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

Williams v Monnin in the final of Midsummer Match Cup

The final of Midsummer Match Cup will be a battle between Eric Monnin (Capvis Swiss Match Race Team) and Ian Williams Team GAC Pindar, the two top ranked skippers in World Sailing’s match racing open ranking. The finals in Skärhamn start at 1.30 pm CET and will be live streamed! 

The semi-finals where decided in winds around 12 knots and in best out of three matches. Ian Williams beat Lucy Macgregor in two close races.

“It’s great to make the finals in our first time here at this event and the crew work is coming together nicely, especially in the stronger winds we are having now. We are looking forward to a great final”, says Ian Williams.

Nicolai Sehested evened the score against Eric Monnin after Capvis Swiss Match Race Team got a penalty on the last downwind in match two. In match three, Monnin got the advantage on the first lap and never let it go.

Results semi-finals June 28th – Midsummer Match Cup 2019:
Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar (GBR) 2
Lucy Macgregor, Team Macgregor (GBR) 0

Eric Monnin, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI) 2
Nicolai Sehested, Gringo Sailing Team (DEN) 1

Finals of Midsummer Match Cup

Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI)
Eric Monnin
Livia Näf
Julia Falxa
Lauranne Mettraux

Team GAC Pindar (GBR)
Ian Williams
Hannah Diamond
Gerry Mitchell
Sara Stone

Petit Final of Midsummer Match Cup

Gringo Sailing Team (DEN)
Nicolai Sehested
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
Peter Wibroe

Team Macgregor (GBR)
Lucy Macgregor
Rosie Watkins
Duncan Yeabsley
Ollie Spensley-Corfield

Star filled crews head for final day of Midsummer Match Cup

The quarterfinals of Midsummer Match Cup have been decided and four star filled crews will be fighting for the trophy tomorrow. Local heroes Berntsson Sailing Team lost their duel against Eric Monnin and Capvis Swiss Match Race Team.

With less wind than earlier in the week, shifty conditions on the race course created some challenges for the teams. Berntsson Sailing Team was cheered on by the the crowds on the shore but fell back to 2-0 against Monnin. In the third match, Berntsson lost the start and couldn’t recover.

“He tricked us in the pre-start. Even if we caught up to him on the downwind they sailed really well so there isn’t much to say about the last match. In the first two matches we took the start but made costly mistakes and we would have needed a bit more training together as a team. But the event has been great and the conditions have been perfect”, says Berntsson.

Lucy Macgregor’s team (GBR) won their quarterfinal against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 3-0.

“We are super happy to be through to the semi-finals and we didn’t expect it at all, certainly not to beat Torvar Mirsky and a super good crew 3-0”, says Macgregor and continues:
“We were aggressive in our starts and even if we weren’t always in control we ended up having the advantage over the line and that’s obviously very important. Great work from the guys in the team and we are really pleased to get this far. There’s no reason why we can go all the way to the final but I’m sure it will be pretty tough whoever we face”.

Danish skipper Nicolais Sehested’s team with Brazilian Olympic gold medallists Martine Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze faced Match in Black by Normandie Elite Team and skipper Maxime Mesnil. Mesnil took the lead but Sehested came back and won 3-1.Top ranked skippers Pauline Courtois and Ian Williams faced each other in the last match and Willams won 3-1.

Results quarter finals June 28 – Midsummer Match Cup 2019:

Torvar Mirsky, Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team (AUS) 0
Lucy Macgregor, Team Macgregor (GBR) 3

Johnie Berntsson, Berntsson Sailing Team (SWE) 0
Eric Monnin, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI) 3

Nicolai Sehested, Gringo Sailing Team (DEN) 3
Maxime Mesnil, Match in Black by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) 1

Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar (GBR) 3
Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) 1

Round Robin decided in tricky conditions

Strong shifty winds put the mixed teams to a test in Midsummer Match Cup when the Round Robin was finished today. Berntsson Sailing Team is the only Swedish team to advance to the quarterfinals. 

The conditions on the Race Arena in Skärhamn were difficult to master today and the wind picked up to over 15 knots. Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar ended up on top of the scoreboard and now have the advantage of choosing their opponents when the quarterfinals begin tomorrow. Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team and skipper Pauline Courtois (FRA) won both their matches today and are looking forward to continuing racing in Skärhamn.

“We have to stay focused and with conditions like today it’s important to have very good boat handling and to keep your eyes on the shifts because it makes the race course quite difficult”, says Pauline Courtois who sails with Nathalie Corson, Eric Le Joliff and Cédric Chateau.

Johnie Berntsson had five points at the start of the day and needed to bring home a couple of important wins. After loosing to Williams the team recovered nicely and won against Eric Monnin (SUI). After winning against fellow Swede Nicklas Dackhammar and Chris Poole’s Riptide Racing they finally ended up on fifth place.

“We have things we need to improve but our greatest strength is that we always come back after a bad result and that’s very important now in the quarterfinals. We need to lift our performance now that we start the quarterfinals”, says Johnie Berntsson.

Nicklas Dackhammar started the day with a win against Ian Williams. They got a good start against Eric Monnin but lost the advantage on the second lap. They still had a chance at getting through to the next round when they headed into the match against Maxime Mesnil but got a bad start and couldn’t recover. Johanna Bergqvist had an impressive race against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) yesterday but was also knocked by narrow margin.

“It’s tough because we made a number of small mistakes and you can’t afford that when you race against the top skippers in the world. Now our goal is the Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Lysekil in August and this was a perfect warm up”, says Bergqvist.

The pairing in the quarterfinals will be decided tomorrow and the racing will be live streamed on the website www.midsummermatchcup.com and on the event’s Facebook-page.

Final Results Round Robin – Midsummer Match Cup 2019
1. Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar (GBR) (11-2)
2. Nicolai Sehested, Gringo Sailing Team (DEN) (10-3)
3. Eric Monnin, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI) (9-4)
4. Maxime Mesnil, Match in Black by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (8-5)
5. Johnie Berntsson, Berntsson Sailing Team (SWE) (8-5)
6. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (8-5)
7. Lucy Macgregor, Team Macgregor (GBR) (7-6)
8. Torvar Mirsky, Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team (AUS) (5,75-7)
9. Nicklas Dackhammar, Essiq Racing Team (SWE) (5-8)
10. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist (SWE) (5-8)
11. Will Boulden, Alpha Racing Team (AUS) (4-9)
12. Chris Poole, Riptide Racing (USA) (3-10)
13. Anna Östling, Wings (SWE) (3-10)
14. Måns Holmberg, Stratsys Racing Team (SWE) (2,25-10)

Full results from Midsummer Match Cup can be found here

For more information, visit midsummermatchcup.com or contact:
Fabian Bengtsson, Press Officer Midsummer Match Cup
+46 (0) 704-597212
fabian@brandspot.com

Impressive teamwork takes Gringo Sailing Team to the top

Stronger winds brought a lot of action two the racecourse on day two of the inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup in Skärhamn, Sweden. Nicolai Sehested and his Danish/Brazilian Gringo Sailing Team had an impressive run and are now on top of the scoreboard. 

Yesterday’s light and shifty winds turned into perfect conditions today with sun and wind increasing to 15 knots. British skipper Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar) and Eric Monnin’s Capvis Swiss Match Race Team are still undefeated but Nicolai Sehested and his Gringo Sailing Team won all their matches but one and moved up to the top of the scoreboard. Sehested has formed a new team with his long-time match racing partner and countryman Peter Wibroe and the Olympic gold medal duo Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze from Brazil.

“I have a fantastic crew. I’ve been away from match racing for some time but with these sailors in my team it makes my life so much easier. I just need to get us over the starting line in one piece and the rest of the team will get us to the finish. They kept us really strong in the manoeuvres and in speed today”, said the Danish Ocean Race veteran after completing his last win of the day against Swedish skipper Anna Östling and her Team Wings.

“We were actually hoping for light winds since we haven’t match raced so much together but when the breeze picked up we started having really good boat handling. Maybe it isn’t a surprise because Martine and Kahena are the best in the world at what they do and Peter and me have been doing this for a long time as well. It’s still early in the event and our goal was to reach the quarterfinals, so from now on we will just enjoy it, but if we are sailing like today I think we can do pretty well.”

Martine Grael, Ocean Race sailor and Olympic gold medallist in the 49er FX class in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 together with Kunze, is looking forward to the next stage of the regatta:

“We have had a really good day with good boat handling which helped us perform well in the tight match racing situations. We have already exceeded our expectations, but I really like the crew we have and it’s been a great event so far. So we feel excited and look forward for some more breeze the coming days”, said Grael.


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

One of the highlights of the day was the match between the two reigning match racing world champions, Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS), which Macgregor won.


Lucy Macgregor (GBR) ahead of Torvar Mirsky (AUS). Credit: Linus Arvidsson

“We had quite many races this afternoon which was fantastic and we won most of them. We are starting well, we won all our starts but the last one against Pauline Courtois, and the teamwork has been awesome. We stepped up a level when the wind came in, I don’t think we made a single mistake with the boat handling and obviously that’s a big gain over other teams who are still making a few errors”, said Lucy Macgregor.

Swedish skipper Johnie Berntsson is highest on the scoreboard of the Swedish teams with five wins and two losses. He took points against both Mirsky and Macgregor.
“It’s a great feeling to beat two world champions and I’m proud of the fighting spirit in the team today when the wind picked up. We still have some things to work on, we need to have better timing in our manoeuvres and tomorrow all points are important if we are going to advance to the quarterfinals”, said Berntsson.


Berntsson Sailing Team takes the lead against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team. Credit: Linus Arvidsson.

The top eight teams advance to the next round and nine flights remain to be raced in the Round Robin. The quarterfinals begin tomorrow afternoon and the racing will be broadcasted on the event’s websitewww.midsummermatchcup.com and our Facebook-page from 12.00 CET.

Scoreboard Wednesday June 26 – Midsummer Match Cup 2019
1. Nicolai Sehested, Team AkoNobel (DEN) (9-2)
2. Eric Monnin, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI) (7-0)
3. Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar (GBR) (7-0)
4. Lucy Maggregor, Team Macgregor (GBR) (7-3)
5. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (6-5)
6. Johnie Berntsson, Berntsson Sailing Team (SWE) (5-2)
7. Torvar Mirsky, Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team (AUS) (5-6)
8. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist (SWE) (4-7)
9. Will Boulden, Alpha Racing Team (AUS) (3-4)
10. Måns Holmberg, Stratsys Racing Team (SWE) (3-8)
11. Chris Poole, Riptide Racing (USA) (2-5)
12. Maxine Mesnil, Match in Black by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (2-5)
13. Nicklas Dackhammar, Essiq Racing Team (SWE) (2-5)
14. Anna Östling, Wings  (SWE) (2-9)

Full results from Midsummer Match Cup can be found here

For more information, visit midsummermatchcup.com or contact:
Fabian Bengtsson, Press Officer Midsummer Match Cup
+46 (0) 704-597212
fabian@brandspot.com

Eric Monnin takes the lead in Midsummer Match Cup

The inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup kicked off today with light winds on the Race Arena in Skärhamn. Eric Monnin (SUI) and his Capvis Swiss Match Race Team got the best start with 5-0 after day one.

Light and shifty winds caused a number of course changes and delays during the first day of racing in Skärhamn. After eight flights of the round robin we find Eric Monnin and Capvis Swiss Match Race Team at the top the top of the scoreboard with five wins.

”It’s a good start of course and it has been a day where everything worked out as we planned. Some of the matches were pretty easy because we had a good position from the start, and good crew work around the course. Now we only need to keep momentum, and it’s nice not to stress about the results in the Round Robin. In the next stage of the regatta everyone knows that they need to reach a higher level”, says Eric Monnin.


Eric Monnin and Capvis Swiss Match Race Team have won all their five matches during day one of Midsummer Match Cup.
Credit: Linus Arvidsson

Team GAC Pindar and Ian Williams, number one on the international open ranking, also won all there matches and ended the day with a win a win against Pauline Courtois, the highest ranked female match racing skipper in the world.  Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team have one win and two losses after day one.

“It’s not a good result but not that bad either. We just need to continue to improve our boat handling and our boat speed. It’s a difficult regatta with really strong teams but we are confident, says Courtois and continues:

”We feel good and this is our second regatta with this team because we had the same set up in Bermuda earlier this spring. But it’s not my usual team and it’s very new for everyone in this regatta. The mixed team rule makes it very interesting.”

The eight best teams in the Round Robin qualify for the quarter-finals starting on Thursday. The Swedish teams have had a few ups and downs during the day but all of them still have a chance to get through to the next stage. Anna Östling and Team Wings took one of their two points against Nicklas Dackhammar and his Essiq Racing Team, the team which they have changed crew members with because of the mixed rule in the regatta.

“It’s a new dimension to the racing but we have handled it well. We have taken some important points, but the competition is really tough and we need to take a few more wins. We have our goal set on reaching the semi-finals”, says Anna Östling.

Anna Östling came very close to winning her match against Johnie Berntsson. Team Wings took a big lead during the first lap but Berntsson Sailing Team made an extraordinary recovery on the last leg and were able to pass just before the finish.

“I screwed up the start but I’m happy to have a team that never gives up. We really went for it during the last leg and of course it feels great to start the regatta with winning a match by less than a meter at the finish”, says Johnie Berntsson who only raced one match today.


Berntsson Sailing Team won against Anna Östlings team Wings after an incredible finish. Credit: Linus Arvidsson

The Round Robin continues tomorrow and the winner of the regatta is decided in the final on Saturday.

Scoreboard Tuesday June 25 – Midsummer Match Cup 2019:
1. Eric Monnin, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team (SUI) (5-0)
2. Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar (GBR) (4-0)
3. Lucy Maggregor, Team Macgregor (GBR) (3-2)
4. Nicolai Sehested, Team AkoNobel (DEN) (2-2)
5. Anna Östling, Wings  (SWE) (2-4)
6. Maxine Mesnil, Match in Black by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (2-4)
7. Johnie Berntsson, Berntsson Sailing Team (SWE) (1-0)
8. Will Boulden, Alpha Racing Team (AUS) (1-1)
9. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team (FRA) (1-2)
10. Chris Poole, Riptide Racing (USA) (0-0)
11. Torvar Mirsky, Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team (AUS) (0-0)
12.Måns Holmberg, Stratsys Racing Team (SWE) (0-1)
13. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist (SWE) (0-2)
14. Nicklas Dackhammar, Essiq Racing Team (SWE) (0-3)

Full results from Midsummer Match Cup an be found here:
https://midsummermatchcup.com/en/results/

For more information, visit midsummermatchcup.com or contact:
Fabian Bengtsson, Press Officer Midsummer Match Cup
+46 (0) 704-597212
fabian@brandspot.com

Midsummer Match Cup introduces a whole new game

The inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup starts tomorrow. With a new arena and newly formed mixed crews, it’s difficult to predict which team will bring home the trophy. 

Midsummer Match Cup is the first international match racing event with a rule stating that all teams must compete with two men and two female sailors. The event has attracted a number of the biggest names in the sport but with newly formed crews with limited training together, it’s difficult to say which team should be regarded as a favorite.

“It’s a completely new event, which is exciting. But all teams are new because of the mixed rule, and nobody really knows what to expect. Every team will have a lot of learning to do at the start and the winners will be the ones that are able to improve the most from day one until the final day”, says Ian Williams, the number one ranked male skipper int eh world.

For his team GAC Pindar, Williams has picked Hannah Diamond, Gerry Mitchell and Sara Stone and they were out on the water in Skärhamn to test the race course.
“It’s obviously a very tight race course but it’s enough for the boats we are using. And it’s going to be great for the spectators because there’s no way we are going to be very far away from them”, says Williams.


Team GAC Pindar training in Skärhamn. 

­

Lucy Macgregor (GBR), reigning Match Racing World Champion, says she enters the regatta with the same confidence as any other regatta.
– It’s a lot of firsts for us with new boats, a new team and a new venue, but that’s what we love about match racing and we are looking forward to getting started. It’s pretty shifty out on the course and I’m sure that we be a determining factor.


Team Macgregor – Ollie Spensley-Corfield, Lucy Macgregor, Duncan Yeabsley och Rosie Watkins.

For Johnie Berntsson, one of the founders of the event in Skärhamn, it means a lot that the event is getting started.

“It’s and incredible feeling to see all these sailors arriving here in Skärhamn and the beautiful Race Village being built. It’s going to be a great event. All the teams are starting fresh and we are all going to have to fight to improve together as teams from the first start in the first flight. I’m positive that we are going to see steep learning curve for a lot of teams”.

The event is decided in a full Round Robin followed by quarter finals, semi finals and a final, which is raced on Saturday June 29th. Read more about the event schedule here.


Team Johnie Berntsson – Erik Malmberg, Anna Skarenhed, Linda Rahm and Johnie Berntsson. 

Nicolai Sehested completes the line-up for Midsummer Match Cup

Nicolai Sehested during the Ocean Race 2017-18 onboard Team AkzoNobel. The Danish skipper will enter Midsummer Match Cup June 25-29 2019. Credit: Sam Greenfield/Ocean Race

Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested, Ocean Race sailor and World Match Racing Tour competitor, will be entering the Midsummer Match Cup next week with a strong team of Olympic Gold medallists. 

The line-up for the inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup is filled with some of the biggest names in sailing. Sehested, 29, is perhaps most well known for sailing around the world as a competitor in the last two editions of the Ocean Race, but the Dane did several seasons on the World Match Racing Tour before entering that. He is now one of 14 skippers heading for Skärhamn, Sweden and the start of Midsummer Match Cup on Tuesday June 25th.

”After spending a lot of time offshore, I really miss the tight and close racing you get in match racing. It has always been very fun for me to Match Race, and with this new and great event it was the perfect chance for a return to match racing. I must admit there is something great about monohull match racing that you won’t get anywhere else”, says Sehested.

Midsummer Match Cup is not only the first international sailing event to be raced on Skärhamn’s spectacular arena, it is also the first match racing event to introduce a strict mixed class rule, stating that all teams must consist of two male and two female crews members. Sehested did his fist Ocean Race with Team Vestas Wind in 2014-15 and was part of Team AkzoNobel in 2017-18.

”I think mixed teams is a great format, and I just spent more than a year sailing with a mixed team around the world. It works great, and creates a lot of great opportunities for our sport. It is definitely going to be the future, and I am very happy about that”, says Sehested who has put together a very competitive team.

Besides his long-time friend and match racing companion Peter Wibroe, the team also consists of Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, who won the Olympic gold medal for Brazil in the 49er FX class in Rio de Janeiro 2016. Grael is also an Ocean Race veteran who sailed with Sehested on Team AkzoNobel.

”I am very lucky to have Martine Grael on board who I spent the last 15 months sailing together with around the world. And the Olympic superstar Kahena Kunze will also join us. I have only sailed with Kahena once in Brazil, but she will make sure we always go fast. We are all realistic and coming in without training or match racing will be difficult. So we are probably outsiders, but also very competitive. So we are not the favourites, but I’m sure with this team we can make some surprises”.

Martine Greal on Team AkzoNobel during the 2017-18 Ocean Race. Credit: James Blake/Ocean Race

Previously, thirteen teams in the line-up for Midsummer Match Cup have been presented, and they are all led by top ranked skippers. Among them are the Swedish teams led by Anna Östling, Johanna Bergqvist, Johnie Berntsson, Måns Holmberg and Nicklas Dackhammar. Reigning World Champions Lucy Macgregor and Torvar Mirsky are both entering the event. Pauline Courtois (FRA) is the highest ranked female skipper in the world and winner of last year’s WIM Series. Eric Monnin (SUI) is number three on the men’s world ranking and Ian Williams number one. Maxine Mesnil (FRA) and Will Boulden (AUS), are ranked fourth and seventh respectively and Chris Poole (USA), ranked 14th.

Midsummer Match Cup is sailed June 25th-29th in Skärhamn on the island of Tjörn in Sweden with the boat type Fareast 28R. The regatta starts with a full round robin and ends with a final on Saturday June 29th.

Skippers in the line-up for Midsummer Match Cup in Skärhamn, Sweden:
Pauline Courtois (FRA)
Ian Williams (GBR)
Anna Östling (SWE)
Johanna Bergqvist (SWE)
Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Måns Holmberg (SWE)
Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE)
Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
Lucy Maggregor (GBR)
Eric Monnin (SUI)
Maxine Mesnil (FRA)
Will Boulden (AUS)
Chris Poole (USA)
Nicolai Sehested (DEN)