Please select your home edition
Jeanneau AUS 2019 SO410 Leaderboard

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.

BandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTERRolly Tasker Sails 2019 728x90 FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 1

Related Articles

Gahinet to co-skipper MACIF with Gabart
A dynamic duo enter the Brest Atlantiques in November The MACIF trimaran will be skippered by the round the world single-handed record holder and co-skippered by the co-holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, in the race that sets off in a loop from Brest.
Posted today at 9:44 am
Finishers start pouring in at Transpac 50
A large wave of finishers has started to cross the finish line With the conditions on the race course remaining perfect, the first of a large wave of finishers has started to cross the finish line at Diamond Head in the 50th edition of the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race.
Posted today at 7:46 am
GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura day 1
Competition underway after a couple of false starts due to changeable conditions After a couple of false starts due to changeable conditions, the main event got under way at 12:30 today. The riders had seven trick attempts available, and heat winners would progress on to round three while second and third place would go again
Posted today at 5:55 am
Laser Radial World Championship day 2
Wind drops early and some races cancelled Sailors headed out to the course under overcast skies and a light drizzle. Clouds perched on the peak of Daisen and nestled in the surrounding hills. But 10 to 15 knots out of the East showed for a promising day.
Posted on 20 Jul
Azzurra is in the lead of the 52 Super Series
Azzurra sailed well and her team showed style and class This morning Azzurra and her team docked out determined to recover the five points that separated them from Quantum, the event's provisional leader. It was going to be tough seeing how strong the adversary was
Posted on 20 Jul
Finn Silver Cup overall
Cardona and Theuninck secure silver and bronze in sunny Anzio With the pressure off after securing the 2019 U23 Finn World Championship for the Jorg Bruder Finn Silver Cup, a day early, Oskari Muhonen, from Finland, led all the way in the final race to record one of the biggest winning margins of the week.
Posted on 20 Jul
Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week overall
Quantum Racing clinch their first event of the 2019 season Quantum Racing clinched their first 52 Super Series regatta title of the 2019 season, but their perennial arch rivals Azzurra ran them close, the Italian-Argentine teams losing out by a matter of a only a couple of metres on the finish line.
Posted on 20 Jul
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek day 3
Multiple races put smiles on faces The unusually wet and stormy conditions at the regatta so far have caught many by surprise and today was payback for all the hard work the on-water Race Management team have done, getting in some fair racing for all the classes.
Posted on 20 Jul
Finn youth talk about Paris 2024 Olympic decision
Some sailors won't have an Olympic option after Tokyo 2020 During the 2019 U23 Finn World Championship for the Finn Silver Cup in Anzio, Italy, we spoke to various sailors about what it means to them personally not to have the option of the Finn after Tokyo 2020.
Posted on 20 Jul
North Sails Weekly Debrief
A week of World Champions North Sails is proud to add three new world champions to the #NSVictoryList. Beyond cleaning up on World Champ titles, North Sails outfitted the inventories on 12 of the 14 podium finishers.
Posted on 20 Jul