It was a day for grinding out the wins on the long haul back from YANMAR Racing’s disappointing opening qualifying session at the Korea Match Cup, the second event on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. After two losses and a collision damage penalty that took away the point from their first win, four-time Tour winner Peter Gilmour and his team started the day with nothing from three races. They dug deep and by the end of the second qualifying session they had recovered to three points from seven races and now lie in eighth overall – just the right side of the qualification cut-off for the quarter finals.
A light wind prevailed for the morning racing, and with the wind direction once again giving a short race course, the team got off to a good start with a win against the local sailor, Byeong-Ki Park. They followed that with a crucial victory against Frenchman, Pierre-Antoine Morvan. YANMAR Racing’s tactician and Morvan’s countryman, Fred Guilmin explained, ‘The boundaries of the race course were very close to the start line, so we lead back towards the line staying very close to them, making it impossible for Pierre-Antoine to get to leeward of us and apply any pressure.’
Guilmin continued, ‘We burned about a minute like this, and had good control of the favoured position by the start boat. Then we just opened a small gap between us and the start boat and they went for it and hit us, but it wasn’t seen by the umpires. Fortunately we started directly in front of him and controlled the race from there to get the win.’
In the afternoon, YANMAR Racing got a couple more races done, first losing to the reigning Alpari World Match Racing Tour title holder, Ian Williams. Guilmin described a tough start, with both boats fighting for the same position by the start boat. ‘We picked up a penalty, but were then able to use the new Tour rules (removal of Rule 17) to give him a penalty and even it up. But we were still two lengths behind Ian off the line, and he won it from there.’
The last race of the day was another important one in the scrap for a quarter final place, this time against Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson. Berntsson was penalised for a foul during the start manoeuvres, leaving YANMAR Racing with a solid lead. The Swedes came back to within a few feet at the end of the first lap, but despite the conditions being puffy and difficult YANMAR held on for the win.
Guilmin commented, ‘Tomorrow we have four crucial matches, first against Bjorn Hansen, then Laurie Jury, Simone Ferrarese and Tae-Jung Kim. We need at least two wins to make the quarter finals.’ YANMAR Racing are currently in eighth place with three points along with Will Tiller; Berntsson, Morvan and Jury sit just above them both on four points. If it comes down to a tie-break then it will be decided by who-beat-who in the individual matches against the tied-opponents – so beating the sailors around you on the leaderboard is always important at a Tour event.
Qualifying will resume on the morning of the 31st and should conclude that day.
The Korea Match Cup, the second event on this year’s Tour is held in Jeongok and Jebu which are part of the Gyeonggi Province, and will run from the 29th May to the 3rd June.
Results after the Second Qualifying Session, Korea Match Cup
Ian Williams 6
Phil Robertson 6
Torvar Mirsky 6
Björn Hansen 5
Johnie Berntsson 4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan 4
Laurie Jury 4
Peter Gilmour 3
William Tiller 3
Simone Ferrarese 3
Byeong-Ki Park 0
Tae-Jung Kim 0