On the final day of competition in an exciting Semi-Final and Final series of racing, David Gilmour and his Team Gilmour crew of Luke Payne and Peter Nicholas have won the 2013 Detroit Cup, the second stop on the ISAF Grade 2 US Grand Slam series.
The West Australia-based team made a blitzkrieg run through the field of 12 teams from three countries, losing only two matches throughout the four days of competition at the host venue of Bayview YC.
'We’re hoping this will start some momentum for us going into the remaining Grand Slam events,' said Gilmour, whose ninth place in the first event in Chicago did not get him off to a fast start to the series of four events. Two more events remain in this series in the next two weeks: the Knickerbocker Cup in Manhasset Bay, NY later this week, followed by the Oakcliff International the following week in Oyster Bay, NY.
The Detroit area today delivered perfect sunny skies and a building southwesterly breeze that topped 15 knots in the Finals, allowing race managers to complete their entire format of a first-to-three point Semi-Final and Final rounds.
Semi-Final action started with local Bayview-based Chris Van Tol up against Auckland-based Chris Steele, where Steele’s match race prowess overcame Van Tol’s knowledge of the Ultimate 20’s and the currents of the venue to win 3-0.
The other Semi-Final featured new Bayview member and Detroit Cup qualifier winner Matt Graham facing Gilmour. Despite some strong attempts, the Aussie team dominated the young local team in every match to go to through on a 3-0 score to face the Kiwis in a Down Under Final.
By find a favorable shift on the left side, Gilmour took the lead and never looked back in Match one to take the first point in the series. In Match two, it looked like Steele would be in trouble when Gilmour drew a penalty on the Kiwis in the pre-start, but Steele fought back hard and pinned Gilmour against the pin end of the start, with Aussies hooking the mark in the strong current and earning themselves an offsetting penalty as well as having to re-round the mark to start several lengths behind.
All tied up, Match three started badly for Gilmour who got a penalty in the pre-start, but was saved when a timing error by the race committee prompted a re-start to the match. Gilmour and team then fought hard in the building breeze to get another strong start off Steele, connecting the shifts to gain in the building breeze to win – score 2-1.
In Match four, Gilmour again got the start they wanted at the pin, with Steele forced to a late tack at the signal boat to give the Aussies just enough lead to make the first cross and once again play the shifts beautifully to extend throughout the match.
Team Gilmour is breaking up to race on other boats for the next event in the Grand Slam series, but is reconvening for the final event at Oakcliff. Winner of the Grand Slam series receives an invitation to the Grade 1 2014 Congressional Cup in Long Beach, as well as an invitation to the only US event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the Chicago Match Cup.
Leading the Grand Slam series after two stops is Chris Steele with a runner-up finish in both Chicago and now Detroit.
For more information about the US Grand Slam series, and interviews with teams entered in the series, visit USA Match Racing website
For more information, results, photos and videos from Isao Toyoma, including livestream video commentary provided by Dobbs Davis, visit Detroit Cup website
by Luiz E. Kahl
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6:37 AM Mon 26 Aug 2013GMT
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