Four times ISAF World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour, whose YANMAR Racing Team is currently fourth on the 2011 World Match Racing Tour leader board, crashed out of the Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton Bermuda today.
Four of the big teams - Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Gilmour, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Phil Robertson (NZL) were all in one of the three round robin groups. Four teams were locked together; one was going home, two would go through to the quarter finals and one would have to fight through the repecharge.
Mirsky lifted his game, the 2010 WMRT runner up winning all three of his matches to pull himself into top spot, his last win at the cost of Peter Gilmour (AUS) and his YANMAR Racing crew, who had to win the match to survive and go into the repechage.
Gilmour, the three-time Gold Cup winner said 'It was an important day today and we had to do a lot of winning and we didn’t. Our races were against Berntsson, Robertson and Mirsky.
‘We started well. In the first match we were about 10 boat lengths in front of Johnie Berntsson but we received an unexpected penalty because the boundary mark had drifted out of place. That seemed fairly tough but in the end we were unable to convince the jury so we were one down.
'We beat Phil Robertson, who has been continuing his good form, and then Torvar did us over. Overall we feel we are sailing well, just without any luck at this event.
'Certainly we are very pleased with our new tactician Simon Shaw, who is now with us as Cameron Dunn is heading off in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. And we are very much looking forward to the Monsoon Cup. in Malaysia.
'We will receive average points from the (cancelled) Denmark event. Our average event placing has been 4.25 and as Francesco Bruni had selected not to sail in Denmark, we are better placed on the WMRT leader board as a result.
‘So when that score is added, the board tightens up, so we are still in the hunt.
'Just who has a chance of winning the Tour hinges on the next few days; if the winner of this event is Ian Williams, then he will take a good lead into the Monsoon Cup. If not, the title could still be wide open so the next few days are going to be both exciting and critical.'
Gilmour continued. ‘While we are out, we have enjoyed this regatta.
'There is a unique element to this event; previously the seeded skippers, 16 teams, used to do double round robins and eight used to go against seeds. Now three groups of eights do round robins.
'This means we get to talk to and race against many more of the young teams. To see sailors like Taylor Canfield having a red hot go is wonderful. There is some impressive new talent in this group, they are fearless and they certainly represent the future.
'Tour CEO Jim O'Toole did a presentation for 2012 to potential Tour card holders and there was a huge amount of interest from young sailors; there are opportunities for them.’ Results after Qualifying Session Three:
Q - Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Q - Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 6-1
Q - Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 6-1
Q - Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-2
Q - Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 5-2
Q - Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-3
R - Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 5-2
R - Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekononmen Sailing Team 4-3
R - Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team ISV 4-3
R - Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4-3
R - Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-2
Overall Championship Standings – after six stages:
1 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – 90pts
2 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 89pts
3 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 84pts
4 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 74pts
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 73pts
6 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 67pts
7 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 63pts
8 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 61pts
9 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – 48pts
10 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 43pts
World Match Racing Tour website
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