WMRT: Guichard Books First Semis Spot At Alicante Match Cup
Saturday, October 14, 2017 11:06 PM
Alicante, Spain (October 14, 2017) – The second day of the Alicante Match Cup served up some classic match racing action as the fleet switched modes from fleet racing to one-on-one knockouts. Yann Guichard taught fellow Frenchman Quentin Delapierre a lesson in light-wind mastery today to secure Spindrift a spot in the semi finals of the Alicante Match Cup.
Promising talent Delapierre, sailing in his debut M32 season, had hoped to topple Guichard when the two met one-on-one in today's quarter final heat. Guichard, one of sailing's biggest names, had other ideas. As the sun bore down on the M32 catamarans there was just the lightest of puffs blowing through the race course just off Alicante's city centre beach.
Guichard wasted no time in stamping his authority on the match, bossing the pre-starts and quickly taking his team's tally to 2-0 in first-to-three encounter.
With his team facing an early exit Delapierre rallied, winning the start of race three and leading his more experienced rival around the course. Disaster struck at the last moment, however, when a slow tack coming into the final upwind gate allowed Guichard back into the game. Delapierre's luck was further compounded when the on-the-water umpires ruled that he had not allowed Guichard enough room to manoeuvre round the mark and promptly penalised him. With just a few metres to sail to the finish line the win was Guichard's for the taking, and with three victories to his name a spot in the Semi Finals was secure.
“It was a tough day for everyone today but we managed to win three races in a row to go through to the Semi Finals,” Guichard said. “The conditions were really light and shifty but we sailed really well. One of our goals was to start strongly and we did that too. We're very happy with this result and we're confident for our future in this event.”
Delapierre was gracious in defeat, happy to have seen big improvements within his young team in Alicante. “We did some nice things today but not enough to win against Yann,” he said. “In the last race we were leading but Spindrift are very quick, especially upwind. We tried to keep them behind us but at the last upwind gate I made a mistake in the tack, and allowed Yann back in. I was penalised and that gave him the win. We know we have to improve but we learned a lot this week.”
Meanwhile Jonas Warrer holds the upper hand in his quarter final clash with Nico Delle Karth after three tight races. Team Warrer went 1-0 down in the opening race but levelled the scores in the second, leading off the line and around the course. A close fight ensued in the third race as the two teams traded places numerous times, but by the finish line Warrer had eked out a narrow lead to go 2-1 up. Racing was brought to an early end to give way for the Volvo Ocean Race's first in-port race to take place on the same race course.
The action will resume tomorrow, the final day of the event, with Warrer vs Delle Karth, plus the remaining quarter final pairings of Edegran and Barkow, and Postma vs Wosinski.