Amazing comeback for Team GAC Pindar in the final

Ian Williams Team GAC Pindar won the final of the inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup after an impressive comeback against Eric Monnin and Capvis Swiss Match Race Team.

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 to make it 1-1. It all came down to a deciding match full of lead changes.

Monnin took the start but Williams came back on the first downwind. After a bad rounding from the britts, Monnin once again had the upper hand but lost it when the team had difficulties setting their genacker. Williams’s 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. “It feels incredible to come back from the mistakes we made, because they really put us on the back foot”, said Williams and continued:

”To come back from that feels sensational. The wind was very strong during the final and that obviously makes it really challenging, and very small mistakes are magnified. Our small mistake at the bottom rounding cost us a lot and Eric’s mistake at the top mark cost him the same. We made it thanks to great work by the whole team; Hannah Diamond, Sara Stone and Gerry Mitchell”.

 Williams passing Monnin on the last downwind. Credit: Linus Arvidsson

And Williams doesn’t put the blame for the crash on anyone but himself.
“It was my bad and when you are in the helmsman’s position you can’t really see the bowsprit, and I even forgot that we had a bowsprit. It doesn’t point more than 20 centimeters from the hull but it was enough to catch them. It was my fault, it was really costly but I’m very happy that we were able to move on, take one race at a time and come back to take the win”.

Nicolai Sehested’s Gringo Sailing Team won 2-1 against Team Lucy Macgregor in the Petite Final. The Danish skipper has been sailing with Peter Wibroe and the Brazilian Olympic gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze. ”I have had a lot of fun in this event and we are super happy with our result”, said Martine Grael and continued:
“ I’m looking forward to coming back next year if we can manage it with our Olympic campaign. We have an experienced team with Peter and Nicolai who have been sailing a lot together just like me and Kahena have. I have really enjoyed racing a mixed team event”

Gringo Sailing Team – Nicolai Sehested, Martine Grael, Kahena Kunze and Peter Wibroe. Credit: Joachim Bråse