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29 May 2006, 02:31 pm
Johnie B's Good - And Fast - In Croatia
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ACI Adris Match Race Cup 2006

Chuck BERRY would be proud of Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE). The 34 year old Swedish skipper was the embodiment of one of Berry's signature songs, Johnny B. Goode, in winning the 20th anniversary ISAF Grade 1 ACI Adris Match Race Cup, stage six of the 2005-2006 World Match Racing Tour.
No ALT tag specifiedBERNTSSON, from Stenungsunds Segelsallskap, Sweden (near Gothenburg), completed a wire to wire event victory with a 3-1 defeat of Frenchman Mathieu RICHARD in the final. BERNTSSON won the round robin with an 18-2 record and his semi-final round 3-2 for an overall record of 24-5.

BERNTSSON and his Team Semcon crew - Johan BÄCKMAN, Johan KARLSSON, Björn LUNDGREN and Martin STRÖMBERG - won the ACI Match Race Cup Trophy, 20,000€ of the 50,000€ prize purse and joined a five-way tie for eighth on the World Tour leaderboard with 25 points.

BERNTSSON Delighted

'I feel great, so great,' said BERNTSSON. 'We have won the Swedish championship and Scandinavian championship, but this is the highest ranked win.'

RICHARD, whose runner-up placing was his best career finish on the World Tour, was complimentary in defeat.

'I think Johnie and his team sailed very well, during the final of course but also during the whole event,' RICHARD said. 'I was very impressed because they managed to keep a very high level all four days, and that's very impressive. Congratulations to them, they were very good and it's a very nice victory for them.'

RICHARD, 29, Nantes, France, and his Saba Sailing Team crew Greg EVRARD, Olivier HERLEDANT, Jean Philippe SALIOU and Yannick SIMON finished with an 18-10 record and won 10,000€.

The Final

RICHARD won the first match of the final. He trailed at the windward mark by about eight seconds and then gained the lead near the bottom of the first run. Both crews jibed to starboard but RICHARD was to windward and simply rolled over BERNTSSON.

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Mathieu RICHARD and crew
are ecstatic after their semi-
final win over Peter GILMOUR
© World Match Racing Tour/
Guido CANTINI/Sea&See
The French team led by about six feet at the leeward mark and extended to more than 20 seconds at the second windward mark. BERNTSSON closed up to within two boat lengths by the finish, sending a signal that they were far from done.

Speed The Key

Indeed. BERNTSSON and crew won the next three races going away, by no less than four boat lengths. BERNTSSON's week was not based on sound match racing tactics, although he did not make many mistakes. His genius lay in boat speed. His team had blistering speed all week and impressed the likes of Peter GILMOUR (AUS), the all-time event champion who placed third in his quest for a tenth career World Tour victory.

'It was an exceptional week for them,' GILMOUR said. 'I think back and can't recall when I've done as well in the round robin, semi-final and final. Well done to them.'

BERNTSSON got to the final after defeating Paolo CIAN (ITA) 3-2 in the semi-finals. BERNTSSON held a 2-1 lead after Saturday's opening matches, but CIAN evened the series yesterday morning to set up a sudden death match for the final. BERNTSSON, however, refused to get rattled.

'We were so satisfied coming to the semi-finals so we were like OK, we try to do our best all the time,' BERNTSSON said. 'Paolo did perfect starts. We had to try to be even with him and when we did that we managed to beat him. We knew that OK, we sail like it's zero-zero all the time and we have to win the next match. I think all the guys [fought] hard to win the next match and not get stressed. And I think that's a key.'

RICHARDS Earns GILMOUR Scalp

RICHARD got to the final after becoming the happiest man in Croatia. He took down GILMOUR 3-1 in the semis in a come from behind win in the deciding race. GILMOUR got RICHARD on the course side before the start gun in flight four, which gave him an early lead. But it was short lived.

RICHARD quickly got back into the match halfway up the first leg. Then he got a penalty on GILMOUR on the second leg, which turned the match in his favour. He went on to win the match, finishing a half length ahead of GILMOUR, which was his highlight of the week.

'I'm very happy because yesterday we were very good at the beginning of the semis, we were leading 2-1, but we had to finish job and that's not easy against such a good team,' RICHARD said. 'We did it this morning. It was incredible because we had a very bad start, I was too early on the start; we were maybe three or four boat lengths behind. We managed to sail back and give him a penalty and get to the finals. That was the greatest thing of the week, to beat Peter GILMOUR.'

ACI Adris Match Race Cup Results

Final

Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) d. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 3-1

Petit Final

Peter GILMOUR (AUS) d. Paolo CIAN (ITA), 2-0

Semi-Finals

Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) d. Paolo CIAN (ITA), 3-2
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) d. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), 3-1

Round Robin Standings
(After 22 of 22 scheduled flights, including byes)

1. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Team Semcon
2. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), PST
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), Saba Sailing Team
4. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Viano Mercedes Benz
5. Björn HANSEN (SWE), Team Apport.net
6. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Williams Sail Racing
7. Philippe PRESTI (FRA), Luna Rossa
8. Evgeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), Lord of the Sail
9. Dario KLIBA (CRO), Croatia One
10. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team
11. Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA), Extreme Team Morbihan

Final Standings

1. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Team Semcon
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), Saba Sailing Team
3. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), PST
4. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Viano Mercedes Benz
5. Björn HANSEN (SWE), Team Apport.net
6. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Williams Sail Racing
7. Philippe PRESTI (FRA), Luna Rossa
8. Evgeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), Lord of the Sail
9. Dario KLIBA (CRO), Croatia One
10. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team
11. Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA), Extreme Team Morbihan

For all the news on the ACI Adris Match Race Cup CLICK HERE.

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
(After 6 of 8 Stages)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Ranking
Team Pts
1 Peter GILMOUR AUS 1 PST 63
2 Ben AINSLIE GBR 32 Emirates Team New Zealand 45
3 Staffan LINDBERG FIN 13 Alandia Sailing Team 37
4 Ed BAIRD USA 3 Alinghi 32
4 Gavin BRADY NZL 14 Beau Geste Sailing Team 32
6 Peter HOLMBERG ISV 24 Alinghi 29
7 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 6 Williams Sail Racing 28
8 James SPITHILL AUS 2 Luna Rossa 25
8 Jesper BANK DEN 65 United Internet Team Germany 25
8 Dean BARKER NZL 12 Emirates Team New Zealand 25
8 Johnie BERNTSSON SWE 20 Team Semcon 25
8 Björn HANSEN SWE 11 Team Apport.net 25

World Match Racing Tour Schedule
(2005-2006 Season)

Stage Event Venue Date
Stage 1 PTPortugal Match Cup* Cascais, Portugal 19-24 July 2005
Stage 2 Danish Open* Copenhagen, Denmark 10-14 August 2005
Stage 3 St. Moritz Match Race* St. Moritz, Switzerland 16-21 August 2005
Stage 4 Monsoon Cup* Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 29 November-4 December 2005
Stage 5 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 14-19 March 2006
Stage 6 ACI Adris Match Race Cup Rovinj, Croatia 23-28 May 2006
Stage 7 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany 1-5 June 2006
Stage 8 Toscana Elba Cup Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 11-16 July 2006

* Originally contested as part of the Swedish Match Tour

The World Match Racing Tour is an ISAF Special Event. BMW is a Partner of the World Tour and the Official Car. World Tour sponsors include Sebago, the Official Footwear Supplier, Musto, the Official Clothing Supplier, and Travel Places, the Official Travel Partner.

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.

Sean MCNEILL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Johnie BERNTSSON and Team Semcon hold a healthy lead in the final:© World Match Racing Tour/Guido CANTINI/Sea&See
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