Nicolai Sehested, TRE-FOR Match Racing (DEN), with his crew Thomas Hedegaard, Jasper Blom, Soren Secher and Peter Wibroe have won the 2013 Knickerbocker Cup.
Sehested beating Eric Monnin, Okalys-Corum (SUI) 3-1 in the finals in very light wind on Manhasset Bay. TRE-FOR Match Racing has made an appearance at the Knickerbocker Cup four times and they returned this year determined to win. In 2012, Sehested came in second to Will Tiller, Full Metal Jacket Racing (NZL), who is now racing with the prestigious Alpari World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).
In a first to three Final, Sehested took the first match by dominating the race from the start. Monnin gained on Sehested by the first mark but Sehested extended his lead and kept it to the finish. Score 1-0 Sehested. Match 2 had an interesting pre-start as both teams were vying for position and ended up way north of the starting line. Neither team made it to the start on time but Monnin somehow found pressure in the extremely light air and got to the start at least 8 boat lengths ahead of Sehested. To make matters worse for Sehested, any wind would come out of the south, giving an advantage to Monnin. Sehested didn't have a chance and Monnin easily raced to victory, which Sehested crossing the finish line two minutes later. Score 1-1.
After a delay waiting for wind to fill in, Sehested won the start but it looked like Monnin had faster boat speed. Sehested passed Monnin at the leeward gate and maintained his lead to win, with Monnin a half boat length behind at the finish line. Now it was 2-1 Sehested. The fourth match was a "do or die" race for Monnin. But it was not meant to be for Monnin this year and Sehested took the match, 3-1 and will have his name etched on the Knickerbocker Cup along with other past winners.
According to Sehested, "We had good speed the whole way - we started with good speed and stayed ahead. Pre-starts were critical for us as it is hard to pass in these boats (Swedish Match 40s) so it was good boat handling and strategy on our part. My team sailed really well and made sure the boat was fast all the time. We were a bit worried here in the Finals as I knew Monnin was fast and he won the second race so we needed strong races for the next matches."
This is the first appearance at the KCup for Eric Monnin and his crew: Julien Flaxa, Simon Bruegger, Fabien Froesch, March Monnin and Alexa Begel. Their amazing boat handling skills stood them well in the light and variable winds on the bay. Commenting on the regatta, Monnin said, "We were very, very happy with how we sailed the course. We were fast and had good maneuvers but Sehested was better on the pre-starts and came out of the close situations better than we did. Of course, we are disappointed that we didn't win, but happy to come here and do what we did. Had a great time and our host was very nice. The whole atmosphere was very warm here."
In other action on this final day: David Gilmour, Team Gilmour (AUS) and Chris Poole, Riptide Racing (USA) was tied 1-1 in the first to three points Semi- Finals at the end of racing on Saturday. Sunday's racing saw Gilmour win his next two matches and with a score of 3-1, Gilmour captured 3rd place in the standings, with Chris Poole 4th.
Gilmour is currently leading in the US Grand Slam series but will have his work cut out for them next week at the Oakcliff International in Oyster Bay, NY. TRE-FOR Match Racing will be racing at Oakcliff as well as other top match racers so it is difficult to predict who will come out on top to be named the winner of the 2013 US Grand Slam. By the end of the week, after all the great matches are completed, only one team can be crowned the winner. To be continued….
Many thanks to our sponsors: Investors Bank, West Marine, Daniel Gale/Sotheby's International Realty and the Manhasset Bay Sailing Foundation. The Knickerbocker Cup Foundation is sharing net proceeds after all events with St. Francis Hospital.
2013 Knickerbocker Cup Final Standings:
1. Nicolai Sehested, TRE-FOR Racing (DEN)
2. Eric Monnin, Okalys-Corum (SUI)
3. David Gilmour, Team Gilmour (AUS)
4. Chris Poole, Riptide Racing (USA)
5. Stephanie Roble, Epic Racing (USA)
6. Taylor Canfield, USone (ISV)
7. Stratis Andreadis, Atalanti Racing/Black Goat Offshore (GRE)
8. Dustin Durant, Long Beach Match Racing (USA)
9. Mark Lees, Team Echo Sail Racing (GBR)
10. Ashlen Rooklyn, Ballyhoo Racing (AUS)