Staffan Lindberg from Finland wins Match Racing European Championship in Hamburg 4/10/06

Twelve of the world’s top European Match Race sailors competed for the European Match Race title on Hamburg’s river Alster from the 30 September until the 3 October.

Staffan Lindberg from Finland was the overall winner beating Swedish Björn Hansen in an exciting final. Eric Monnin from Switzerland gained the third place in the petit final against the Italian Skipper Matteo Simoncelli. The home team of helmsman Andreas Willim missed out on the semi-final round robin and finished second last.

Lindberg led after two final matches with 2:0 points already. Then he obtained a penalty in the prestart of the third match. The Finn was in the lead but Hansen got a good gust and sailed past when Lindberg took his penalty – and Hansen won the match. The final was open again. The fourth match finally crowned the new European Champion from Finland.

Commenting on his win, 34-year-old Lindberg said: “The Alster is tricky, but we played the shifts and gusts well and saved the victory.”

Thirty-eight year-old Hansen, skipper of the Swedish team, who ranks eighth in the world, was a bit disappointed commenting: “We came to Hamburg to win, but Staffan did a great job. However, we will get another chance to beat him next week during the Bermuda Gold Cup.”

Overall Results

Final (Best of 5)
1. FIN Staffan Lindberg 3:1
2. SWE Björn Hansen 1:3

Petit Final (Best of 3)
3. SUI Eric Monnin 2:0
4. ITA Matteo Simoncelli 0:2
5. CRO Dario Kliba
6. POL Marek Stanczyk
7. DEN Peter Wibroe
8. GBR Nick Cherry
9. RUS Maxim Tarnov
10. FRA Pierre-Antoine Morvan
11. GER Andreas Willim
12. SLO Jure Orel