Please select your home edition
38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - LEADERBOARD - Sept2021

Robertson set to lead Foreign Charge into GKSS Match Cup Sweden

by WMRT on 27 Jun 2017
GKSS Match Cup Sweden WMRT
Perhaps it is the long Swedish involvement in the World Match Racing Tour such as its present owner Aston Harald Sports, manufacturer of the high performance M32 catamaran.

Perhaps it is the strong following that match racing and match racers have in Sweden. Perhaps it is Marstrand: part dream destination for the start of Swedish summer vacation, part natural sailing amphitheatre. Any of the above could explain why GKSS Match Cup Sweden, taking place over third-8th July next week, is considered the annual highlight of the World Match Racing Tour.

Last year’s event doubled as the Match Racing World Championship and came with a record US$1million prize purse won by Kiwi skipper Phil Robertson and his crew. Robertson and his CHINAone Ningbo team go into this year’s event as favourite among the 18 crews, due to this, but also to their present position topping the 2017 World Match Racing Tour leaderboard. This follows their victory at Match Cup Australia in Perth in March and their subsequent fourth place at the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA.

“The season has really only just started for us in terms of match racing, but we’re pretty happy with where we are at,” says Robertson. “We have just spent a week training in Sweden, so we’re in good shape.”
Usually in match racing the old names come to the fore, but in the ultra-high speed M32 catamarans Robertson says that the younger skippers are shining. “They are learning very fast and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few fresh faces on the podium this year while the older guys struggle. That is just the direction sailing’s going – it’s becoming a younger sport, with faster, more physical boats.”

While he is as Kiwi as roast lamb, Robertson now lives in Gothenburg, less than an hour’s drive from Marstrand, now effectively his ‘home port’. “Personally I think it is one of the best racing locations we go to. 90% of the time the wind blows and I can’t say I’ve a bad memory from there. The other special thing is the spectators. They are very knowledgeable and know all the intricacies which is unique at sailing events.”
Many are also fans. While Wimbledon has Henman Hill, Marstrand has its equivalent for Swedish sailing fans. They will be shouting it out this year for local heroes Johnie Berntsson and the youngsters, Team Sweden’s Måns Holmberg and Nicklas Dackhammar of ESSIQ Racing Team.

“I think in general Swedish spectators cheer for everyone, but I hope a piece of their heart is with the Swedish crews,” muses Berntsson, a Match Cup Sweden veteran. He is eagerly looking forward to next week. “It is one of the best events in the world. Many spectators go there to watch. The environment is very special. I live nearby, so it is a special feeling to sail in front of a lot of friends and family.”

For this season, Berntsson has a largely new crew for his FLUX Team, again with towering athlete Jakob Gustafsson, but now also with Australian match race skipper Keith Swinton. “We have a crew that spends a lot more time in the boat than we have done before, so I hope that will pay off. We have higher expectations this year,” says Berntsson.

As to the form, Berntsson advises that techniques for sailing the M32 have developed a lot in the intervening year and this might change things. “It will be interesting to see how different teams have adopted these new boat handling findings. I think it is not written how it will pan out.”

Some of these techniques are conditions-dependent. At present, the long term forecast indicates a mix of moderate to brisk winds, including Thursday when the wind will be gusting into the high 20s from the west, causing a large swell to roll across the race area.

Racing the World Match Racing Tour’s GKSS Match Cup Sweden takes place over third-8th July.

Boat Books Australia FOOTERJ Composites 2020 - FOOTERWhitehaven / Pearman / Integrity 2021 FOOTER

Related Articles

Shirley Roberston interviews Jangada team
Racing double-handed in the RORC Transatlantic Race Shirley Roberston calls up Jeremy Waitt and Richard Palmer on the satellite phone, as they race across the Atlantic in 'Jangada'. The pair have won the RORC Transatlantic Race before, and are again in the double-handed category.
Posted today at 4:25 pm
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 3
Both races on time with mostly clean starts As predicted a fresh southerly was on the order today. 10-25 knots SSE and very gusty meaning most boats had many capsizes. A few boats retired with gear failure.
Posted today at 10:37 am
100th Australian 18 Footers Championship
A good opportunity to reflect on its history and acknowledge the contributions of designers With the 100th Australian 18 footers Championship scheduled to be sailed on Sydney Harbour from February 5 to 13, it's a good opportunity to reflect on its history and acknowledge the contributions of designers, builders and competitors from NSW.
Posted today at 7:31 am
RORC Transatlantic Race: L4 Trifork finishes
An elapsed time of 9 days 10 hrs 27 mins for the modified Volvo 70 At sunset on the tenth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the modified Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN) finished the RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 9 days 10 hrs 27 mins and 58 secs.
Posted on 18 Jan
A perfect day of winter racing
Sail-World's US Editor tells of a magical day enabled by great teamwork The roads were icy, but far less treacherous than I feared as I eased onto I-5, my car aimed at Seattle's Shilshole Bay Marina. Amazingly, this motif of the day exceeding expectations continued throughout our team's 2022 Duwamish Head Race.
Posted on 18 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 2
Contender camaraderie in perfect Gosford conditions Day two didn't disappoint with perfect Gosford SSE Moderate to fresh breeze building from race 3 to 4. GSC legend Race officer Peter Walsh is doing his third nationals in three weeks and has everything under control and loving the Contender camaraderie.
Posted on 18 Jan
Jack Fenwick joins RS Sailing
As RS21 Class Manager! It's been a few weeks since I started working for RS Sailing and six years since I joined the RYA before that. Not believing in taking time off between roles, I had 14 hours between jobs before diving straight into the new position.
Posted on 18 Jan
Hobart Combined Clubs Harbour Series Races 3 & 4
Pressure mounts in Intrigue and Midnight Rambler contest While the world's cricket fans were focused on the Ashes at Blundstone arena, Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis) and Intrigue (David Calvert) were locked in their own fierce battle in Group 1 of the Combined Clubs Harbour Sailing Series on Saturday.
Posted on 18 Jan
RORC Transatlantic Race: Battle on for overall win
1 teams are still racing in the Atlantic to claim the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy On the tenth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, 21 teams are still racing in the Atlantic for the overall win and to claim the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.
Posted on 18 Jan
2021: The Data Is In
The push towards data-driven performance enhancement rolls on Every year the push towards data-driven performance enhancement rolls on. More sailors get dialled-in to more data inputs, and the gap widens between those adopting smarter race tactics & training practises and those left behind.
Posted on 17 Jan