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.
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.'
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.
'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.'
|12||GER||Jan Eike ANDRESEN|