Newport delivered a veritable smorgasbord of weather conditions this week for the fourth event in this year’s World Match Racing Series. From thick fog and drizzle to bright sunshine and up to 15 knot winds and then very light winds and flukey conditions for Friday’s quarter finals.
Spindrift racing relished the gusty conditions for Thursday’s Super 16 racing, beating rivals Hans Wallen and Wallen Racing with three victories in a row. After racing, Spindrift racing skipper Yann Guichard, was quick to praise the teamwork on board his black and gold boat.
“The team spirit onboard was really good. Hans Wallen is a very good and aggressive competitor. We wanted to have good starts but the race was very tricky and it was difficult for the team to manage the boat. But we are really happy with the three in a row.”
Progressing through to the Quarter Finals placed Spindrift racing against the Dane Nicolai Sehested and TRE_FOR Match Racing. However, with little to no wind, Spindrift racing faced a five-hour wait for the wind to fill in enough for the Race Committee to be able to lay a course. When the French boat finally started their first race against Sehested, it was a matter of Guichard and his crew judging the ever changing light conditions to protect their lead to a win in the first race of the day. With the wind dropping again in the late afternoon the Race Committee decided to abandon any more racing for the day and make the quarter finals a best of one race.
Light winds again faced the semi final teams on the today’s last day of racing. After a slight delay to the start, Spindrift racing were in the second pair facing New Zealander Phil Robertson and Waka Racing. After losing the first semi final match Guichard made a strong start but was OCS so was penalised, but tactical sailing and good teamwork pulled the black and gold boat back into contention and a dramatic collision during Race 2 saw Robertson penalised and Guichard took the race to make the scores even. With all to play in the final race of the day, Robertson again edged ahead, winning the all important place in the overall final match.
In the Petit Final playoff for third and fourth places, Spindrift racing was paired against British six-time world champion Ian Williams and GAC Pindar. Williams claimed the upper hand early on in the race and went on the secure third position.
For Spindrift racing, in their first season in these exciting new boats, Yann Guichard looked positively at the overall experience. “We learn more every time we sail these boats, Today we lost but we take these knocks and will use them to our advantage in Marstrand.”
The next event for the M32 will be the M32 Series in Gothenburg from 16-18 June followed by the WMRT Final in Marstrand from 4-8 July.