Peter Gilmour of Pizza-La Sailing Team has become the new leader of the Swedish Match Tour leaderboard having won this weekend's event in Croatia
Peter Gilmour of Pizza-La Sailing Team has become the new leader of the Swedish Match Tour leaderboard and the career victories list when he won the ACI H1 Match Race Cup on Saturday in Split, Croatia.
Gilmour and crew Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku and Yasuhiro Yaji defeated Philippe Presti 3-2 in a tightly fought series. Presti’s crew included Thierry Fouchier, Fred Guilmin, Pascal Rambeau and Mathieu Renault. Bertrand Pacé (FRA), of BMW Oracle Racing, placed third, while Baird finished fourth. Pacé beat Baird 2-0 in the Petit Final.
Commenting on the racing Gilmour said: “We’ve just been looking to improve on last year’s performance. We weren’t very happy with how we sailed the second half of last year. Now we’ve got two wins and a second in the last three events.” Those finishes have put Gilmour in position to become the first repeat champion of the Swedish Match Tour. He leads Baird by 10 points (after trailing by 23 points at the beginning of May) with one event to sail, the Swedish Match Cup (July 4-10). Gilmour continued: “Him [Baird] finishing fourth and us first is a surprise. We just hoped to finish one place ahead of him.”
In the final Gilmour opened a 2-0 lead. He won the first match when Presti was penalised twice at the leeward mark, and the second when he completed a 270-degree penalty turn on the finish line.
Presti, who upped his level of aggression in the semi-finals and final, rallied to make it 2-2. He won the third flight when Gilmour received a pre-start penalty and the fourth when he completed a penalty turn on the finish line.
That set up a winner-take-all final match, but it was anticlimactic compared to the first four flights, which were marked by close racing and many leebow tacks.
With the west/south-westerly seabreeze blowing around 8 knots, down from its high of 10 knots earlier in the day, Gilmour started the final match to the left and Presti to the right. Presti commented: “The right had been favored all day. We thought it was still favored in the last race. We saw a big puff on the left, but thought the wind would drop and swing right.”
Presti, by his own admission, guessed wrong. When Presti tacked to starboard and towards the left side, Gilmour was crossing in a 10kt puff about three boat-lengths ahead. He led by 30 seconds at the windward mark, and was never threatened the rest of the way.
ACI H1 Match Race Cup Final Standings
Prize Purse: $40,000
1. Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team, 18-11, $15,000
Crew: Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku, Yasuhiro Yaji
2. Philippe Presti (FRA) le Défi, 17-12, $8,000
Crew: Thierry Fouchier, Fred Guilmin, Pascal Rambeau, Mathieu Renault
3. Bertrand Pacé (FRA) BMW Oracle Racing, 20-6, $6,000
Crew: Eric Doyle, Zach Hurst, Dirk de Ridder, Brad Webb
4. Ed Baird (USA) Team Alinghi, 15-11, $4,000
Crew: Jordi Calafat, Lorenzo Mazza, Dean Phipps, Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA), 11-9, $2,400
Crew: Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Frederic Rivet, Yannick Simon
6. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), 11-9, $2,000
Crew: Nils Bjerkas, Johan Karlsson, Carl-Johan Uckelstam, Daniel Wallberg
7. Kelvin Harrap (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand, 10-10, $1,600
Crew: Rod Davis, Andrew McLean, Richard Meacham, Rod Salthouse
8. Björn Hansen (SWE), 8-12, $1,000
Crew: Mathias Brendin, Fredrik Ekman, Anders Jonsson, Johan Tempelman
9. Flavio Favini (ITA) Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, 6-14
Crew: Marco Constant, Flavio Grassi, Antar Vigna, Jon Ziskind
10. Dario Kliba (CRO), 5-15
Crew: Kosti Hrvoje, Zvonko Jelai, Prlenda Nikola, Celi Slaven
11. Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Shosholoza, 4-16
Crew: Charles Nankin, David Rae, Mark Sadler, Ante Vanjak