The Alpari World Match Racing Tour saw another fantastic day's sailing from Bjorn Hansen and Peter Gilmour, leaving them amongst a group looking certain to progress to the Quarter Final of the STENA Match Cup Sweden after day three, whilst several skippers are desperate to secure wins in their remaining few matches to avoid elimination at qualification stage.
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork reached a total of five wins after the day's session and, having lost just four matches, has a good chance of moving to the Quarter Final with a strong performance tomorrow. A loss against Reuben Corbett (NZ) AON Racing Team in a thrilling match-up was the start to a day of mixed fortunes for the Danish 18 year-old who said, "It was a close one against Reuben [Corbett]. We got a penalty against us at the second top mark after leading up until that point. We took the port layline and he took the starboard. We thought we could cross him but he got on the inside and just got a piece of us. We got a red flag penalty so we had to let him pass and it just didn't leave us with any way of getting back to him."
Aschenbrenner, who looks set to become one of the future stars of the sport regardless of his progression in Sweden, said, "We had a good event at Match Race Germany and have been looking forward to this one. The DS 37 are boats that we train on and I've raced them since I started match racing.
"It's a hard fleet out here but we are aiming for the Quarter Final obviously. It's still a bit unsure whether we will progress but the crew are doing a great job and we'll be ready for tomorrow, for sure."
Of the other teams on the brink of making the cut, Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team had a successful day, picking up another two wins to leave him with a total of three and still in with a chance of moving through to the next stage of the event. Tour Card Holder Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team and local wildcard Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure weren't able to get a win on the board in the third Qualifying Session and now look destined to be heading home.
At the top of the qualifying table, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team had recorded three wins by flight 16, taking him to eight overall and guaranteeing his participation in the next round. His only loss came at the hands of Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing in a close encounter which saw the Australian pick up a penalty in pre-start for not keeping clear of his opponent.
Hansen had taken an early lead approaching the top mark for the first time but some good boat handling from Gilmour's YANMAR Racing team allowed them to slip past on the first downwind leg. They lead all the way to the finish, building a gap of three boat lengths and allowing enough room for the penalty turn to take the slimmest of victories as Hansen bore down with greater speed.
Keith Swinton also remains in a commanding position going into the few remaining flights, having added to the troubles of Ogeman, who he mentors as part of his association with Magnus Holmberg's Elite Challenge GKSS Youth Squad. His current 7-2 scoreline bodes well for a Quarter Final berth.
STENA Match Cup Sweden Qualifying continues on Thursday 5th July from 09:00 CET on Thursday 5 July, with Quarter Finals following and the Semi Final and Final scheduled for Saturday 7 July. Full schedule and additional information and updates are available at www.wmrt.com
Follow the action online throughout both events. To watch, visit http://www.wmrt.com/live.html
. Live streaming will be available from 12:00 - 14:00 on Thursday and 14:00 - 16:00 on Friday and Saturday.
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Results after Qualifying Session 3 (Correct up to flight 16 of 23):
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 8-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 7-2
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 7-2
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing Team 7-2
Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing 6-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 5-4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 5-4
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork 5-4
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 3-6
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Miss Sophie 3-6
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team 2-7
Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match 2-7
Reuben Corbett (NZ) AON Racing Team 2-7
Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure 1-8