Sail-World.com : Nord Stream Race - Match racing victory for Team Germany
Nord Stream Race - Match racing victory for Team Germany
Saturday 20th October saw the five-strong Swan 60’s battle it out for the Nord Stream Matching Racing title. Having arrived in Helsinki just yesterday after completing the first leg of the 750 nautical mile race, today, saw a change in race disciplines for the crews. The Match Racing event took place in the harbour overlooking one of the only churches in Finland that also acts as a lighthouse which provided the backdrop to light winds and a calm sea state.
The Round Robin structure of the Match Racing ensured all teams raced each other in short, quick, one on one races with the Umpire Team and International Jury keeping a close eye. Light and shifty conditions of eight knots meant that tactical decisions were all the more significant for the teams getting ahead of their opponent.
Team Germany supported by Stroygazmontaz were in dominant form with Jesper Radich, previous World Match Racing Champion, brought in to raise the performance levels for the day within the specialist discipline of Match Racing, taking all four Round Robin wins.
Team Russia supported by Gazprom with Tommaso Chieffi at the helm for the day ended the round robin in second place with three wins - just losing once to Team Germany, both of which proceeded to first and second playoffs.
Gazprom Internationals’ Team Holland with Klaartje Zuiderbaan on the helm for the day won two races and lost two races finished in third place after the Round Robin, just ahead of Team Europe sponsored by Nord Stream who took fourth place, both of which raced for the third / fourth playoff. Klaartje Zuiderbaan was invited along to helm with Team Holland to complete the all Dutch team. Klaartje commented: 'I have been match racing since 1996/97, I quit just before it became Olympic. But before that time I did the whole women’s circuit and we also qualified for some world events. In Holland in those times, Match Racing was the big thing and it is a pleasure to sail today in the Gazprom Swan 60 class for Team Holland.'
The playoffs certainly stepped up a gear as all four teams were determined to win their round and the competition certainly got serious. In the playoffs for the final, Team Germany put in an excellent effort against Team Russia in the first round and seemed set for a clean win until Russia piled on the pressure and caused Germany to penalty. Russia took the second round win opening the title for all to play for in the final round.
Team Germany took the final win with marginal boat lengths to spare providing extremely exciting racing for spectators. Thomas Jungblut, skipper of Team Germany commented: 'This is the first day racing with the boat, as we had technical problems for first leg so I am really happy the team did such great job! I was hoping we were going to have a good day but I didn’t expect to win. It’s been a very technical day, involving good starts and quick decisions! We now have a day off tomorrow so my crew deserve a drink tonight. We are delighted to win today’s match racing.'
For third and fourth position it was down to Team Holland and Team Europe to battle it out, with a similar pattern to the final playoffs for Team Holland, winning the first and the last round of the playoffs. All five teams put in a fighting performance and have demonstrated the sheer skill of the Nord Stream Race crews.
The Prize Giving in the Hospitality tent located in Market Square alongside the fleet of Swan 60s was where Team Germany received the Nord Stream Race Inshore Trophy presented by the Buss Group and the NRV, having won two out of the three final races and are now crowned Nord Stream Race Match Racing Champions.
The Match Racing has provided a new and enjoyable dimension to this already inaugural Nord Stream Race, organised by the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg and is due to continue with the start of the second leg to Visby, Gotland on Monday 22nd October.
Round Robin Results:
Team Germany 4 Wins - 0 Losses
Team Russia 3 Wins - 1 Loss
Team Holland 2 Wins - 2 Losses
Team EU 1 Win - 3 Losses
Team France 0 Wins - 4 Losses
Petty Final Results:
Team Holland 2 wins - 1 loss
Team Europe 1 win - 2 losses
Team Germany 2 wins - 1 loss
Team Russia 1 win - 2 losses
Team Germany 6 wins - 1 loss
Team Russia 4 wins - 3 losses
Team Holland 4 wins - 3 losses
Team Europe 2 wins - 5 losses
Nord Stream Race website
by Philippa Holloway
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8:46 PM Sat 20 Oct 2012GMT
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