Mathieu Richard of France and team win Gold Cup Stage 13 of the World Match Racing Tour 15/10/07

Mathieu Richard of France became the third consecutive first-time winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup when he defeated Sweden’s Björn Hansen, 2-0 in Bermuda yesterday.

Richard and his Saba Sailing Team crew of Greg Evrard (mainsail and tactics), Olivier Herledant (headsails) and Yannick Simon (bow and traveller) rolled through the regatta with a 12-2 record and won $35,000 of the $100,000 prize purse.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Richard, 31, of Nantes, France. “We went 3-0 in the quarterfinals and semifinals and 2-0 today. I guess it was our week. Everything worked well onboard. To win such a prestigious event is great for us.”

Hansen and his Team crew of Martin Stromberg, Johan Tempelman and Will Thompson finished the regatta 15-5 and won $20,000. They entered the final having won 13 of 14 races, but couldn’t overcome the steamrolling Frenchmen.

“We were very happy to make the final, especially after we had to send a crewmember home,” said Hansen. “(Richard) might’ve had a bit of luck today, but we’ve been lucky throughout the week, so it probably evens out.”

Hansen’s primary tactician, Thomas Hallberg, left the island at the beginning of the week due to ill health. Thompson, of Bermuda, joined the crew the day before the regatta started.

In the Petite Final, Ed Baird of the U.S. defeated Bermuda’s Blythe Walker 2-0 to finish third and place Walker fourth. Baird and his Alinghi crew of Rodney Ardern, Lorenzo Mazza and Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen won $15,000. Walker and crew Adam Barboza, Carola Cooper and Somers Kempe won $8,000.

Baird also won the Wedgwood Heritage Trophy, awarded to the sailor who embodies the spirit of the sport and is a willing ambassador.

This overall win gives Richard 25 points in the chase for the match racing world championship trailing leader Ian Williams of Great Britain by 7 points. Two events are left to decide the championship, the Brazil Sailing Cup November 13-18 and the Monsoon Cup November 28-December 2.

Overall Results
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) Saba Sailing Team, 12-2, $35,000
(Crew: Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Yannick Simon)
2. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team, 15-5, $20,000
(Crew: Martin Stromberg, Johan Tempelman, Will Thompson)
3. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 10-4, $15,000
(Crew: Rodney Ardern, Lorenzo Mazza, Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen)
4. Blythe Walker (BER) Team Max, 8-8, $8,000
(Crew: Adam Barboza, Carola Cooper, Somers Kempe)
5. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 7-4, $7,000
(Crew: Pierluigi de Felice, Pierluigi Fornelli, Salvatore Pavoni)
6. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), 6-6, $6,000
(Crew: Johan Backman, Johan Barne, Björn Lundgren)
7. Brian Angel (USA) King Harbor Match Race Team, 7-6, $5,000
(Crew: Michael Brown, David Hochard, Payson Infelize)
8. Glenn Astwood (BER), 5-6, $4,000
(Crew: Eddie Bardgett Stephen King, Blair Simmons)

Final Round
Mathieu Richard (FRA) Saba Sailing Team, 1-1?2
Björn Hansen (SWE) Team, 0-0?0

Petite Final
Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 1-1?2
Blythe Walker (BER) Team Max, 0-0?0