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29 May 2009, 11:28 pm
RICHARD Romps To Quarter Finals At Match Race Germany
Crunch go Peter GILMOUR and Damin IEHL
Crunch! Peter GILMOUR and Damin IEHL both incur point deductions for their efforts

Match Race Germany 2009
Langenargen, Germany

Frenchman Mathieu RICHARD and Italy's Francesco BRUNI both secured themselves quart-final slots at Langenargen during the second day of Match Race Germany, stage two of this year's World Match Racing Tour.
The weather gods sent beautiful sunshine and a testing, shifty 8-10 knot breeze which enabled the race committee to complete a further eight flights of the round robin on day two of Match Race Germany.

The morning began with Francesco BRUNI (ITA) maintaining his winning form by taking his first two matches from the only German competitor Carsten KEMMLING and the Swiss entry Eric MONNIN. It was not until his next match that BRUNI failed to maintain his clean scorecard. It was Frenchman Mathieu RICHARD who managed to skilfully take a win from the consistent Italian. BRUNI was also deemed responsible for a collision during the match which resulted in damage to RICHARD's boat and so the umpires inflicted a further 0.5 point deduction to his score line. However BRUNI was not deterred by this defeat and went on to win a further two matches against current Tour leader Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) and defending Tour Champion Ian WILLIAMS (GBR).

"We were not expecting so many points in the first two days of racing, for sure we are happy. It was a challenging match against RICHARD but a good start and winning the right side was key for winning in today's conditions," said the Italian skipper.

RICHARD had a successful day winning all three of his matches taking his winning tally to seven and solidifying his position as the leader on the scoreboard. The French man was rightly pleased with the day's results. "Today was a good day although I feel we were a little bit lucky with the shifty conditions. We were behind MONNIN and BRUNI but a combination of the wind shifts and some luck enabled us to get ahead. The team is doing a great job and we feel good with our performance. A good performance increases our confidence and our motivation to win. I hope it will last until the end of the week but we will have to see," said RICHARD.

Old master Peter GILMOUR (AUS) of Yanmar Racing team put on a typically aggressive display in all three of his matches today, securing three wins in the process and edging him closer to the quarter finals. However he was deducted 1/3 of a point after the umpires decided that he shared some of the responsibility for a collision with Damien IEHL (FRA) which resulted in damage and for which IEHL himself was deducted 2/3's of a point.

When asked to reflect about the jury's decision to deduct a 1/3 of a point, GILMOUR was very diplomatic, "Any decision that goes to the jury, we as sailors know anything can happen and the only guarantee is an outcome. The jury can see things differently and I may not agree. I respect the jury and the umpires have a difficult job and I appreciate what they do."

While BRUNI and RICHARD's impeccable scores today assure them a place in the quarter finals, no one else in the field have yet secured such a certain outcome.

So the pressure is on for all teams to perform in every match and, with three races remaining for each team, the final six is still unclear at this stage.

The umpire team were kept busy all day, adjudicating on levels of aggressiveness not seen thus far in the competition. Whereas penalties yesterday were relatively few and far between, today the intense boat-on-boat action resulted in numerous penalties.

Tomorrow should provide a further spectacle for all the visitors that greet the shores of beautiful Lake Constance.

Results

Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Team, 7-1
Francesco BRUNI (ITA), Team Joe Fly, 6.5-1
Peter GILMOUR (AUS), YANMAR Racing, 5.66-2
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar, 5-3
Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 4-4
Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Team Onboard, 4-4
Sébastien COL (FRA), French Team/K-Challenge, 4-4
Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Team Origin, 3-5
Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team, 3-5
Damien IEHL (FRA), French Team, 2.33-5
Eric MONNIN (SUI), Team Search.ch, 2-6
Carsten KEMMLING (GER), 0-8

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 1 of 10)

1. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing, 25
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 20
3. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 15
4. Damien IEHL (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 12
5. Ed BAIRD (USA) Alinghi, 10
6. Sébastien COL (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 8
7. Paolo CIAN (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 6
8. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, 4 points

The winner of the annual World Match Racing Tour is crowned as ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Find out more at www.sailing.org/matchworlds.

Yvonne Reid
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