Rising Danish Match Racer Nicolai Sehested will be looking to step up his game at the Stena Match Cup Sweden, the second stage on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Sehested and his Trefor Match Racing team have received the final wild card invite this week, which now completes the line-up for the 20th anniversary edition of the event – 14 elite teams will come to Marstrand to battle it out for one of the most prestigious awards in match racing.
After a disappointing start, at the first stage - Match Race Germany, Sehested and his team have been practising intensely for this upcoming event. However, with a win against Ian Williams in Qualifying on Lake Constance, this has made him more confident competing against the elite sailors.
'We had a really difficult time in Germany but now we are looking forward to some tight match racing in Marstrand and we are really hungry to show what we can do,' says Sehested who will come well prepared to Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014.
'We have been practicing quite a lot in the DS37's in Copenhagen. Also, this week I’m racing in the Extreme Sailing Series in Russia and everyone in the team will be on the water every day until Marstrand. Every team needs to be at their best, and if we are at our very best we can dream about the Semis and then the Finals.'
With a wild card invitation to Stena Match Cup Sweden, qualifying to the Sopot Match Race in Poland and other Tour events later in the year, Sehested will be aiming to climb up the Tour leaderboard to secure an invite to the final event, the Monsoon Cup, the season finale of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Statistically, Trefor Match Racing have been steadily climbing the ISAF international match racing ranking over the last couple of years and are currently in seventh place. A great achievement indeed for Sehested and his team as their journey to the top ten started out as some fun with his friends.
After capturing a couple of good results, the Danish energy company Trefor stepped in as sponsors for Sehested and his team to strengthened their commitment to their match racing campaign. This allowed the team to travel to more events abroad, where they took the opportunity to show their potential on the international stage.
'We did really well last season and we won three Grade 2 events. A good result at the end of this season should make us likely candidates for a Tour Card in 2015, but we also want a great result this year – we are ready to fight the other teams on the Tour', said Sehested.
The 25 year old skipper applied for a Tour Card to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour this season, which would have guaranteed entry to all Tour events. But when that didn’t materialize, the team had a Plan B which was to secure invites by competing at qualifying events and that investment has paid off.
The line-up for Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014 is now complete and the 14 teams entering the regatta all have the potential to reach the Finals. Sailing legends Magnus Holmberg (SWE) and Ed Baird (USA) both return to Marstrand to celebrate the event's 20th anniversary. Ian Williams (GBR) and his team, winners of the tour opener in Germany, and the reigning ISAF World Champion Taylor Canfield, are two of the favourites. But let’s not forget Swedish skipper Björn Hansen who has won the Stena Match Cup Sweden on three occasions including two years in a row and has the chance to take the title for a fourth time this year.
The event will be streamed live on-line all week from the June 30th – July 5th 2014. WMRT website