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FAREAST 28R Sails in the Inaugural Edition of Midsummer Match Cup
The inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup is sailed June 25-29 in Skärhamn, Sweden in the boat type FAREAST 28R. The event is decided in a full Round Robin followed by quarter finals, semi finals and a final, which is raced on Saturday June 29th. Midsummer Match Cup is the first international sailing event to be raced on Skärhamn’s spectacular match racing arena. It is also the first regatta to introduce a strict mixed class rule, stating that all teams must consist of two male and two female crews members and the maximum combined weight allowed for the crew is 331 kilograms.
Fourteen teams competed in the race and they are all led by the best skippers and match racing teams in the world. Among them are the Swedish teams led by Anna Östling, Johanna Bergqvist, Johnie Berntsson, Måns Holmberg and Nicklas Dackhammar. Pauline Courtois (FRA) is the highest ranked female skipper in the world and winner of last year’s WIM Series. Eric Monnin (SUI) is number two on the men’s raking behind Ian Williams. Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and Will Boulden (AUS) are ranked fifth and ninth respectively and Chris Poole (USA), is ranked 12th. Lucy MacGregor and Torvar Mirsky, the reigning world champions in women’s and men’s match racing.
Light and shifty winds caused a number of course changes and delays during the first day of racing in Skärhamn. After eight flights of the round robin Eric Monnin (SUI) and his Capvis Swiss Match Race Team got the best start with 5-0 after day one. Team GAC Pindar and Ian Williams, also won all three matches and ended the day with a win a win against Pauline Courtois.
The second day welcomed sun and wind increasing to 15 knots. British skipper Ian Williams and Eric Monnin’s Capvis Swiss Match Race Team are still undefeated but Nicolai Sehested and his Gringo Sailing Team won all their matches but one and moved up to the top of the scoreboard. Sehested has formed a new team with his long-time match racing partner and countryman Peter Wibroe and the Olympic gold medal duo Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze from Brazil.
The wind increased for the final to over 20 knots during the final between Ian Williams (GBR) and Eric Monnin (SUI), the two highest ranked match racing skippers in the world. The duel got a dramatic start when Williams crashed into his opponent and got caught with the bow sprint in the stern of Monnin’s boat. The situation ended with a black flag to Team GAC Pindar and put the score at -1 against 1. But the British team came back strong in the two following matches. The team found more speed and were able to pass on the leeward side and cross the finish line as winners of Midsummer Match Cup 2019.
Besides, FAREAST 28R was also picked by the World Match Racing Tour to be used in 2016 Monsoon Cup and 2017 Lysekil Women’s Match. In this August, the boat will be selected for 2019 Women’s Match Racing World Championship. In this October, the Women’s International Match Racing Series will come to China for the first time!