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21 April 2005, 02:31 pm
Stars Prepare For Lake Constance
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Match Race Germany 2005
Langenargen, Germany

The lineup for the ISAF Grade 1 Match Race Germany from 11-16 May is once again loaded with America's Cup Class helmsmen and talented match-racers including double Olympic gold medallist, Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and three of the top five sailors in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings.
Eleven of the world's best match racers will compete on the stunning Lake Constance, which is bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Measuring 40 miles in length and 8.5 miles in width, Lake Constance, also called Bodensee, covers 220 square miles, making it central Europe's second largest freshwater lake. Match Race Germany takes place along the promenade of Langenargen at Lake Constance.

The spotlight in Germany will remain focused on ISAF World Sailing Rankings' number one, Ed BAIRD (USA), representing Switzerland's Team Alinghi in the America's Cup. BAIRD, did not compete in the recent ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup and will be looking for a victory to sure up his number one spot. Victory in Germany could also go along way to securing the Swedish Match Tour championship for the American.

However, BAIRD finds Lake Constance one of the most difficult venues in Europe due to it's light winds. He also did not enjoy sailing the 24-footers previously used, but a new class of boat introduced last year, the Bavaria 35 Match, helped add life to the event when the winds were light. Last year's event was split about 50-50 between super light winds and nice match-racing conditions.

Peter GILMOUR (AUS), the reigning Match Race Germany champion and second in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings to BAIRD, will be looking to push his American rival all the way.

Others entered in the event include America's Cup hopefuls Ben AINSLIE (GBR) of Emirates Team New Zealand, Ian AINSLIE (RSA) of the South African Shosholoza Challenge, Jesper BANK (DEN) of Germany's aspiring Cup challenger Fresh 17, Sébastien COL (FRA) of France's K-Challenge and Bertrand PACÉ (FRA) of BMW Oracle Racing (USA).

The field also includes talented match-racers such as Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Luc PILLOT (FRA), Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and Ian WILLIAMS (GBR).

A twelfth entrant will be decided at this weekend's qualifier. Amongst the favourites are Sten MOHR of Denmark, who's trying to make a comeback in match-racing, and Eric MONIN of Switzerland, who placed seventh at Match Race Germany last year.

Match Race Germany Entrants
(America's Cup team - ISAF World Match Race Ranking)

Ed BAIRD (USA), Team Alinghi (USA) - 1
Peter GILMOUR (AUS) - 2
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) - 4
Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) - 7
Sébastien COL (FRA), K-Challenge (FRA) - 14
Luc PILLOT (FRA) - 20
Bertrand PACÉ (FRA), BMW Oracle Racing (USA) - 29
Jesper BANK (DEN), Fresh 17 (GER) - 69
Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) - 198
Ian AINSLIE (RSA), Shosholoza Challenge (RSA) - Not ranked
+ one qualifier (As Amended By ISAF). Image, GILMOUR on his way to victory last year:© Guido Cantini/Sea&See
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