Simone Ferrarese set about day one of Stena Match Cup Sweden with some giant killing. The Italian is making the most of his wild card to this event, the third of the season on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, notching up four wins and just one loss from his first day at Marstrand.
The first upset came early, with the 25-year-old Italian beating reigning World Champion Ian Williams and GAC Pindar in the very first flight. Then came victories over Keith Swinton's Black Swan Racing and Taylor Canfield's USone. Ferrarese's good run was finally broken by local crew, Johnie Berntsson's Stena Sailing Team, but the Italian immediately bounced back with a win against Adam Minoprio and Team Alpari FX.
Minoprio was impressed with the Ferrarese performance. "He's very eager and determined to prove he should have got a Tour card this year. He's come out swinging, and he's sailing smoothly. Coming in on a wild card, it's definitely a different mentality. Match racing is a lot of psyche. He comes in with a clean slate, hasn't done the last two Tour events. A Tour card holder may be thinking about the pressure of winning the overall Tour."
Normally a professional match racer will say it's all about taking one race at a time. "Yes, easy to say,"
smiled Minoprio, who won two and lost two today. So what's the approach for tomorrow? "Take it race by race!"
Ferrarese's strong showing was impressive, although it's Williams that tops the leaderboard with five wins from six matches. The only skipper to have kept a clean sheet thus far is Phil Robertson and WAKA Racing, but the young Kiwis have only raced four matches so lie 2nd in the standings.
Berntsson sits in fourth overall, just behind the Italians whom they beat today, along with Pierre Antoine Morvan and the Vannes Agglo Sailing Team. The local sailor lost to Williams and fellow Swede, Bjorn Hansen and eWork Sailing Team. Berntsson will be looking to exert his local advantage more than he did today. "It is quite shifty and puffy conditions for all the teams, but there are patterns to be found too,"
This is Taylor Canfield's first visit to Marstrand and his first experience of the 37-footers used for the racing. He won two and lost one today. "We're getting used to the venue and DS37s, with their heavier weight and overlapping genoas,"
said the young American. "I hear there's a bit more breeze in the forecast tomorrow, and we're looking forward to powering up the boats a little more."
Tonight is the opening ceremony and welcome dinner, with Qualifying continuing tomorrow.
STAGE 3: Stena Match Cup Sweden - Qualifying Session Day 1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 5-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-0
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team 4-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 3-2
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 2-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team 2-2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 2-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team 1-2
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 1-2
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 1-3
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team 1-4
Henrik Eyerman (SWE) Team Henrik Eyerman 0-6