At Match Race Germany, Ian Williams dropped a race to Nicolai Sehested today after losing the start to the young Dane, but otherwise it was another good outing for the four-time World Champion on day two.
The GAC Pindar team from Great Britain continue to top the Qualifying scoreboard, with New Zealand’s Phil Robertson and Australia’s Keith Swinton just behind. After making a return to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour last October, Francesco Bruni steered the Luna Rossa crew to victory over Ben Ainslie at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda.
Now with a Tour Card for the 2014 season, Bruni is looking to make an impact, to win the World Championship for his America’s Cup team, Luna Rossa. Today’s match between the three-time Olympian and the reigning Match Racing World Champion, Taylor Canfield, was the one that everyone was waiting for. The breeze was extremely light on Lake Constance, but the Italians saw something they fancied on the left-hand side of the course and got the start they was looking for. 'We wanted to go left,' said Bruni, 'we went left, but in reality there was a small edge on the right. Canfield rounded two lengths ahead. We did a lot of gybes, thought we could roll him, but he stayed ahead. We got close at the bottom and came close to making him tack but didn't quite manage it.'
Sitting on a win/loss score of 2/4, Bruni needs to up his game if he’s to make it safely through to the knock-out stages of the competition, which concludes this Monday. 'In this light wind we haven't been sharp enough or lucky enough. Yesterday was a very bad day, because we were not leading back to the line enough. If you do that in these light winds, you just end up following off the line. It was a time-on-distance problem. Today was 100% better, even if the results don't say this. We just have to keep on doing things at the right time, don't rush things.'
No team is taking anything for granted, and everyone is seizing every chance to learn new skills. Canfield was fifth last year, his first visit to Match Race Germany, and his USone crew are eager to improve on this. 'We learned from yesterday, to keep the kite up a bit longer at the bottom mark, keep on the momentum, and it seemed to work out,' said the US Virgin Islander. 'This super-light air is very challenging. A lot of the breeze isn't even dropping down to the water, so reading the conditions is very hard.'
Match Race Germany is the centrepiece of a weekend festival of fun and entertainment in the small town of Langenargen, and tonight is WAKA skipper Phil Robertson’s opportunity to wear his leather trousers at the Lederhosen Party in the Erdinger Hut. However, with eight flights of Qualifying still to run, principal race officer Rudi Magg has scheduled racing to start at 6am, to make the most of the morning breeze before it dies. So there are some tough tactical decisions for the teams tonight - a trade-off between beer time and beauty sleep in preparation for a crucial and possibly brutal day on the Lake on Saturday. Stage 1 Match Race Germany, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
Results after Flight 14
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 7-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 6-2
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 5-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 5-3
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 4-2
Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team 3-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 3-3
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-5
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 2-4
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) TRE-For Match Racing 2-6
Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team 1-5
Carsten Kemmling (GER) SegelReporter 1-7 WMRT website