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27 March 2006, 09:15 am
COL Triumphs In Marseille
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Marseille International Match Race 2006
Marseille, France

Sébastien COL (FRA) overcame Paolo CIAN (ITA) 2-0 in the final to become the first Frenchman to win the ISAF Grade 1 Marseilles International Match Race in France over the weekend. The victory comes at the perfect time for World number nine COL, with the next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings tomorrow, Tuesday 28 March.
After the second place of Thierry PEPONNET (FRA) last week in the ISAF Grade 1 Brasil Sailing Cup, it was the turn of another member of the K-Challenge team for the 32nd America's Cup to achieve a great result. COL and his team members Christophe ANDRE, Teva PLICHART and Gilles FAVENNEC won the Marseilles International Mach Race on an perfect final day in Marseille, with bright sun and winds of ten to 15 knots.

Second at the end of the second robin round right behind Luna Rossa's Philippe PRESTI (FRA), COL and his team won their semi-final against the winning Alinghi team of last year led by Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) 2-1, and then the final against CIAN.

COL's Reaction

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Champion Sébastien COL (far left) and
his crew
© Guilain GRENIER
K-Challenge's tactician COL commented, 'It was an event with a very equal level, but with two teams a little above the others perhaps [referring to HOLMBERG and PRESTI].

'Our hardest time was with no doubt the semi-final against Peter HOLMBERG. It was very tight, there were penalties, and we lost the first race. But we managed to come back and to win the two following matches to get to the final. We were a little surprised that Philippe PRESTI was not in the final, and because we had already beaten Paolo CIAN in the round robins, we felt confident when sailing against him. To be honest I still do not realize yet what we achieved.'

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Peter HOMLBERG and Sébastien COL go
head to head in the semi-final
© Guilain GRENIER

COL continued, 'Three weeks ago we did a training week here with Thierry PEPONNET, and with his second place in Brazil, we also wanted to believe in it, we had to take our opportunities, as in our match won against Alinghi in Trapani [in Louis Vuitton Act 8 last October]. It is always necessary to try to be patient, and to wait until opportunities arise, to get them at the right time. The training week in Marseilles had helped us a lot in our preparation, since it was based on the handling of the boat [the J/80] and the manoeuvres, we were really prepared and ready when we arrived. The most important thing is to sail as much as possible. '

COL will sail in Marseilles again next week, but this time in Mumm 30 for the Massilia Cup, with the Frenchman again joining the crew with which he already won the Primo Cup at the beginning of this year. Then he will join the K-Challenge team the first week of April as training is starting again, since K-Challenge will have just settled down in its new base of Valencia, Spain.


Third place in Marseille went to HOLMBERG's Alinghi team, who beat PRESTI 2-0. In the race for fifth and sixth places and vital points before the release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings tomorrow, Tuesday 28 March, Dimitri DERUELLE (FRA) defeated Eugeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) 2-1.

Marseilles International Match Race Final Standings

1. Sébastien COL (FRA), K-Challenge
2. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Viano Mercedes-Benz
3. Peter HOLMBERG (ISV), Alinghi
4. Philippe PRESTI (FRA), Luna Rossa
5. Dimitri DERUELLE (FRA)
7. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA)
8. Jes GRAM-HANSEN (DEN), Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team
10. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN)

Stephanie NADIN (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Champion Sébastien COL:© Guilain GRENIER
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