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23 July 2005, 07:43 am
Half Of Quarters On Hold
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PTPortugal Match Cup 2005
Cascais, Portugal

Two of the four quarter final matches were completed yesterday at the ISAF Grade 1 PTPortugal Match Cup with Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) and Peter GILMOUR (AUS) both winning through to meet each other in the semi final.
The other semi final will be determined after the remaining two quarter final matches are completed today.

The quarter finals were postponed around 1830 hours local time yesterday evening when the race committee deemed the wind too shifty and fluky to conduct racing. Fifteen minutes later a solid 15 knot breeze filled in.

The two completed quarter final matches featured HOLMBERG beating Michael DUNSTAN (AUS) and GILMOUR defeating Bertrand PACÉ (FRA) of BMW Oracle Racing (USA). Both scores were 2-0.

The wind was a solid 15 knots with higher gusts for the first race and the competitors used the non-overlapping jibs. HOLMBERG and GILMOUR both won handily to take 1-0 leads. HOLMBERG and GILMOUR both held three to five boatlength leads throughout the race.

In the pre-start of their second match DUNSTAN cleaned out HOLMBERG at the start. The Aussie hooked him late, forced him outside the committee boat end and led onto the racecourse in a big right hand wind shift.

The race committee promptly abandoned the race because the two were overstanding the windward mark on starboard tack by more than 20 degrees. That is when the wind started getting fluky.

An hour postponement ensued as the race committee reset the racecourse. When they restarted the second flight it was HOLMBERG's turn to hook DUNSTAN late. DUNSTAN tacked to port trying to escape but wound up three boatlengths low of the line when the start gun sounded after tacking back to starboard.

'I finally had a good start there,' said HOLMBERG. 'I've been having some shockers this week.'

HOLMBERG held a lead of about eight boatlengths at the windward mark, which DUNSTAN halved at the leeward mark. DUNSTAN continued to gain on the second beat and rounded the windward mark on HOLMBERG's transom.

'That was scary,' HOLMBERG said. 'He hooked a beauty on the right. I had limited options coming in slow on port tack. He had an opportunity to exploit it.'

Both crews did a bear away set to port jibe, which may have been DUNSTAN's undoing.

'If we had jibe set we might've been able to roll him there,' said DUNSTAN. As it was HOLMBERG would roll onto the victory.

'We got beat by a team that gets paid to sail almost every day of the year,' said DUNSTAN. 'We're not disappointed.'

GILMOUR also nailed PACÉ at the start of their second match. He got PACÉ so slow that he was able to tack to port off the line and cross the Frenchman. PACÉ, however, was right behind GILMOUR at the windward mark. Both crews attempted to jibe-set, but the manoeuvres went bad.

GILMOUR recovered more quickly on starboard jibe and rode a puff to a big lead. He maintained that lead around the second lap and to the finish.

Three of GILMOUR's four crewmembers are new to him this week, including main trimmer Fred GUILMAN and headsail trimmer Thierry FOUCHIER. FOUCHIER crewed for PACÉ for five years, but he has no regrets about beating his old skipper.

'No,' he replied quickly when asked if he felt guilty about winning. 'It's strange to sail against a guy you were working with for so long.'

FOUCHIER and GUILMAN raced with Philippe PRESTI (FRA) earlier this year when they placed second at the ISAF Grade 1 ACI H1 Match Race Cup in Croatia. Although they are new to GILMOUR's crew, the styles are not too different.

'He's very open and makes us feel comfortable,' GUILMAN said of GILMOUR in comparison to PRESTI. 'It's about 80 to 90 percent similar expectations.'

Quarter Finals

Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) d. Michael DUNSTAN (AUS), 2-0
Peter GILMOUR (AUS) d. Bertrand PACÉ (FRA), 2-0

Sean McNeill (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Bertrand PACÉ's crew works to sort out a jibe set gone wrong in their second quarter final match against Peter GILMOUR:© Stephanie Lamy
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