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5 July 2007, 08:07 pm
Finally, Breeze-On In Round Robin 2
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Match Cup Sweden 2007
Marstrand, Sweden

After yet another drizzly morning of light shifty breeze, the wind finally settled and filled in out of the west to provide a great start to the second Round Robin at the ISAF Grade WC Match Cup Sweden, stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour. With three flights remaining for Group B and four for Group A, there are only a handful of sure winners who will advance to the Quarter Final round.
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For several more, there will be all to play for tomorrow in the remaining battles to qualify, with tie-breaking inevitable among this highly competitive field.

RADICH On Top

On 10 wins, Jesper RADICH (DEN) of Desafio Espanol has the most wins in Group B, and will go through even if he loses his remaining three matches. On how he has done well to get to this point, RADICH says, 'My guys are great, our teamwork has been incredible, and I don't think we've made one mistake in our manoeuvres. This has allowed me to focus and do my own thing, and the spirit on the boat has been great. But when we get into the next round, we know it will be tougher.'

Behind RADICH in the standings are previous event champion Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE) of Victory Challenge on 8 wins, and Tour leader Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) of Saba Racing and fellow Frenchman Sebastien COL of Areva Challenge on 7 wins. But these four teams are far from assured of going through, as Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) on 5 wins could be a spoiler if he wins all his remaining matches against RICHARD, HOLMBERG, and Claire LEROY (FRA).

'We've got some work to do,' said the young Swede, 'But we're improving all the time. Our tacks have gotten better, we have great upwind speed, so we have good confidence for tomorrow.'

Shifty Conditions

With a forecast for tomorrow of continued overcast skies, with the wind shifting back to the north, shifty conditions will likely return to the race course under the rocky cliffs of Marstrand Island.

'This might be good for us,' said BERNTSSON, who hails from just a few kilometres away, 'As it will mean anything can happen.'

The lead in Group A is shared by two teams on 8 wins each, Gavin BRADY (NZL) of BMW ORACLE Racing, and Mattias RAHM (SWE) of Victory Challenge. But this group has four flights remaining in the afternoon round tomorrow, so its too early to tell if Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) and Simon MINOPRIO (NZL), who follow the leaders on six wins each, will be able to hold these positions after the final finish tomorrow.

A possible spoiler in this group is Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), who at 21 years old is the youngest in the field of 16 teams, and is at his first World Tour event. MIRSKY, a youth match race champion from Perth, was given this break into a Tour event by being tapped by his mentor Peter GILMOUR (AUS) to replace him when duties called in Valencia. MIRSKY struggled to find a win in the first day's light and fluky conditions, but has come on to start winning some matches, including both against HANSEN.

'Obviously we've got a bit on with being new to the event and the boats, but we're improving every day and just really happy to be here,' he said. 'For tomorrow, we're going to just keep going at it the best we can and see what happens.' On whether he'd like to compete in more Tour events, MIRSKY said 'We would do everything we can to get invited back.'

Results

Group A

1. Mattias RAHM (SWE), 8-2
2. Gavin BRADY (NZL), 8-2
3. Simon MINOPRIO (NZL), 6-4
4. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), 6-4
5. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), 4-6
6. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), 4-6
7. Evgeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), 2-8
8. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE), 0-10

Group B

1. Jesper RADICH (DEN), 10-1
2. Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE), 8-3
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 7-4
4. Sebastien COL (FRA), 7-4
5. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), 6-4
6. Eric MONNIN (SUI), 4-6
7. Claire LEROY (FRA), 2-9
8. Malin MILLBOURN (SWE), 1-10

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Standings
(After Stage 7)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Ranking
Team Pts
1 Mathieu RICHARD FRA 2 Saba Sailing Team 70
2 Paolo CIAN ITA 5 Team Viano Mercedes Benz 66
3 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 1 Team Pindar 62
4 Jesper BANK DEN 11 United Internet Team Germany 45
5 Sébastien COL FRA 3 Areva Challenge 41
6 Ed BAIRD USA 24 Alinghi 40
7 Peter HOLMBERG ISV 28 Alinghi 37
8 Staffan LINDBERG FIN 9 Alandia Sailing Team 37
World Match Racing Tour Schedule
(2006-2007 Season)
Stage Event Venue Date
Stage 1 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 18-23 July 2006
Stage 2 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 9-13 August 2006
Stage 3 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 15-20 August 2006
Stage 4 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 10-15 October 2006
Stage 5 Allianz Cup San Francisco, USA 24-29 October
Stage 6 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-3 December 2006
Stage 7 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany 23-28 May 2007
Stage 8 GKSS Match Race Marstrand, Sweden 2-8 July 2007
Stage 9 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 24-25 July 2007
Stage 10 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 8-12 August 2007
Stage 11 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 14-19 August 2007
Stage 12 Latium Match Cup Fiumicino, Italy 11-16 September 2007
Stage 13 Locman Cup - Elba Island Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 25-30 September 2007
Stage 14 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 9-14 October 2007
Stage 15 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 23-28 October 2007
Stage 16 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-2 December 2007

The World Match Racing Tour is an ISAF Special Event. Skippers earn points towards the World Championship at the nine events of the World Tour and the highest scoring skipper at the end of the season is the ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

The World Tour Partner and Official Car is BMW AG (Munich, Germany). World Tour sponsors include Sebago (Rockford, USA), the Official Footwear Supplier, Travel Places (West Sussex, Great Britain), the Official Travel Partner and Wedgwood (Cheshire, Great Britain) the Official Trophy Supplier.

For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, its competitors and events, visit the official World Tour website - www.WorldMatchRacingTour.com. World Match Racing Tour television programmes may be viewed on demand by clicking on the television icon on the home page of the website.

For all the news on the World Match Racing Tour CLICK HERE.

Yvonne Reid (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Magnus HOLMBERG on day three:© Dan Ljungsvik dan@ljungsvik.com
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