Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Hansen seeks elusive prize

by Alpari World Match Racing Tour on 30 May 2014
Hansen and his team finished third at the 2013 Chicago Match Cup © Brian Carlin/AWMRT http://www.wmrt.com/
Like Phil Robertson, Swede Björn Hansen has been hovering around the podium for the last couple of seasons on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, finishing second in 2012 and fourth last year. He reigned supreme on home waters, winning his third Stena Match Cup Sweden last year and followed this up with a third at Chicago Match Cup, but before this had failed to make the top eight in Korea. A shade more consistency through the season and Hansen stands every chance of taking the elusive big prize this season.

One of the main aspects for a team to remain consistent is its crew and for 2014 Hansen will be racing with the same line-up as he has had for the last couple of seasons. This comprises well known Swedish fighter pilot tactician/mainsail trimmer Gustav Tempelman, Danish headsail trimmer Phillip Kai Guhle, pitman Sebastian Wedel and the longest member of Hansens’ team, bowman Mathias Bredin, who has been sailing regularly with him for ten years now and helps Hansen run the project.

As Hansen explains: 'We sat down after last season and discussed whether to continue or not and we all agreed if we were going to do it, we’d only do it with the same five of us. We really think we have a good shot at the World Championship title if we are doing it together and if each one of us tries to improve a little bit. So everyone signed up for that and hopefully we will go all the way this year.'

So why does Hansen repeatedly keep coming back to the World Tour? 'It’s because I think match racing is a fantastic type of sailing - you really need to be good on the rules, preferably better than the umpires! I get very frustrated when I go back to fleet racing, when you don’t have the umpires on the water and you know that people around you don’t know the rules as well as you. When they break a rule, they don’t even know they break a rule and if you want to protest, you know you’ll be in the protest room for hours...'

In addition to this, Hansen points out that match racing on the World Tour is also the fairest type of sailing because everyone uses the same equipment. 'You cannot put in €300,000 extra and get an extra 0.2 knots - that is impossible in match racing. The only way to become better is to keep on practising and having good people around you, having good crew members. That really attracts me.'


This year the Alpari World Match Racing Tour features three new Tour Card holders. On the line-up for 2014, Hansen says: 'I feel and I say this every year, but I think it is true that the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is getting better and better each year, and with Richard and Bruni coming back, it is a really strong lineup. Young Mr Gilmour is going to upset quite a few people in the regattas. I think he will be on a steep learning curve, but by the end of the season, we will definitely see him on the podium at a few regattas. Maybe he won’t win the World Championship title this year, but, I would say all of the other seven crews can if they have a good year. That’s good for the tour, good for media and it’s pretty much good for everyone.'

Like Australia and New Zealand, Denmark and Sweden have a lengthy tradition in match racing, which Hansen and his crew are continuing. However Hansen advises that there is likely to be a transition coming soon.

'We have been struggling a bit in Stockholm for the last five or so years to get young sailors to commit to match racing. The problem is that we have had several quite strong Swedish teams recently, with Magnus Holmberg, Johnie Berntsson, Mattias Rahm and ourselves, and we’ve all been fighting for the spots at the Stena Match Cup Sweden and it has been impossible for anyone else to get in. But now Magnus has stopped, and I don’t think Johnie or I will be doing this for too many more years, I think it will be an opportunity for a few young crews to come in. There are some doing really well in Gothenburg at the moment.'

In the meantime, Hansen would like to nail the World Championship title finally. 'We try to make our practice very good quality, we plan our practice well in advance - really pinpoint our weaknesses and our individual weaknesses, so we all have a few areas that we can work on for this year. If everyone raises their level a little bit, we can go all the way.'

As to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour venues this year, Hansen is one of the few on the World Tour who has previously raced in the Sopot, Poland, where there is a new event this season. 'It’s a fantastic venue, I think that will be a really nice event. They will put on a great show. They have one of these piers like in the south of England - it’s a holiday place for Polish people.'

Hansen is now 47, making him the oldest skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, although he is keen to point out that his crew is younger. 'Maybe I am a little bit childish, which is why we work well together! It feels like we have a good set-up. The guy I started racing keelboats with always said ‘a happy boat is a fast boat’ and it was always great fun sailing with him, so I am trying to keep it that way on our boat. We are doing this because we think it is extremely fun and when we don’t think it is fun anymore we should do something WMRT website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Kids rangeT Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
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