Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing crew of Cameron Dunn, Yasuhiro Yaji, Thierry Douillard and Martin Berntsson have reached the semi-finals of Korea Match Cup 2011 in Gyeonggi Province, Korea.
Hansen v Gilmour - Korea Match Cup 2011
The path to the semi finals of Stage 3 of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour was a torturous one for the Australian skipper and his crew, who went into this event third on the overall Tour points table.
After a blazing first day where YANMAR Racing finished atop the leader board with a 4-1 score, nothing seemed to go right. They lost to Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team and then to Bjorn Hansen (DEN) Mekonomen Sailing Team and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.
Peter Gilmour drops his gennaker as he executes a penalty turn - 11th June, qualifier 4 - Korea Match Cup 2011
But the turn around came when they defeated Reuben Corbett (NZL) AON Racing Team and Sung Wook Kim (KOR) Busan Match Team, giving YANMAR Racing an overall 6-5 result, which enabled them to scrape into the quarter finals in sixth place.
As the qualifying round leader, Ian Williams went straight through to the semi finals so the number two placed had the choice of opponent. Mathieu Richard chose Bjorn Hansen, Francesco Bruni chose Johnie Berntsson which left Torvar Mirsky (AUS), The Wave Muscat and YANMAR Racing to match up.
But as he has done many times before, Gilmour the four times ISAF World Match Racing World Champion, lifted in the quarter finals to become a much feared opponent.
Dockside Gilmour recounted. ‘We have had a bit of a turnaround day today. We lost two and won two in the final rounds of the qualifiers.
‘Racing against Torvar we won the start and went right leading up the first leg but the breeze went left and he led us at the top mark and went on to win.
‘In the second race he tried the same thing again. He went left and it looked like he was quite a way in front of us. But the breeze came back our way again as Cameron Dunn our tactician predicted and we just led at the top mark. Torvar did a pretty good job of hunting us down at the bottom mark but we kept inside and got to the favoured right again and as we went round the top mark for the last time we just led and won that second race.
‘In the final race we were controlling him pretty well in the pre-start and managed to get a red flag penalty on him which Torvar had to do immediately after the start. The race was over then and there. 2-1.
‘All in all for YANMAR Racing, Cameron has been doing an outstanding job keeping us going.
‘Ian Williams has chosen to race against Bjorn Hansen in the semi finals so we will be racing against Francesco Bruni.
‘Francesco has been sailing quite well all week so we are going to really have to lift our game up a notch, like we did against Torvar and probably sail a little bit cleaner and a little bit smarter. We look forward to the day tomorrow.’
Certainly the battle against Bruni could be epic. It will be a rematch of the final of Match Race Germany of two weeks ago when Bruni won.
With Damien Iehl, currently second on the 2011 Tour, crashing out of this event without making the quarter finals, the current leader Bruni and Gilmour will both improve their position on the 2011 World Match Racing Tour table. By just how much will be decided tomorrow.
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