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:



Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'