Aussie skipper Peter Gilmour took the World Match Racing championship title in Langenargen 7/6/06
On Sunday 5 June 2006, Peter Gilmour and the PST crew of Rod Dawson, Jan Reblin, Christian Scherrer and Yasuhiro Yaji won the skipper’s third consecutive championship at Match Race Germany – Stage 7 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour, in Langenargen, Germany.
The PST crew defeated Jesper Bank’s United Internet Team Germany crew 2-1 in a final that was cut short by lack of wind. They finished with a 15-4 record and won 4,800? of the 20,000? prize money. Gilmour also beat Bank in last year’s final, 3-2.
“It’s a good result,” said Gilmour. “Having Yaji and Rod was the key. We picked up Christian and Jan later, and they fit in really well. It was fun sailing with them.”
Bank, skipper of Germany’s first challenge syndicate for the America’s Cup, finished with a 14-5 record, winning 2,800?. Bank’s crew included Henrik Blakskjaer, Thomas Jacobsen, Mike Mottl and Jan Schoepe.
“I want to congratulate Peter,” said Bank. “He sailed really well. He managed the racecourse very well. He deserved the first choice upwind. It was a fantastic final.”
Gilmour has won his third consecutive World Tour championship and fourth career ISAF Match Racing World Championship. This gave the 46-year-old skipper from Perth, Western Australia, a BMW X3 3.0i (valued at $45,000US) from Tour partner BMW AG, and a $30,000US bonus from the World Tour.
The World Tour and ISAF recently joined forces to award the match-racing world championship together with the Tour championship. Besides winning the past two Tour championships, Gilmour previously won the ISAF Worlds in 1990, ’97 and ’98.
Gilmour comments: “I take each race as it comes. Right now I’m just looking forward to Elba. They are significant milestones to compare against likes of Russell Coutts and Chris Dickson, outstanding match-race sailors. I guess it’s just setting the benchmark ever higher. Those in the future have a lot more to strive for.”
The final had a southeast breeze of about 5 knots. It was compressed against the shoreline, which made it imperative to win the pin end and get to port side.
Gilmour did well in the pre-starts, winning the pin end and first cross in all three races. He lost the third flight because Bank had found a patch of wind on the starboard side. When they met the second time, Bank was able to sail away and win the race to make the score 2-1.
The final series was scheduled as first to 3 points, but the wind died after the third flight and the 1630 time limit arrived an hour later. And Gilmour had won his third championship.
“It’s a bit hard to smile when you just come from the water being second. But yes, we had a good week,” said Bank. “On Lake Constance you have to know that races can be cancelled because of lack of wind. This did not happen for the entire series, but on the final day. My team even had the advantage of either winning or achieving a tie to win overall. So 2:1 for Peter speaks for itself.”
“I felt very confident that we’d be able to start well,” Gilmour said. “Although Jesper sails very well, we felt we’d be able to keep the heat on enough to win against them.”
Gilmour believes that Bank had added pressure on him. Sailing an older, slower boat Team Germany placed 11th at the two Louis Vuitton regattas last month in Spain, and Gilmour feels that his competitor bore the added burden of a good showing in front of the German public.
In the Petite Final, Ian Williams of Great Britain defeated Staffan Lindberg of Finland 2-1. With the score tied 1-1 Lindberg led the final match by more than one minute at one point, but had a penalty to clear at the finish.
With the winds light Lindberg’s turn was slow which allowed Williams the chance to get back in the race. It was a close race and he narrowly beat Lindberg.
Although Gilmour has won the Tour championship, Lindberg, Bank and Williams all moved up in the standings. Lindberg went to second from third, Bank into a tie for third from a tie for eighth, and Williams into fifth from seventh.