Evan Walker wins Coconut Grove Cup
Published on April 16th, 2017
Miami, FL (April 16, 2017) – In a day filled with leaderboard upsets, the WMRT Coconut Grove Cup winner was decided rounding the final mark in the final race of the regatta. Australia’s Evan Walker and his Team KA Match struck lucky on the last beat to win the final cross and pop a wheelie on the finish line to take the win in style.
Coming in to this final day of competition, US Virgin Islander Anthony Kotoun led the ten teams after a string of wins in the early round robin series. Conditions today were the strongest of the week, averaging 20knots, so perhaps this increase in pressure is what caused Kotoun to slip down the pecking order after three losses this morning during the conclusion of the round robin.
Fresh from their podium finishes at last week’s Tour event Miami Match Cup, Harry Price and Nevin Snow finished the round robin series in the top two spots respectively.
Denmark’s Daniel Bjørnholt and his Youth Vikings Denmark team which continued their success from day one of competition. Improved boat handling saw less unforced errors by the Danes which allowed them to climb to fifth seed going into the quarter final knockout round.
Another big mover was The Magenta Project team, skippered by New Zealand Olympian Jo Aleh, who moved from bottom of the table after wins this morning and coming out on the right side of a three-way tie.
In the quarter final round, Australian Harry Price going down to USA local Jeremy Wilmot was the shock of the day. Despite Price winning the first match, who also had won the recent Miami Match Cup, the Aussie couldn’t seem to bring it all together in the series that went 2-1 to his American opponent.
In the first semifinal pairing Anthony Kotoun failed to find his rhythm and he would be the first to admit that he didn’t perform to his best, getting bested 2-0 by Evan Walker. It was a similar story in the other semifinal with Jeremy Wilmot being outsailed by fellow American skipper Nevin Snow in a 2-0 series.
As well as making the final, both Walker and Snow also qualify for the World Championship level WMRT Match Cup America.
With the event winner and Tour Championship points still to be decided, the two remaining teams took to the racecourse once more for the final, which was to be sailed in a sudden death style, first to one point match. Snow and the 13 Fifty Racing team won the start and led Walker around the track. On the final beat the race appeared to be over with teams on the change boat declaring it a full gone conclusion.
“We had a good lay coming down the run into the left turn,” noted Walker. “We came out of the bottom strong. And at that point you’re just lucky.”
It wasn’t until the final cross before the last mark that Walker got ahead, to the surprise of all watching. From there the team glided around the final mark and reached home to victory.
The Coconut Grove Cup concludes the World Match Racing Tour’s time in Miami, with M32 Match Racing licensing clinics and two World Tour level events. Next, the Tour heads to Europe for the World Tour level event Gothenburg Match Cup, with the next Championship level event being Match Cup Sweden.
1. Evan Walker (KA Match)
2. Nevin Snow (13 Fifty Racing)
3. Anthony Kotoun (Kotoun Racing)
4. Jeremy Wilmot (Wilmot Racing)
5. Harry Price (Down Under Racing)
6. Daniel Bjørnholt (Youth Vikings Denmark)
7. Markus Edegran (E11EVEN Racing)
8. Jo Aleh (The Magenta Project)
9. Chris Poole (Riptide Racing)
10. Victor Serezhkin (Gazprom Team Russia)
Tour details – Event details – Scoreboard – Facebook
2017 World Championship Level Events:
WMRT Match Cup Australia, March 20-25
WMRT Congressional Cup, March 29-April 2
WMRT Match Cup Sweden, July 3-8
WMRT Match Cup Russia, August 1-6
WMRT Match Cup America, August 30-September 4 (Venue TBA)
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
WMRT Match Cup China, November 3-10 (Venue TBA)
Background: In 2013, Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the design and production rights to the one-design M32 catamarans. In July 2015, Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour, which then began the use of the M32 during the 2016 Tour. Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by World Sailing.