Peter Gilmour has beaten British sailor Ian Williams in World Match Racing Tour final 17/7/06

Gilmour has won the fifth annual Locman Cup (the final of the World Match Racing Tour) at Elba Island.

He and crewmembers Rod Dawson, Christian Scherrer, Kazuhiko Sofuku and Yasuhiro Yaji added the event title to their previously won World Match Racing Tour championship and ISAF World Championship of Match Race Sailing.

They earned nearly $120,000 in prize money between the event and the World Tour, including a new BMW X3, and gold medals from ISAF. Last season the team won nearly $180,000 at the final event.

Gilmour clinched his third consecutive Tour championship and fourth ISAF championship last month at Match Race Germany. The World Tour and ISAF joined forces earlier this year to award the two championships in conjunction. Besides winning the past two Tour championships, Gilmour previously won the ISAF Worlds in 1990, ’97 and ’98.

On Elba Island, Gilmour said he’d been struggling all week with a sore back, which left him out of sorts on Saturday when he was nearly upended in the semifinal round. But a night of rest and trademark superb boathandling from his longtime crew helped right his ship.

The PST crew defeated British sailor Ian Williams (GBR), Williams Sail Racing, 2-1 in the final. It was Gilmour’s 11th career victory on the World Tour, and he said it didn’t come easily.

“Beating Ian was as tough as beating Russell [Coutts] or Ed [Baird],” Gilmour said, referring to his seasoned rivals. “He’s an outstanding sailor. He’s going to beat us one day.”

Williams from Hamble, England was disconsolate upon hitting the dock. As the crew put the boat away, Williams sat alone in the back of the cockpit holding his head in his hands.

Williams, 29, had been the star of the week, putting forth his best effort in his first year on the Tour. He won the round robin with a 12-2 record, including two victories over Gilmour, breezed through the semis and believed he could beat Gilmour. In the end, he learned the value of experience.

“The way he approaches the final, you have to be significantly better to finish him off,” said Williams. “His experience allows him to get the best of what he’s got.”

Williams had little to be ashamed of. His second-place finish, coupled with Staffan Lindberg placing fourth, meant that Williams Sail Racing finished second in the world championship for the year. He entered the regatta in fifth place, 6 points behind Lindberg, but wound up 2 points ahead of his Finnish rival.

“That was our goal coming in, to get the silver medal,” Williams said. “Second’s not bad in your first full year on the Tour.”

Lindberg and his Alandia Sailing Team dropped to third overall in the world championship, but won $12,500 from the Tour and bronze medals from ISAF. The Finn has been having troubles with crew consistency, which he intends to sort out for next year. He finished fourth in the regatta and won 9,000? (approx. $11,000).

Cameron Dunn (NZL), Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, placed third in the event after winning the Petite Final 2-0 over Lindberg. Dunn, sailing in just his 10th match-race regatta as a skipper, finished with a 16-7 record and won 10,000? (approx. $12,600) of the event prize purse.

The rest of the world championship was filled by skippers who didn’t compete at Elba.

Denmark’s Jesper Bank, skipper of United Internet Team Germany, won a tie-breaker with England’s Ben Ainslie, a member of Emirates Team New Zealand, for fourth and fifth.

American Ed Baird, a helmsman for Alinghi and last year’s Tour runner-up, won a three-way tie for sixth. Baird finished with 32 points and placed sixth ahead of Gavin Brady, the New Zealand skipper of the Beau Geste Sailing Team, and Frenchman Thierry Peponnet, a member of Areva Challenge.