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:



Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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 children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on