To the delight of his thousands of fellow Swedes watching from the cliffs all around the bay, Bjorn Hansen won the Stena Match Cup on what are as good as his home waters of Marstrand. That he should still be topping the table after two rounds of the Alpari World Match Racing series was of limited consolation to four times world champion Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew, who went down 1-3 in the best of five final.
“Bjorn has changed gear, for sure,” said Williams. “He is clearly the benchmark at this regatta. He has knocked us out three of the last four years. Two semi-finals and a final. Then we beat him in 2011.
“He has incredible support – support you don’t see anywhere else in the world. It is his home regatta and the audience are very well educated and really understand what is going on out there. It is a bit of a shame we didn’t win it.”
The man who pipped Williams for a fifth title last year, Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, won the third-place play-off against Francesco Bruni, carrying the Italian flag of the Prada backed America’s Cup challenger Luna Rossa and Canfield is in fifth place on the 2014 table. Courtesy of the Marstrand win, Hansen in now in second place but, with 39 points, is eight points behind Williams with Australia’s Keith Swinton third on 34, and France’s Mathieu Richard fourth on 33. Canfield has 29 while both Phil Robertson of New Zealand and Bruni are on 20.