sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : World Match Racing Tour - Williams on the brink of perfection + Video
World Match Racing Tour - Williams on the brink of perfection + Video

'Ian Williams and crew in action'    Ian Roman/WMRT    Click Here to view large photo

Match racer Ian Williams has been the dominant force on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour in recent years. The four-time World Champion from Great Britain came close to achieving a record fifth title at the end of last season, which would have put him ahead of the legendary Peter Gilmour’s tally of four. As it is, the GAC Pindar skipper already sits ahead of other latter-day greats such as Ed Baird, Peter Holmberg and Russell Coutts.

However there has been a new star in the ascendant, Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands who in his first full year on the Tour became World Champion by the smallest of margins. Phil Robertson from New Zealand was on fire at the Monsoon Cup last November, dispatching Canfield and the USone team in the Semi-Finals. But Canfield could still win the season if Robertson won in Malaysia. All Canfield could do was watch from the sidelines and hope that the Kiwi skipper of WAKA Racing could continue his strong form against GAC Pindar in the Finals. Robertson did not disappoint, beating Williams 3-1 and in so doing, anointing Canfield as the new World Champion.



Canfield would also prevail over Williams in the final of the Congressional Cup in April this year, so the US Virgin Islander could reasonably have been considered the favourite coming into Match Race Germany, the opening event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Then again, the conditions and the challenge of competing on Lake Constance in southern Germany are unique. The wheel-steered Bavaria 40-footers are the biggest boats on the Tour, and the winds are usually very light. Although USone proved their all-round abilities in winning the 2013 Tour, Canfield’s crew have had more experience, and more success, in the lighter, smaller boats.

Williams on the other hand returned to the small, picturesque town of Langenargen as the defending champion of Match Race Germany. He has a good track record at this event, as does Robertson who won here two years ago, and Francesco Bruni the year before that. This will be Bruni’s first full season on the Tour for some time. The Italian veteran of three Olympic Games and a helmsman/tactician for the Luna Rossa America’s Cup challenge was looking for a circuit to keep his instincts and reactions in top order. 'We are here to compete in a high level circuit where you have to think fast and react fast,' he says. 'That's what it's all about: racing in a group to keep the communication rolling and the brain thinking fast. We know that the boats [in Match Race Germany] are a lot slower [compared with high-speed foiling catamarans], but it's not a big difference in the way you have to react.'

Among Bruni’s crew are former Tour skipper and 2009 World Champion Adam Minoprio from New Zealand, and Shannon Falcone, who has recently joined Luna Rossa after winning the America’s Cup last year with Team Oracle USA. Another member of that Cup-winning team present in Langenargen was the AC72 wing trimmer Kyle Langford, on this occasion calling tactics for his fellow Australian David Gilmour, a new Tour Card holder. 'It’s great to come back and do the Alpari World Match Racing Tour,' says Langford. 'It’s been a while and it’s showing - I’m really rusty at making tactical calls and keeping my head out of the boat, so it’s really good for staying sharp. The boats are not so relevant [to the Cup], but the racing, the quick decisions and the crew work are really crucial. This is where I got my break, competing on the Tour, and anyone who’s competing at this level has got a good shot at getting involved in a Cup team.'



For Qualifying, each of the five-man 12 teams representing 10 nations would race each other once. Williams is so often the master of this first phase of competition, and so it proved in Langenargen as he went on to win all but one of his 11 matches, losing only to up-and-coming Wild Card invitee from Denmark, Nicolai Sehested. 'It's classic Match Race Germany conditions,' said Williams. 'We were a bit lucky to be in the right place at the right time and managed to sniggle round ahead of the other guys.' He was quick to credit his crew with putting the boat in the right place at the ever-critical start time, particularly his bowman Matt Cornwell and tactician Bill Hardesty. 'Catflap and Bill have been running good timing into the start. If you have called the pressure correctly and get your timing back to the line right, then it's pretty hard for the other boat to put pressure on you.'

Williams’ dominance of Qualifying earned him a free pass straight through to the Semi-Finals, while six other teams would battle it out in the Quarter-Finals. As runner-up to GAC Pindar in Qualifying, Robertson had first pick of his opponents, and selected Gilmour as being the least experienced of all the remaining skippers. Bjorn Hansen of Sweden selected Mathieu Richard of France, leaving Keith Swinton of Australia to face Canfield.

Despite the reigning World Champion only just scraping into the Quarters, Canfield would have been most neutral observers’ favourite for the battle with Swinton. But the Team Alpari FX skipper was unfazed by his younger rival’s growing reputation and booked his spot in the Semi-Finals, along with Richard and Robertson who also moved through to the final four.

2014 Match Race Germany - Ian Williams, Gerry Mitchell-Mainsheet, Bill Hardesty-Tactics, Malcolm Parker-Trimmer, Matthew Cornwall - Bowman. -  Ian Roman-WMRT   Click Here to view large photo

Williams hates the so-called privilege of being able to choose his opponent at the Semi-Finals stage of Tour events. 'Picking in the Semi-Finals is more of disadvantage than advantage, because you always have three strong teams to pick from,' says the Briton, who sometimes wonders whether it would be better to do what Russell Coutts used to, and pick a name out of a hat. However, he selected Richard and duly beat him in the first match when GAC Pindar succeeded in pushing LunaJets over the line early. The next match was much harder fought, however, with the two teams vying for supremacy until LunaJets broke away and left the British trailing by some distance. However, the fickle weather seemed to have sided with Williams as the already light breeze completely shut down, forcing the match to be abandoned with Richard just metres from the finish. The Frenchman was magnanimous despite seeing a crucial victory slip away so cruelly. Williams acknowledged his lucky break, but carried on inexorably to the Final with a 2-0 victory. Swinton did the same against Robertson, winning 2-0 margin and moving into the Final.

With principal race officer Rudi Magg battling to complete the schedule before cutoff time, it became a one-match Final in light airs. Williams had won the match almost before it began as he put Team Alpari FX under pressure in the pre-start. Swinton ran into the committee boat at start time, the resulting penalty putting the Perth skipper on the back foot. The four-time World Champion never looked back, and took the vital win. Williams said: 'My team on GAC Pindar have sailed really well all week. Our focus was to keep the speed on the boat at all times, as much as possible.' With his crew of Bill Hardesty, Gerry Mitchell, Mal Parker and Matt Cornwell, Williams was the clear and very deserving winner in Germany. To win all but one of their matches was an incredible achievement.

It had been an incredibly challenging week on Lake Constance, with a massive high-pressure weather system called Wolfgang driving temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, their highest on record in southern Germany for more than 50 years. From a sailing point of view, it meant that wind was in very short supply, and all the sailors paid tribute to the race committee for completing the schedule.

Now the Tour moves on to its second of seven destinations in 2014, to the natural stadium amphitheatre of Marstrand which every year attracts over a hundred thousand spectators to Stena Match Cup Sweden from 30 June – 5 July. The Alpari World Match Racing Tour is one of five special events sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) including America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the PWA World Tour.

WMRT website


by Alpari World Match Racing Tour


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123245

3:55 PM Thu 12 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2014 World Match Racing Tour

Related News Stories:

11 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Team Alpari FX 2nd in Langenargen
11 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Team Gilmour finishes sixth
10 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Williams ousts Swinton to claim event victory
09 Jun 2014  World Match Racing Tour - Narrowly avoiding a banana skin
08 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Team Gilmour into Quarter-Finals
08 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Canfield claims last Quarter-Final spot
07 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Williams continues to set the pace
06 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - GAC Pindar on fire in Langenargen
05 Jun 2014  Match Race Germany - Racers ready for Lake Constance action + Video
03 Jun 2014  World Match Racing Tour - Dutch Match Cup added
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World









Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,


















Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,










Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club? by Dan Ibsen & the Sail-World team, Copenhagen


Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five   
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers   
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party   
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths   
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi on top - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Breezy frustrations   
2014 Detroit Cup - Down to the final four   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Every finisher's a winner   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
J/24 US National Championship - Will Welles leaps into lead   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT