Damien Iehl wins Match Race France

Match Race France was won in France in a final contested by two Frenchmen as the opening of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour was brought to a brisk end. A Mistral was threatening to scream through Marseille at 40 knots on what was originally scheduled to be the finals day, Sunday.

The winner was Damien Iehl, sweeping aside by two wins to nil the challenge of the older campaigner Bertrand Pacé while the battle for third place went the way of the rising star from Australia, Torvar Mirsky, dispatching Denmark’s Jesper Radich 2-1.

Britain’s former world champion Ian Williams and his Team GACPindar had to sit out the final day having failed, on a countback, to make the quarter final cut.

Williams was not happy and was not looking for any excuses, except that his heavier crew, which had re-opened its WMRT campaign on the back of wins in California and Spain, was more attuned to heavier boats then the nippy J80s being used at the Yacht Club Rouge Pointe.

Long the tune-up and training ground for America’s Cup teams wanting to hone the specialist dark arts of match racing, especially the pre-start dance which has the specific aim of treading on your opposite number’s feet, the switch into multihulls for the 2013 Cup has changed the profile.

But it offers a wide spread of venues, with the Far East now more prominent after the circuit was sold to a Malaysian-based consortium. And it fits well for a sponsor company seeking an international profile.

Williams has two bites of that particular cherry as Andrew Pindar, whose Scarborough-based printing and digital media company operates worldwide, has joined forces with a Swedish-run, Middle East-based shipping company GAC not just on the match race circuit but the Extreme Sailing Series, which is contested in 40-foot catamarans.

“Match racing passions around the world are more concentrated in yacht clubs with a traditional approach while the Extreme Sailing Series is aimed more at a general public excited by the spectacle,” said Andrew Pindar in Marseille.

He had arrived just in time to hear Williams explain what had gone wrong but sees great potential in both events at a time when the economic climate means, he says, that the lower budgets, compared with America’s Cup, the Volvo round the world race or even the Audi MedCup circuit, can make it easier to keep in the marketing mix.

This week the spotlight switches to the Audi MedCup, which opens its 2011 account in Cascais, Portugal with a fleet of eight TP52s being joined for the first time by five of the new Soto 40s, including one campaigned by Britain’s Tony Buckingham. Niklas Zennstrom, having just resold the Skype internet communications company he helped found to Microsoft, enters the fray with a new, TP52, Rán.

The next stop for the WMRT is the German grand prix. In Charleston, the four skippers in the Velux 5 Oceans round the world race, including Britain’s Chris Stanmore-Major, started the final leg to La Rochelle, Franc.

Andrew Pindar “sanguine” about the double campaign:

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam