WMRT Korea Match Cup 2012 final qualifying session was a big one for Yanmar Racing, still clawing their way back from a tough opening day at the second event on this year’s Alpari World Match Racing Tour. The day started with the team on three points from seven races and in eighth overall – just the right side of the qualification cut-off for the quarter finals. They were still in eighth place at the end of the day, but there was a lot of drama in between.
Yanmar Racing in action - WMRT Korea Match Cup 2012
Yanmar Racing had four races left to sail, all in the first of the day’s two sessions, and French tactician, Fred Guilmin had predicted that they would need to win at least two to have a chance of going through. They lost the first against the high-flying Swede, Bjorn Hansen; after leading at the start, Yanmar Racing made a slight error at the first mark and Hansen capitalised to take the lead and the win.
Next up was Laurie Jury, the New Zealander on his first Tour. Guilmin described an even start, ‘We were slightly favoured, but then had to bear away to avoid the leeward mark and couldn’t quite get across in front of him to escape to the side that we wanted to be on. So Jury made a gain on that side, but fortunately when we came back together at the first mark, Pete (Peter Gilmour, Skipper, AUS) trapped him into an error and we managed to get the lead. It was tough after that, but we held the lead and got a crucial point.’
Yanmar Racing had one of their two wins, but then lost their third match to Simone Ferrarese. The final opportunity to score was against Tae-Jung Kim, who hadn’t won a race so far in the event, and Gilmour wasn’t about to let him start. Yanmar Racing closed out with the win, and Guilmin explained what happened next, ‘We had won two races, but our destiny was no longer in our hands. Both Pierre-Antoine Morvan and Johnie Berntsson still had three races to sail and if they both won two of them, we would be out.’ As the final qualifying session commenced, the Yanmar team gathered around the television in the crew lounge to watch it play out.
Fred Guilmin takes up the story, ‘Johnie won his first race, but Pierre lost against Ian Williams – then they sailed against each other and Pierre-Antoine won. So if they both won their final races we would be going home. It was really tense watching, and worse when Pierre-Antoine won. Johnie sailed a great race against Phil Robertson, but fortunately, Robertson managed to hold him back and got the win. We went through to the quarter finals on the tie-break.’
‘We got picked by Ian Williams for the quarter final match, which is not a surprise,’ Guilmin continued. ’I think he is looking towards the overall Tour result, and would like to stop us scoring here. He is sailing well, he has a strong team, he’s a smart sailor, he stays calm, and he was training for two days before we even arrived, and I think he has done a lot of work on his pre-start strategy. But we have a plan to beat him, we will attack the starts, it will be 80% of the race, so we will prepare that very carefully.’
The quarter finals are scheduled to begin at 10:00 local time on 2nd June. The Korea Match Cup is the second event on this year’s Tour, is held in Jeongok and Jebu which are part of the Gyeonggi Province, and runs from the 29th May to the 3rd June.
Results after Qualifying, Korea Match Cup
Phil Robertson 9pt
Ian Williams 8pt
Björn Hansen 7pt
Torvar Mirsky 7pt
Simone Ferrarese 6pt
William Tiller 6pt
Pierre-Antoine Morvan 6pt
Peter Gilmour 5pt
Laurie Jury 5pt
Johnie Berntsson 5pt
Byeong-Ki Park 1pt
Tae-Jung Kim 0pt
Yanmar Racing website