World Match Racing Tour - YANMAR Racing show their steel

Gilmour v Berntsson, qualifying day 4. WMRT 2011 Match Race Germany
© Chris Davies/AWMRT
Stage 2 of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour, Match Race Germany is being sailed at Langenargen, Lake Constance. YANMAR Racing’s skipper Peter Gilmour has had three World Match Racing Tour wins at this venue and is looking for another.

Their 2011 Round Robin matches had been tough and Gilmour with his regular crew of Yasuhiro Yaji, Kazauhiko Sofuku, Thierry Douillard and Cameron Dunn started Day 3, with just two wins after five matches.

However the Australian team love big boats and strong conditions. A strong front came across Germany overnight and there was a lot of rain and pretty chopped up sea, so the YANMAR Racing Team were looking for early success, in the one design Bavaria 40 S's.

In their first match YANMAR Racing led Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team off the start line and round the top mark. Richard rolled into the lead down the run and Gilmour picked up a penalty. Gilmour managed to extinguish it at the top of the second beat, but in doing so lost the lead and Richard sailed to a win.

The next battle was against Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino. It was blowing 15-17 knots, fairly fresh and bouncy. In heavy rain, Gilmour won a tight start, he was to leeward but could not hold position.

Approaching the top mark Bruni, controlling the match, took Gilmour out to the layline and then led back to the top mark. Rounding five lengths ahead Bruni sailed away to a good win.

Now with just two wins from seven matches, it looked like Gilmour would be the first big name to crash out of the event. But then came the YANMAR Racing fight back.

Their next battle was with Eric Monnin (SUI), Team Ocalys Corum. Gilmour started to windward of Monnin. He had control of the race as they headed up the course and covered carefully to win in a mistake free display.

Now it was 3-5 for the four times World Match Racing champion

A lucky escape against Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team. Gilmour was in trouble as they approached the first mark, four lengths behind. However the mark was dragging and race officials attempted a late course change. It disadvantaged Berntsson who protested the Race Committee and the Race was abandoned.

The re-run race was close. At the bottom of the first run, there was an overlap as they rounded the mark. Berntsson was penalised and Gilmour won the match.

Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing Team - WMRT 2011 Match Race Germany
© Chris Davies/AWMRT

In the second last match of the Round Robin YANMAR Racing convincingly beat Stefan Meister (GER). Now 5-5, the Quarterfinals were looking closer.

The final match against the talented young Kiwi Phil Robertson and his WAKA Racing Team was exciting, as the two boats battled around the course, with every tack and gybed being covered.

Robertson was the very narrow leader at the first spinnaker drop but the immeasurably experienced match racer Gilmour engaged. Robertson was handed an immediate penalty, Gilmour took the lead and held it to win.

YANMAR Racing was into the quarter finals, with a 6-5 result.

Dockside Gilmour was much relieved ‘ All in all it was a difficult day of sailing, trying to get comfortable on the boats. They don’t like heeling over too much and it took a while to get used to them. It was a long day on the water.

'However we are fairly happy with the day and feeling quite upbeat. I think tomorrow with lighter air it will be very interesting. We are looking forward to the first to three wins quarter finals and we hope to go on from there. '

Standings after the Third Qualifying Session

Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 9-2 who goes straight to the semi finals

Now to contest the quarter finals are these six teams

Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 8-3
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 8-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 7-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 7-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 6-5
Eugeney Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy 6-5

Now heading home are

Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Okalys Corum 5-6
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4-7
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 4-7
William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing 2-9
Stefan Meister (GER) 0-11

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