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17 May 2005, 10:51 am
GILMOUR Repeats Title Success
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Match Race Germany 2005
Langenargen, Germany

Australian Peter GILMOUR, skipper of the Pizza-La Sailing Team (AUS), won his second consecutive ISAF Grade 1 Match Race Germany after beating Jesper BANK (DEN), skipper of United Internet Team Germany 2-1 in yesterday's final.
GILMOUR and his multi-national crew of Rod DAWSON (NZL), Mike MOTTL (AUS), Kazuhiko SOFUKU (JPN) and Yasuhiro YAJI (JPN) won the championship to continue their excellent form in May, after they finished second in the ISAF Grade 1 Toscana Elba Cup just over a week ago.

The victory gave ISAF World Match Race Rankings' number two, GILMOUR his first win in an ISAF Graded event since he won here in Germany last year.

'I'm extremely delighted,' GILMOUR said. 'It's been a year since we won a Tour event. We've had a bit of a tough year, so it's nice to win again.'

BANK had not raced in an ISAF Graded Match Race event since he finished third in the ISAF Grade 2 St Moritz Match Race back in July 2004, but he was very smooth all week. He was the local favorite as he will skipper Germany's first America's Cup challenge, United Internet Team Germany. His crew included Henrik BLAKSKJÆR (DEN) and Thomas JACOBSEN (DEN), with whom BANK won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympic Games, Michael HAESTBECK and tactician Markus WIESER (GER). BANK said WIESER will continue to serve as his tactician on the Cup team.

'Peter, you guys showed us you have to darn good to win a match race final, and you guys were darn good,' BANK said to GILMOUR at the final awards ceremony.

Current number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Ed BAIRD (USA), a helmsman for Team Alinghi (SUI), placed third. 'We're disappointed we didn't get a chance to race for the championship,' BAIRD said. 'But I'd like to congratulate Rudi MAGG and the race committee. They used every bit of wind they had and did a terrific job.'

BAIRD beat Frenchman Bertrand PACÉ, of BMW Oracle Racing (USA) 2-0 in the petit final. 'Ed sailed much better than us,' said PACÉ. 'He had a better start in the first race and we picked the wrong side in the second race.'

For most of the day it appeared the final may not even be raced. The day began with no wind on Lake Constance. Amendments to the sailing instructions added flexibility to the schedule.

The hope was to complete the semi final, but if it did not get underway by 1100 hours local time it was to be cancelled. That hour came and went without any wind or any attempts at starting.

With the semi finals cancelled, GILMOUR and BANK advanced to the final because they were the top two in the quarter final round robin. Two and a half hours passed before the sailors returned to the water to attempt the final and petit final. In the end, the winds from the northwest at eight knots were the best of the day and provided fair racing.

The first flight started at 1415, and GILMOUR won handily. He sailed the left side of the first beat and was never threatened. 'I think he sailed around us in that one,' BANK said. 'We wanted the right, but he had a lot more speed.'

BANK rebounded for a big win in race two. GILMOUR had a bad start right to windward of BANK and had to tack away to the right. BANK won the first cross and never looked back to even the series 1-1.

The final flight started just before 1600, the time limit for racing on the final day. GILMOUR again started to windward of BANK but this time with better speed and a bit more separation. The two legged out on starboard tack for a good three minutes. GILMOUR had fractionally better speed and was able to sail over BANK ever so slightly.

'Mike gave it a little more trim halfway up the leg and we were just able to live there,' GILMOUR said of the key moment in the race.

BANK was only nine seconds behind at the windward mark, and tried attacking on the run, but GILMOUR's crew was too polished and rose to the occasion.

'I told the boys we're going to have to race this one out,' said GILMOUR. 'They did a great job. I enjoyed myself this week. I enjoy these boats. They reward skillful crew work; keeping the boat moving and smooth handling.'


Pos Nation Name
2 DEN Jesper BANK
4 FRA Bertrand PACÉ
9 FRA Sebastion COL
11 FRA Mathieu RICHARD
Sean McNeill (As Amended By ISAF). Image, GILMOUR and BANK in the final:© Rosaly Magg
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