Final four set for match racing world title
Published on July 6th, 2019
Marstrand, Sweden (July 6, 2019) – Local favourite Nicklas Dackhammar (ESSIQ Racing) today secured his place in the Semi-final of GKSS Match Cup Sweden for the 2018-19 Match Racing World Championship, sending home six-time world champion Ian Williams in a straight 2-0 match.
Dackhammar joins former match racing world champions Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Taylor Canfield (USA), and Phil Robertson (NZL) in the Semi-final line-up as the event moves to its final day tomorrow.
Starting the day in heavy rain, it was Australia’s Harry Price, AUS (Down Under Racing) from Sydney that was first to fall victim to USA’s Taylor Canfield (US One). In the first-to-three points match, Price clinched the first race, but Canfield and team found their stride in the second race and followed up with three straight wins to finish 3-1.
“We had a great match against Harry, he is definitely one of the up and coming sailors on the Tour; we may be getting a bit older but we still plenty of fight and we have a lot of experience in the M32,” commented Canfield.
In the second Quarterfinal pairing, defending world champion Torvar Mirsky, AUS was matched against Spindrift Racing’s Yann Guichard, FRA in the closest of for the day with multiple lead changes and penalties. After equalizing 2-2, it was Mirsky that pulled out the stops to win the decider 3-2.
Sweden’s Dackhammar knew he had his work cut out in the third pairing match against Quarterfinal opponent, six-time match racing world champion Ian Williams, GBR (GAC Pindar). But taking advantage of a right shift in the first race, Dackhammar was able to reach the leeward mark straight from the reach mark, stretching to a 25 second lead which he held to the finish.
The gloves were off for the second race of the shortened first-to-two points match, each team aggressive in their pre-start maneuvers. After Williams led the start, Dackhammar again clawed back to steal the lead at the top mark and close out the match 2-0.
“We are thrilled to get to the Semifinals,” said Dackhammar. “We had two very tough races against Ian [Williams] today but we have been sailing well and we know we are fast around the course. The way we are sailing, we feel we deserve to be in the finals.”
In the last Quarterfinal pairing, New Zealand’s Phil Robertson (China One Ningbo) defeated Swede Måns Holmberg (Stratsys Racing) 2-0 to secure his place in the semis alongside his fellow world champions Mirsky, Canfield, and Robertson.
But team of the day went to Nicklas Dackhammar and ESSIQ Racing whose quest for their first Match Racing World Championship edged one step closer today as they face off the ultimate battle of champions in the Semi-finals tomorrow.
Phil Robertson (NZL) v Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE)
Taylor Canfield (USA) v Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
The GKSS Match Cup Sweden event celebrates its 25th year in 2019, a long term flagship event of the World Match Racing Tour since its inception in 2000, then named the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour.
The GKSS Match Cup Sweden, which is doubling as the winner-take-all Match Racing World Championship, is scheduled for July 3-7.
Entered skippers with World Sailing Ranking*
• Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar – #1
• Harry Price (AUS) Down Under Racing – #2
• Nicklas Dackhammer (SWE) Essiq Racing Team – #6
• Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – #9
• Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team – #13
• Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing – #19
• Mans Holmberg (SWE) Stratsys Racing Team – #23
• Taylor Canfield (USA) US One – #27
• Phil Robertson (NZL) China One Ningbo – #33
• Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL – #134
• Markus Edegran (USA) Team Torrent – #194
• Daniel Björnholt (DEN) Youth Vikings Denmark – #342
* Ranking as of June 12, 2019
Background: Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organized and officially sanctioned match racing events which are used to award prize money and the Match Racing World Championship title.
Source: World Match Racing Tour