BlackMatch Racing reports from the Marseilles International Matchracing regatta
Hello again from BlackMatch in France, Today served up great conditions here in Marseille, beautiful sailing with an 8 knot breeze in the morning rising to 12 knots by the afternoon in a day that saw some very exciting racing and the completion of the quarterfinals. We had a tough day against the Alinghi team helmed by America's Cup winner Ed Baird but came out eventual winners, taking it to the wire and winning by a 3-2 margin.
At 2-1 down we had an even start in the must win forth match but were handed a penalty when we were deemed to have tacked too close to the talented American. The rest of this 'do or die' match was a battle for us to gain enough of a lead to complete our penalty turn and a fierce tacking duel ensued up the first beat. We managed to gain a significant lead, pushing Ed out to the unfavoured right hand side of the course on both upwinds. By the second upwind we had completed our penalty turn in a position that allowed us to still have a tight cover and keep defending our lead while we sailed a nice final downwind to take the win.
Match point and the final race saw a very hard fought prestart while both teams tussled for the favoured pin end of the line. We were to leeward and luffed them over the start line before the start gun sounded, however we were also judged to be over the line and gybed around the pin to 're-start. Ed tacked and also gybed to return to the start line but he now had the starboard advantage and had us in his sights as he went in for the kill to try and get a penalty on us. We were however equal to the task and managed to keep clear while the umpires 'green flagged' the incident. Our advantage off the start line was too much in this race as we also sailed the shifts very well to extend away and take victory over the much more experienced team.
It was great to yet again defeat the top qualifier in a regatta after being chosen as we have managed to do so in the past, however in a bizarre twist all of the teams that were chosen by higher ranked teams in last nights press conference, managed upset wins today. Australian Torvar Mirsky defeating World Champion Ian Williams in straight sets while Paolo Cian was defeated by Damien Iehl, after he chose to race the crafty Frenchman.
Tomorrow is the final day of the regatta and semi finals and finals will be completed to decide who will be the winner of the opening World Tour Event here in Marseille. Damien Iehl has chosen to race us so we are hoping to keep the momentum of our win today rolling into the semi final, while defending champion Mathieu Richard will race Torvar Mirsky in the other semi final match up.
For all media coverage, results and photos please visit www.worldmatchracingtour.com
FedEx Express and Line 7 are our two sponsors who have stuck by us throughout our World Tour campaign and we would like to yet again thank them for their support. To the RNZYS, Emirates Team New Zealand and everyone else, thank you also for your support.