Harken Derm

Morvan wins Detroit Cup

Published on August 24th, 2014

Detroit, MI (August 24, 2014) – In masterful display of (nearly) error-free match race sailing, Pierre-Antoine Morvan and his Vannes Agglo Sailing Team of Mathie Renault and Steven Liorzou have emerged from four days of battle to be the 2014 Champions of the Detroit Cup. The French team defeated their Semi-Final and Final opponents 2-1 and 3-0 today in front of a spectator crowd lining the Detroit River shoreline in front of the host Bayview Yacht Club.

“This was a tough week of racing, but we really enjoyed our first time sailing here at Bayview,” said Morvan. “The organizers have done a great job to create a great event.”

Race conditions today were excellent, with a consistent 8-10 knot breeze offering the fastest and most exciting match racing action of the week among the equally-matched Ultimate 20’s used in the competition. This made superior boathandling and timing vitally important, so the pre-starts were action-packed, as were several close mark roundings, a strong contrast to the last few days of calculated light air sailing.

Morvan and his team excelled at this, always keeping the pressure on their opponents in the pre-starts, and with a slight speed edge upwind they were often able to extend on early leads or catch and pass when behind. This set them up to round the top mark with enough margin to fend off any attacks made downwind.

The notable exception to this flawless performance was in the first Semi-final match against Maximillian Soh of Singapore, whose Team Red Dot was successfully controlling the right side of the second upwind leg on their way to maintaining their slim lead over the French. Morvan’s upwind speed brought them close enough in a cross to have to duck Soh on port, and in so doing he mistimed the move and hit Soh so hard on the port quarter to spin both boats around. This earned them a black flag from the umpires of the match, who then awarded the point to Soh.

Despite the severity of the crash, it was determined that the damage was minimal, and so no points were deducted from Morvan’s score. This was a lucky break for the French team, who would otherwise have had to win the next three rather than just the next two in the first-to-two point series to advance to the Finals.

In the other Semi-Final pairing, Chris Poole from the Oakcliff Saling Center defeated Matt Graham in an exciting series that came down to the final match. In this race and with the narrowest of leads, Graham and his Rowdy Racing team from Bayview YC gybed to protect the final approach into the leeward mark rounding, but could not get the spinnaker down before broaching and hitting the mark with their sail, allowing Poole to sail through to the lead and earning them an untimely penalty from the umpires.

In the Finals, the action was comparatively tame in the first-to-three point series and penalty-free except for one Poole earned in the pre-start of the second match. Morvan simply out-sailed his opponent to win every start and lead around the course in every match to win the series 3-0.

In Petit-Final action, Graham managed to overcome a loss to Soh in the first match by winning the second, but then lost the third in being called over early at the start and not able to recover.

Morvan trophy

Final results, 2014 Detroit Cup:

Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
Chris Poole (USA)
Maximillian Soh (SIN)
Matt Graham (USA)
Sam Gilmour (AUS)
Ian Hollerbach (USA)
David Storrs (USA)
Wataru Sakamoto (JPN)
Dustin Durant (USA)
Chris Van Tol (USA)
Peter Holz (USA)
Shane Diviny (IRL)

For more information, photos, and narrated videos by Dobbs Davis and Isao Toyama, visit www.detroitcup.com.

Morvan and many other competitors here at the Detroit Cup will continue with ISAF Grade 2 match racing later this week at the third stop of the US Grand Slam series at Manhasset Bay YC’s Knickerbocker Cup in Manhasset Bay, NY. More information on the Grand Slam series can be found at www.usamatchracing.com.

Report by event media. Photos by Isao Toyama.

2014 USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series
Chicago Grand Slam: August 15-17
Detroit Cup: August 21-24
Knickerbocker Cup: August 28-31
Oakcliff International: September 4-7

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