Controversy at World Match Racing Tour

Published on July 6th, 2016

Marstrand, Sweden (July 6, 2016) – The third day at World Match Racing Tour Marstrand experienced strong, northerly winds blowing across the island which offered a different race course and a different challenge from previous days.

The schedule began with four sail-off matches to see who among the bottom eight qualifiers would advance to the top 16 teams for the knock-out rounds. Mattias Rahm dispatched Bjorn Hansen 2-0, while all the other matches went 2-1, with Eric Monnin beating Evan Walker, Murray Jones beating Sally Barkow, and Johnie Berntsson beating Keith Swinton.

With the top 16 complete, the story of the day was the speed of Phil Robertson’s team, which had found a loophole in the M32 class rule that allowed them to have both lighter crew weight for maneuvers and greater righting moment for the stronger winds.

“We found people cleverer than us sailors, some proper mathematicians, to do the sums for us,” said Robertson. “They worked out that even with our lighter crew weight, we’d have more righting moment. About 10% more.”

The Kiwi spotted a loophole in the M32 class rule which states that for a crew weight less than 300kg, all team members are permitted to be hiking on the outriggers, whereas most teams are operating at the crew maximum of 350kg which requires the helm sitting inboard.

“Four on the rack and we’re off like a bridesmaid’s nightie,” noted Robertson. “It felt pretty good today. We were fast against one of the fastest high-wind teams in the M32.”

While teams are questioning the legality of what Robertson has done, no one has found the grounds to protest.

In today’s matches, the teams to score 3 points and advance to the next round were Chris Steele (NZL) and Phil Robertson (NZL), with Matt Jerwood (AUS) also at 3 points but with protest pending. Sam Gilmour (AUS) leads in his match against Hans Wallén (SWE) 2 pts to 1.25 pts.

Tomorrow’s schedule sees the conclusion of the round of 16, with even stronger breeze on the Marstrand forecast.

Day Three Standings

The results from the previous four Tour events in 2016 qualified the 20 teams which will be competing July 4-9 in the M32 catamaran, which is manufactured and marketed by Tour owner Aston Harald.

Event Format:
• Day one and two – Fleet race Qualifying in Groups of 5. Each Group sails 6-8 races.
• Day three – Bottom two from each Group compete in a sail-off to decide who moves on to the 16 team knockout. Top three from each Group join the sail-off winners in a 16 team, first to three-point, knockout. 1v16, 2v15, 3v14 etc.
• Day four – Sponsor day and remaining races from the 16 team knockout.
• Day five – Quarter Finals and start of Semi Finals (knockout format).
• Day six – Finish Semi Finals and complete Final/Petit Final (knockout format).

WMRT Final Skipper Line Up:
1. Taylor Canfield – US One
2. Ian Williams – GAC Pindar
3. Nicolai Sehested – TREFOR Racing
4. Yann Guichard – Spindrift Racing
5. Phil Robertson – WAKA Racing
6. Nicklas Dackhammar – Essiq Racing Team
7. Chris Steele – 36 Below Racing
8. Mattias Rahm – Rahm Racing Team
9. Hans Wallén – Wallén Racing
10. Sam Gilmour – Neptune Racing
11. Sally Barkow – Team Magenta 32
12. Johnie Berntsson – Flux Team
13. Matt Jerwood – Redline Racing
14. Iker Martinez – Team Espāna
15. Evan Walker – KA Match / CYCA
16. Björn Hansen – Nautiska Racing
17. Steven Thomas – RPM Racing
18. Eric Monnin – Albert Riele Swiss Team
19. Murray Jones – Full Bants Racing
20. Keith Swinton – Team Accure

Source: WMRT

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