Frenchman Sebastian Col and his crew win the Match Cup in Portugal in tricky conditions

After a long day, Frenchman Sebastian Col and his crew (pictured) won the Troia Portugal Match Cup. Getting past Magnus Holmberg (SWE) and his Victory Challenge team 2-0 in an exciting Final series, Col took the top prize of US$30,000 and earned 25 points on the 2008 World Tour leader-board.

Col had to get better as the day went on, as the conditions became increasingly challenging. Besides the fresh 15-22 knot easterly winds blowing straight down the Rio Sada in front of the Troia Resort, there was a strong tidal current, which reached 4 knots at its peak. This made pre-start and mark rounding tactics interesting, and while windward legs were long, drawn out affairs, the runs were over in a flash.

A decision was made to shorten the Finals and Petit-Finals to first-to-two points. So, under increasing clouds, breeze, tide, and approaching rain, the stage seemed to have more fireworks among the two French teams in the Petit-Final, with Iehl and Richard taking one each before Richard finally prevailed in a relatively benign third match.

In the Finals, Holmberg and Col initially split off to different sides of the first beat, with a shoal area on the left side providing a little more relief from the gushing tide than the beach side on the right. Col got there first and controlled that side better, hence he led throughout the first match and took the overall win.

Overall results:

1. Sebastian Col (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge

2. Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Victory Challenge

3. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit

4. Damien Iehl, FRA, French Match Racing Team

5. Paolo Cian, ITA, Team Shosholoza

6. Torvar Mirsky, AUS, Mirsky Racing Team

7. Ian Williams, GBR, Team Pindar

8. Alvaro Marinho, POR, Seth Sailing Team

9. Adam Minoprio, NZL, Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing

10. Bjorn Hansen, SWE, Alandia Sailing Team

11. Manuel Weiller, ESP

12. Nick Cherry, GBR, Cherry Racing Team

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