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Williams upset by protest at Match Race Germany

by WMRT media on 12 May 2008
Team Pindar - Match Race Germany WMRT © http://www.worldmatchracingtour.com

The quarterfinal round robin got under way Sunday afternoon, after being postponed in the morning due to lack of wind. Lake Constance looked like a millpond until the breeze rolled in around 2pm, and an easterly which reached up to 15 knots continued well into the evening allowing five of the seven flight round robin to be raced.

'There were good matches and good wind today, and a lot of close situations. We had eight penalties and 20 green flags, and the sailors kpet us very busy' said Chief Umpire Gerard Bosse. Unfortunately Peter Wibroe suffered mechanical failure on his boat and after flight three all matches against Wibroe were postponed until tomorrow. The boat will be repaired overnight.

With the wind direction perfect for the spectators on the shore, day 3 of Match Race Germany provided the closest matches of the regatta. Confusion arose in flight one, when the course for the match between Mathieu Richard and Team Pindar's Ian Williams was changed during the race. However the signal boat was not in position in time to tell Richard, who was leading, about the change of course so he sailed to the original top mark, while Williams went to the new mark.

Richard finished in front but Williams protested Richard for rounding the wrong mark. The protest was dismissed as the jury decided that Richard was far enough in front that had the signal boat alerted him in time to the change, he still would have won. 'I understand the jury’s decision, but from my perspective we never had a chance to win because we were sailing a different course,' explained a frustrated Williams.

Jes Gram Hansen led Bjorn Hansen around the course in flight two and despite getting a tear in his spinnaker on the final downwind leg, managed to hold on to the lead to cross the finish line in front. At the press conference Bjorn commented 'it was just one of those days when you wished you hadn’t got out of bed, we haven’t had one of those days in two years.'

Sebastian Col’s KChallenge/French Match Racing Team approached the top mark with Mathieu Richard overlapped inside in their match in flight two. Col failed to give him room to round and received a penalty. However at the finish line Richard attempted to sail between Col and the committee boat, misjudged the gap and made contact with Col, receiving a penalty and a red flag penalty. Col’s penalty was then cancelled out so he went on to win the race.

In flight three, Col took an early lead, but on the downwind leg Markus Wieser’s Team Sea Dubai came from 4 boat lengths behind to round the bottom mark ahead. The teams then sailed opposite sides of the course on the second upwind leg, and Markus paid for not covering Col when he trailed him around the top mark. Heading towards the finish the lead changed again with Markus finishing ahead of Col and claiming victory.

Ian Williams and Mathieu Richard finish the day with five wins and twolosses.

Quaterfinal Results

1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-2
2. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 5-2
3. Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) Trifork Racing 5-2
4. Damien Iehl (FRA) Team Sinbad 4-3
5. Markus Wieser (GER) Team Sea Dubai 3-4
6. Sebastien Col (FRA) K Challenge/French Match Racing Team 3-4
7. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 2-5
8. Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team 1-6

For more information about the World Match Racing Tour, visit the WMRT website at www.worldmatchracingtour.com.
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