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13 May 2008, 10:10 am
IEHL Wins Match Race Germany
Damien IEHL and his crew celebrate victory
Damien IEHL and his crew celebrate victory

Match Race Germany 2008
Langenargen, Germany

Frenchman Damien IEHL took the honours at Match Race Germany, stage two of the World Match Racing Tour, defeating Jes GRAM-HANSEN in the final.
An estimated 40,000 people have come to see the sights and sounds of Langenargen this week as the town played host to second stage of the World Match Racing Tour. Match Race Germany ended today with Damien IEHL's (FRA) French Match Racing Team taking first place in a best of three final against Jes GRAM-HANSEN's (DEN) Trifork Racing of Denmark.

In the deciding match of the semi-final, both world #1 Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and IEHL got penalties, and IEHL fought hard to hold the lead. The finish line could not come soon enough for Team Sinbad who won the race by one metre and qualified the team through to the finals. IEHL has fought hard the whole way through this regatta, after he came second in the repechage, he only just made it through to the semi-finals in fourth place.

With none of the original regatta favourites in the final, picking a winner would be difficult. The first race of the final started, but was quickly abandoned as the wind died away. Mumblings of no finals and just a count back (which would see GRAM-HANSEN take first place) were quickly put to rest when the wind came back a few hours later and the races got underway.

In match one of the final Trifork Racing got a penalty for being in the windward position and failing to keep clear. IEHL went on to cross the line first, and continued his winning streak in the next race taking the finals 2-0.

"This is my first tour regatta and the level here is very high so I am very happy to win," IEHL told spectators, he continued by saying, "I won the prestart in both races, and the flat shifty conditions made it difficult for HANSEN to pass".

IEHL's Team Sinbad now enter the World Championship leaderboard third equal with Paolo CIAN (ITA) on 25 points. Reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) is currently at the top with 27 points, closely followed by Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) with 26 points.

In the petit-final the results went to one all after WILLIAMS equalled the score by winning the second race against RICHARD. However the wind died away and the Race Committee were unable to get the deciding race sailed. To determine the winner, it went back to the quarter-final round robin, and as RICHARD finished ahead of WILLIAMS, his French Match Racing Team took third place. "I would have preferred to sail the third match and beat Ian WILLIAMS, but of course I am happy with the outcome," commented RICHARD.

The prizegiving was held in the sunshine on the lake edge in the midst of the thousands of spectators who have enjoyed the racing this week.

"I'm satisfied if the sailors are satisfied," Rudi MAGG said at the press conference held right before the prizegiving. Gerard BOSSE praised the sailors, "They did a good job in difficult conditions and they never complained."

The lack of wind, and storm warnings were all but a memory as sailors and spectators celebrated a great regatta in a beautiful location. With the second stage of the tour now complete, sailors can look forward to Korea where the third stage will be held.

Final Results

1. Damien IEHL (FRA), Team Sinbad
2. Jes GRAM-HANSEN (DEN), Trifork Racing
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team
4. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar
5. Markus WIESER (GER), Team Sea Dubai
6. Sebastien COL (FRA), K Challenge/French Match Racing Team
7. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team
8. Peter WIBROE (DEN), Wibroe Sailing Team
9. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), BlackMatch Racing/Emirates Team New Zealand
10. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team
11. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Shosholoza
12. Eric MONNIN (SUI), Team Search.ch

Match Race Germany - www.matchrace.de
World Match Racing Tour - www.worldmatchracingtour
ISAF Match Racing World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/matchworlds
Yvonne Reid
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