Korea Match Cup 2011 is the third stage of the World Matching Racing Tour being held in the Gyeonggi Province, on the waters of Jeongok harbour. The second Qualifying Session was held today (9th June).
A controversial umpiring decision saw Ian Williams snatch victory from Peter Gilmour in the most exciting duel of Qualifying Session Two. The victory put Williams safely into third place just one point behind joint leaders Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.
Four times match racing world champion Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing led off the line, managing to stave off the attacks from Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar as the two went head to head in what turned out to be the race of the day.
Williams picked up a penalty during a luffing match rounding mark two when he didn't keep clear having been given plenty of room but edged past Gilmour, extending his lead to 27 seconds by the penultimate mark. Williams waited until the very last moment to offload his penalty on the finishing line, tangling with Gilmour just metres from the finish line. Williams finished his penalty on starboard, having opted not to take it around the mark itself, but Gilmour was owed room at the finish mark.
Calls that Williams had caused contact flew from Gilmour’s camp but their protest was dismissed by the on-the-water umpires and Williams snuck across the line to take the win. The victory put Williams safely into third place just one point behind joint leaders Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.
Gilmour slipped from the commanding position he started the day in but has five more matches to sail, with a big match against Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team awaiting him in the first flight tomorrow.
'It was a frustrating call from the umpire, who I don’t think was in the right position to see the incident,' Gilmour said. 'I think if they looked at it again now they might come to a different decision. However it’s one of those things and I would choose to have on-the-water umpires every day of the week over any other system of judging.'
Defending Korea Match Cup champion Mathieu Richard made a marked improvement on yesterday’s results after scoring three wins from three races including a controversial victory over an on-form Bruni. The Italian also had a good day on the waters of Jeongok harbour in the Gyeonggi Province winning three of his four clashes.
Bruni got off to an impressive start taking down Sung Wook Kim (KOR) Busan Match Team seamlessly before showing his class against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat. With around 30 seconds to go until the starting gun, Bruni forced Mirsky the wrong side of the starting boat. Mirsky made a quick spin but the damage was done and Bruni accelerated off the line with four boat lengths to play with. It was a lead that Mirsky could do nothing about and Bruni claimed the victory.
The flagship match of the early flights saw Bruni take on Richard in testing conditions with the tide in the harbour dropping out rapidly. A textbook start from Richard gave him the early advantage but by the first mark the pair were neck and neck. Just as Bruni started to pull away from his rival he ran aground in the shallow waters and the race was abandoned.
The resail saw Richard once again dominate the start, covering Bruni tightly up to the first mark and keeping the lead until the finish. It was heartbreak for Bruni but a big result for Richard, who went on to claim the win.
Richard said: 'Yesterday we had an ok result but today we really stepped it up winning all our matches. I’m very happy with our score of 6-2 going into the third day but we’re still a long way from the 2011 Korea Match Cup title.'
Despite winning a match against Reuben Corbett (NZL) AON Racing, it is now not possible for Korean skipper Sun Wook Kim to progress to the Quarterfinals.
Qualifying Session Three kicks off tomorrow at 1000 local time (GMT+9). The aim is to complete the eight remaining flights tomorrow, weather permitting. They include some crucial pairings including Peter Gilmour versus Damien Iehl and the all-British battle of Ian Williams against Paul Campbell-James (GBR) Dream Team. Standings after the second Qualifying Session:
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-2
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 6-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 5-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 5-3
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 4-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-4
Paul Campbell-James (GBR) Dream Team 3-3
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-3
Bjorn Hansen (DEN) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 1-5
Reuben Corbett (NZL) AON Racing Team 1-7
Sung Wook Kim (KOR) Busan Match Team 1-7 2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings (after 2 stages):
1 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 39 pts
2 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 37pts
3 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 32pts
4 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 28pts
5 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 23pts
6 Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team – 22pts
7 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 19pts
8 Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy – 16pts
9 Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan – 14pts
10 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 10pts Korea Match Cup website World Match Racing Tour website