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WMRT Match Race Germany - Disappointment for Yanmar Racing

by Mark Chisnell on 29 May 2012
Day 5 - Yanmar Racing in Korea 2011 - WMRT Match Race Germany 2012 © Chris Davies/AWMRT
WMRT Match Race Germany, the first event on this year’s Tour was held on Lake Constance, at Langenargen in Germany, and ran from the 23rd to 28th May.

After yesterday’s extraordinary semi-final action at Match Race Germany, The Alpari World Match Racing Tour fizzled out with no wind for the final day of racing. It was disappointment for Yanmar Racing, who should have faced France’s Pierre-Antoine Morvan in the Petite Final for third and fourth place. But when the time limit ran out, Morvan was awarded the spot on the podium, because he finished higher in the qualifying round.

Yanmar Racing’s Yasuhiro Yaji commented, ‘The clock was ticking down towards the time limit, and we hoisted our sails to try and show the race committee that it was possible to get the boats moving and to race, but they didn’t agree with us and at 13:40 it was called off, very disappointing.’ It was a similar story in the final, where New Zealand’s Phil Robertson was awarded the Match Race Germany title because he came out of qualifying higher than his countryman Laurie Jury. It was Robertson’s first Alpari WMRT victory.

Yasuhiro Yaji summed up Yanmar Racing’s week, ‘This was our first event this year, and it’s been good for us in the past, Peter (Peter Gilmour, Skipper, AUS) likes these big slow boats, we’ve won it three times and we were second last year. But last year we had Match Race France to warm-up, whereas this year, Germany is our first event and with some new crew members, it’s almost been a practice for the season.’


Yaji continued, ‘So when I thought of the goal before we started, I thought if we could get to the final that would have been great, but now, perhaps it was too ambitious. We made lots of mistakes early on, but we did lots of talking and planning and there’s no doubt the crew performance got a lot better. Not enough to make the final, not one hundred per cent, but a big improvement. So we took lots more notes and did lots of talking and planning last night after the semi-final, and we are looking forward to Korea.’

The team’s schedule now has them in a fast car to Munich airport and then onto a flight to South Korea, arriving late on the evening of the 29th May. The racing in the Korea Match Cup starts on the 30th – and reigning World Champion Ian Williams, who didn’t compete in Germany, has already arrived and started to practice. But all the teams attending Match Race Germany have been told they will be given some time to sail on Wednesday morning, before they start racing.

Yaji was philosophical, ‘Unfortunately we don’t have much time to practice, but we have time while we are travelling, so we can think about Korea. The boats are very different, with a gennaker and a bowsprit and they are lighter boats. The rules have changed this year, and I think we will really see the impact of that in Korea, because the boats will accelerate more easily – we will see a lot of action and penalties!’

The Korea Match Cup, the second event on this year’s Tour is being held in Jeongok and Jebu which are part of the Gyeonggi Province, and will run from the 29th May to the 3rd June.

Final Results – Match Race Germany:
1. Phil Robertson – Waka Racing Team
2. Laurie Jury – Kiwi Match Sailing
3. Pierre-Antoine Morvan – Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
4. Peter Gilmour – Yanmar Racing
5. Joachim Aschenbrenner – Team Trifork
6. Keith Swinton – Black Swan Racing
7. Eric Monnin – Oklays Corum Sailing Team
8. Staffan Lindberg – Alandia Sailing Team
9. Karol Jablonski – Jablonski Sailing Team
10. Simone Ferrarese – Ferrarese Racing Team
11. Björn Hansen – Mekonomen Sailing Team
12. Jan-Eike Andresen – NRV Team Hamburg

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