The Baltic Match Race Tour combines three ISAF Grade 2 match racing events which visit Sweden, Estonia and Finland and is raced over nine consecutive days.
The circumstances in Helsinki were challenging with lots of windshifts and differencies in wind velocity, everything was set for exciting and tight match racing in gorgeous summer weather. A complete Round Robin was sailed over two days and won by Eugeniy Neugodnikov from Russia, currently ranked #8 on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. Neugodnikov was undefeated with 11 wins and followed by Peter Wibroe (DEN) (#25) with nine wins and swede Bjorn Hansen (SWE) (#7) with eight wins.
By progressing to the semi-final, Peter Wibroe Sailingteam secured the overall victory of the Baltic Match Tour.
"Today we had some real match racing", a happy Wibroe commented after the Round Robin. "There were lots of really tight situations and we are satisfied with our sailing today, so now we just have to keep going. We are so excited about winning the Baltic Match Tour 2010 after losing it by five points last year.
The last semi-final position was determined by the very last flight where Phil Robertson (NZL) (#21) met Keith Swinton (AUS) (#19). Before their match, Robertson had six wins and Swinton five wins and the winner would claim the last spot in the semi-finals. Robertson was ahead at the last windward mark, but a knot in the mainsheet made his rounding slow and Swinton did not miss this opportunity to win the match.
The semi-finals were first to three wins and Neugodnikov chose Swinton to be his opponent. He cleaned the table 3-0 while Wibroe and Hansen had a tighter battle. Wibroe took the first point, Hansen the second and then Wibroe two in a row.
The final was raced first to three wins. The first match between Neugodnikov and Wibroe was tight and Neugodnikov took the lead on the second leg. In the second match Neugodnikov won Wibroe by a few meters only. The third match was Wibroe's last chance but Neugodnikov showed that he was unbeatable in this regatta. Evgeny Neugodnikov wins Maritim Baltic Match Race 3 and is undefeated in Helsinki.
"We are really happy about the victory today, it feels fantastic to be undefeated in the regatta! We've match raced twice in Helsinki before and we usually sail well in these shifty conditions. We have also found the speed in the J-80 and we were fast today. My crew did a perfect job, performing all my ideas and we sailed well in the prestarts" says Evgeny Neugodnikov.
In the petit-final Keith Swinton took the first point and Björn Hansen the second. In the last race Swinton made it ahead on the first windward leg and stayed in front the rest of the race, winning the bronze 2-1.
1. Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)
2. Peter Wibroe (DEN)
3. Keith Swinton (AUS)
4. Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
5. Phil Robertson (NZL)
6. Michele Perris (MON)
7. Olli-Pekka Lumijärvi (FIN)
8. Robert Nyberg (FIN)
9. Mikael Lindqvist (SWE)
10. Antti Luhta (FIN)
11. Mati Sepp (EST)
12. Simone Ferrarese (ITA)