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WMRT Match Race Germany - Yanmar Racing braced for opening action

by Mark Chisnell on 24 May 2012
Pre-regatta-action - WMRT Match Race Germany 2012 © Chris Davies/AWMRT
WMRT Match Race Germany, the first event on this year’s 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), is being held on Lake Constance, at Langenargen in Germany from the 23rd to 28th May.

Yanmar Racing is braced and ready for the opening action on the 2012 Alpari's WMRT. Match Race Germany opened today with practice for the 12 teams, out on Lake Constance. Conditions for the morning practice sessions were misty and overcast, with some rain, but a decent breeze of 5-8 knots blowing down the middle of the alpine lake. The six teams selected to practice in the morning – which included Yanmar Racing – got the better of the deal, as the morning sun slowly burnt through the cloud and killed the wind for the afternoon session.

'We had a good practice session, everyone was good,' commented Peter Gilmour, Yanmar Racing’s skipper and four times World Match Racing Tour title holder. 'This was the first time we’ve sailed this year, and we worked with Fred (Fred Guilmin, tactician, (FRA)) on time and distance. We also had to blow the cobwebs out of Fuku-san (Kazuhiko Sofuku, bow (JPN)) – it’s the first time we’ve sailed this year, but everyone settled in nicely.'

The rest of the crew of Yanmar Racing for Match Race Germany will be Thierry Douillard (FRA), and Yasuhiro Yaji (JPN). 'Suddenly I’m in the language minority,' added Gilmour, 'with two Japanese and two French speakers, we’re not sure what the official language should be this season!'

The forecast for tomorrow’s opening day of racing is for some wind and rain to bring perhaps 8-15 knots to the lake, usually notorious for its light conditions. Gilmour, a three-time winner of Match Race Germany said, 'The boats are heavy, with short keels for lake sailing, they skid easily and so you have to conserve your speed through all the manoeuvres, and really think through every move you make and its possible consequences.'

Looking forward to the event, Gilmour added, 'We’re happiest winning, so if we move back from there, then the least happy position is last. Of course we want to win, but we have to be realistic, the boats and style of racing mean that you have to get into a rhythm quickly, and if you don’t that has a huge impact. So we’re making no rash statements now, we’ll see how things go.'

It will be a long, tough season, with many pundits rating Gilmour as the man most likely to stop three-time World Champion and Tour winner, Ian Williams adding another title to his total. Gilmour commented, 'We wouldn’t be competing if we didn’t think that the best way of stopping Ian Williams from reaching our total of four Tour titles, would be to win a fifth and put it further out of his reach!'

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