.

'It was good conditions to extend in with shifts and that light air, but we kept it close,' explained Williams. 'Our call at the top mark was to gybe into better pressure, but that was his call as well and we felt there was no point following, so we separated and it seemed that a left hand shift went our way that got us across him to the finish.' GAC Pindar crossed ahead within the final metres of the final run.


That outcome put GAC Pindar in the Final. In these, by planting a penalty on Richard in the pre-start of the first race and then pulling ahead on the water, Williams claimed the first point. But in the second race as the boat were coming down the first run the northerly wind petered out and a few moments later spectators on the Molo Pier, were having their hats blown off, as winds gusting to more than 20 knots filled in from the south leading to the match being abandoned.

After the race committee had reset the course with the start area off the end of Molo Pier, Richard was able to level the score to 1-1, getting ahead on the first beat and then leading for the rest of the race, surging downwind in the strongest breeze of the regatta.

Williams recounted: 'We were disappointed to lose that, but we collected our thoughts and discussed what we needed to do. We didn’t have a very good start, but what we did do is get the boat set up well and sailing really fast and that proved the key.'


Sure enough in the third race, Williams led around the top mark only for Richard to catch right up on the run. However at the leeward gate the French match racing champion admitted he had made a mistake: 'We managed to come very close from behind. Ian luffed very hard to round the mark and I thought that he would drift a bit and maybe there would be some room to get in between him and the mark. And there was probably enough room to get our hull between his and the mark, but there was not enough room for the masts.'

The masts on the two boats not only collided but locked together for around 20 seconds. Both teams were lucky that their spars remained upright and that they were able to complete the race.

For his infringement, Richard received a red flag, immediate, penalty and then dummy tacked Williams. However Williams said that in fact had worked in his favour. 'It was a good move, except he dummied us to the favoured right hand side where we made a big gain.'

However at this time Williams was more concerned about the state of his rig after the clash. 'I think we bent our jumpers (the stabilizing struts at the top of the mast). As soon as we tacked on to starboard for the last time and pulled the runner on, our mast almost crumped. So we quickly let the runner off and we were sailing with eased sheets all the way up the last beat because we thought the rig might come down. That was a little hairy! But it was okay because we had a good lead.'


2-1 to Williams and with the cut off for the last race being at 1500 no more racing could be held and Williams was announced the winner of Sopot Match Race.

'We are very very happy to have won here,' commented Williams. 'It has been a great all-round regatta for GAC Pindar. We have sailed well throughout apart from a little blip yesterday afternoon when things got to us a little. But the guys just turned it around – they have done a fantastic job today.'

This afternoon’s blustery conditions in temperatures on the Bay of Gdansk soaring above 30 degrees also made for great sailing. As Mathieu Richard explained: 'When the wind is stronger it’s most challenging technically in terms of trimming and manoeuvring, particularly after you have been sailing for four days in very light winds and suddenly the breeze comes and comes in strong. Clearly Ian’s team made a better job in adapting to that.'

This is the first occasion that the Polish event has appeared on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and its unique blend of mixing match racing on the water while hosting major lifestyle brands ashore such as LVMH and Ferrari has proved a great success.

Sopot Match Race organiser, founder and competitor Przemyslaw Tarnacki was also pleased with the outcome: 'I am very satisfied. The weather also played quite a nice role. All the sponsors on our side are very satisfied and I hope to retain them next year along with our position in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, which is our goal. I am really grateful to everyone who supported this event.'

The next event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is the Chicago Match Cup which will be held 17-21 September from the Chicago Match Race Center using the nimble Tom 28 Max.







Overall results of Stage 3 Sopot Match Race, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
4 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
5 Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team
6 Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
7 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
8 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
9 Przemyslaw Tarnacki (POL) Tarnacki Yacht Racing
10 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team
11 David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour
12 Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team

Finals: Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 2-1

Petit-Finals: Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone vs Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 2-1

Semi-Finals

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets vs Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone FX 3-1

Quarter-Finals

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team 3-0
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing vs Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets vs Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 3-1

Qualifying

Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 10-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 8-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 7-4
Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team 6-5
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 6-5
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 6-5
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 5-6
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 5-6
Przemyslaw Tarnacki (POL) Tarnacki Yacht Racing 5-6
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 4-7
David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour 3-8
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 1-10

2014 Leaderboard Standings after Stage 3

1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 72pts
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 55pts
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 48
4 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 47
5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 44
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 36
= Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20
= David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour WMRT webite

upffront 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

2015 Argo Group Gold Cup Canfield leads into semifinals
The semifinals of the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup features a past champion, a two-time runner-up, a 12-time entrant. The semifinals of the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup features a past champion, a two-time runner-up, a 12-time entrant and a young gun aiming to upset the balance.
Posted on 11 Oct 2015
Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2014 - Land of opportunity
Andy Rice looks at how AWMRT gives sailors skills and money they need to make it to the top of sport. Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2014 - As the world of professional yacht racing continues to open up new challenges for today’s top sailors, Andy Rice looks at how one of the longest running global sailing world championships gives sailors the skills (and the money) they need to make it to the top of the sport…
Posted on 14 Jan 2015
Alpari Tour Monsoon Cup Final Stage - new date and venue
AWMRT: Change of dates for Monsoon Cup Malaysia is part of an expansion of event by Kuala Lumpur based event organisers. 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour - The change of dates for the Monsoon Cup Malaysia is part of an expansion of the event by Kuala Lumpur based event organisers Innovatige in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, the NSA (National Sports Council) and MYA (Malaysian Yachting Association). The Monsoon Cup has now been split into two separate events.
Posted on 12 Nov 2014
Argo Group Gold Cup - Light air drama in Bermuda
A frontal system edging its way towards Bermuda resulted in light winds, a grey sky and racing eventually being canned. A frontal system edging its way towards Bermuda resulted in light winds, a grey sky and racing eventually being canned early, but not before the remaining Quarter Final flights had been completed at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Posted on 26 Oct 2014
Taylor Canfield does the Chicago Double Dutch + Video
Taylor Canfield and US One had a lot to do if they were going to stop Ian Williams and GAC Pindar. Taylor Canfield and US One had a lot to do if they were going to stop Ian Williams and GAC Pindar running away with this year’s Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). An intense rivalry has developed between the experienced Briton and his younger rival from the US Virgin Islands. They couldn’t be more different in character.
Posted on 9 Oct 2014
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Canfield wins first Dutch Match Cup
Matches between world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up.
Posted on 29 Sep 2014
Dutch Match Cup - Gilmour keeps clean sheet in Lelystad
David Gilmour was the only skipper to keep a clean sheet in today’s light-air action at the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. David Gilmour was the only skipper to keep a clean sheet in today’s light-air action at the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. Team Gilmour swept aside their fellow Western Australians in a 3-0 Quarter Final against Keith Swinton and Team Alpari FX. The young Aussies then took the first match of their Semi-Final against the reigning ISAF World Champions, Taylor Canfield and US One.
Posted on 28 Sep 2014
Dutch Match Cup - GAC Pindar through to fifth consecutive semi-final
Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew responded to a challenging qualifying session on Friday in Lelystad. Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew responded to a challenging qualifying session on Friday in Lelystad, to win a tense quarter-final against Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing), 3-2 and book a fifth consecutive semi-final in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour at the Dutch Match Cup.
Posted on 28 Sep 2014
Dutch Match Cup- Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle
Two of the big guns on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour were staring down the barrel of elimination. Going into the final of 22 flights of Qualifying at the Dutch Match Cup, two of the big guns on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour were staring down the barrel of elimination. Either Bjorn Hansen of Sweden or Ian Williams of Great Britain would be facing an early bath in Lelystad.
Posted on 27 Sep 2014
Dutch Match Cup - High winds and big wipeouts in Lelystad
High winds tested the twelve teams to the edge of physical and mental control on day two of the Dutch Match Cup. High winds tested the twelve teams to the edge of physical and mental control on day two of the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. A new event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT), the event in Lelystad presents the crews with a new challenge, of mastering the small, light Maxfun25s with ridiculously big asymmetric spinnakers.
Posted on 26 Sep 2014