In the World Match Racing Tour’s Stena Match Cup Sweden, Yanmar Racing sit at the top of the leaderboard after the first qualifying session. It’s the first day of the third event of the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour and Yanmar Racing are seven-time champions on these waters – but they have started as strongly as they could have hoped.
Conditions were almost perfect with a solid south-westerly breeze that blew at up to 18 knots in the early part of the qualifying sessions, before easing a little and then pushing back in for the final race. And Peter Gilmour (AUS, skipper) and his Yanmar Racing crew made the most of it.
The team began with a victory over the young Kiwi skipper, Reuben Corbett and with momentum on their side, they lined up for the second against Torvar Mirsky. Mirsky is something of a protégé of Peter Gilmour’s, both men hail from Western Australia and their matches always have an edge to them – and this was no exception.
Yanmar Racing’s French tactician, Fred Guilmin said it was the toughest race of the day. 'We had the advantage the first time we came together after the start, but we wanted to protect the right [side of the race course] and when we tried a maneuver to do that, Torvar did a nice job and went past. But then we came back together and this time when Torvar tried to tack ahead of us he wasn’t quite far enough ahead, and we managed to attack and he ended up with a penalty.'
But it wasn’t over yet, as Guilmin continued, 'We then stayed close to him and on the second leg we overtook him. So now he is behind and he has a penalty, but up the third leg he gets past us again! It was very close at the top mark though and as we chased him away from the mark I think he maybe didn’t see the obstruction zone that’s intended to keep the boats off the rocks – we pressured him into another foul and that ended it to our advantage.'
Their record now stood at two race wins and no losses, and Yanmar Racing quickly racked up another win, this time against Sweden’s Victor Ogeman, before their first setback of the day. It came against another Scandinavian, the Dane Joachim Aschenbrenner – but Fred Guilmin put his hand up for the loss.
'I made a big mistake in the pre-start,' said Guilmin, 'with about 12 seconds to go I thought I heard Peter [Gilmour] call for the mainsail to come in, but he wanted it let out. So the rudder was fighting the sails and we completely lost control of the Dane when we might have got a penalty on him, then ended up a couple of lengths behind off the line.' The loss was soon forgotten though with a fine win over Finland’s Staffan Lindberg to take their score to four wins and one loss for the day – putting them top of the leaderboard.
Fred Guilmin added, 'Although it was an expensive mistake and cost us the match, it’s part of the learning process. We talked about clearer ways to communicate things, especially as we use English, but this was one of the only times we didn’t understand each other very well and 95% of the time it’s fine.'
Qualifying will resume at 09:00 CET on the 3rd July, and Yanmar Racing will have three flights off before resuming their racing against some top seeds – reigning and triple Tour champion Ian Williams, and local hero Johnie Berntsson.
Qualifying Leaderboard after Day One:
1. Peter Gilmour 4 pts
2. Keith Swinton 3pts
3. Ian Williams 3pts
4. Björn Hansen 2pts
5. Pierre-Antoine Morvan 2pts
6. Joachim Aschenbrenner 2pts
7. Johnie Berntsson 2pts
8. Phil Robertson 2pts
9. Laurie Jury 1pts
10. Staffan Lindberg 1pts
11. Simone Ferrarese 0pts
12. Victor Ogeman 0pts
13. Torvar Mirsky 0pts
14. Reuben Corbett 0pts
World Match Racing Tour website
by Mark Chisnell
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5:19 PM Mon 2 Jul 2012GMT
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