The duel between Merit Cup and the German MK Cafe was fought right to the line

MERIT CUP GRABS VICTORY IN FINAL RACE: Vasco Vascotto and his Merit Cup crew, representing Europe, have grabbed victory in the Race 1 Sydney 40 World Championships, having completely outsailed Germany’s MK Café in today’s final two races. In light and shifty winds, Merit Cup put in her bid for the title by finishing 2nd in the first of the two races, while MK Café struggled home in 7th place, almost wiping out her six-point advantage. This left a two-boat shoot-out in the last race. Whichever of the two finished first (Merit Cup or MK Café) would take the trophy. On the starting line, these two mixed it as if there were no other boats in the race, but the match racing experience of Murray Jones on Merit Cup proved better on the day than the tactics of Michael Coxon on MK Café, as the two tacticians tried to position their boats for the start. When the starting gun fired, the European crew on Merit Cup were well placed and with good speed, while the Germans on MK Café were caught flat-footed. At the first mark Merit Cup was in 3rd place, while MK Café was back in 6th, and Vasco Vascotto’s crew almost had their hands on the trophy. The European crew, which had struggled in the light winds earlier in the series, had certainly done some work to improve in these conditions, and by the second windward mark had taken the lead, going on to win by over two minutes. Karol Jablonski and his MK Café team did well to climb up from the back of the fleet to finish 3rd, but it wasn’t good enough and the title that had seemed almost theirs at the beginning of the day had slipped through their fingers. Britain’s Arbitrator, steered by Chris Law, finished the series level on points with the Italian boat, Invicta, but 3rd place went to the home team on a countback.

FINAL RESULTS: After seven races. 1 Merit Cup, Marco Greggio, 17pts (1;2;6;7;1;2;1) 2 MK Café, Thomas Friese, 11pts (2;1;2;3;3;7;3) 3 Arbitrator, Stephen Bailey, 29pts (8;3;5;1;2;6;4) 4 Invicta, Massimo Mazzaroma, 29pts (5;4;1;8;4;5;2) 5 Trust Computer, Jochem Visser, 30pts (3;5;3;5;8;1;5) 6 Blue Yankee Pride, Farley Towse, 37pts (4;8;4;4;6;4;7) 7 Sledgehammer, Ron Jones, 42pts (7;6;8;2;5;8;6) 8 Turbo UK, David Walters, 44pts (6;7;7;6;7;3;8)