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:



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works