Phil Robertson (ChinaOne Ningbo) has become Match Racing World Champion, defeating USA’s Taylor Canfield (US One) 3-0 in the finals in Marstrand, Sweden. It is Robertson’s second world title following his World Match Racing Tour win in 2016.
“It’s fantastic to win here again. Marstrand is a very special place to sail and we love coming here. The whole team [Stewart Dodson, Will Tiller, James Wierzbowski] sailed superbly today to make sure I could take the boat in the direction we needed. Our congratulations to Taylor and the team for sailing so well against us as well” said Robertson.
The two former world champions were evenly matched at the start of the day for the first-to-three point final match. In the first race, Canfield was unfortunate to lose his port rudder blade in the tight pre-start manoeuvring allowing Robertson to put the first score on the board. Leading the second race start, Robertson was called over early and Canfield took the lead, but a slow gennaker deploy on board the US One boat allowed Robertson to gain the lead. Splitting gates at the leeward mark, Robertson found a right wind shift on the upwind leg, an advantage he was able to hold to the finish.
Canfield led the third race but a gybe set by Robertson at the first mark gave Robertson the overlap and lead change. Canfield pushed hard at the boundary but a green flag from the on-water umpires allowed Robertson to stay ahead and control the race to the finish.
“It wasn’t to be our day today but we are pleased with a second place and I’d like to thank my team [Hayden Goodrich, Chris Main, Mac Agnese] for such a great job. It’s the third time we have lost to Phil here in the finals but we will be back for sure” commented Canfield.
In the Petit Final, local favourite Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) was up against Torvar Mirksy (AUS) for the 3rd and 4th place deciders. Losing his first race to Mirsky, Dackhammar was determined not to disappoint the fans cheering his team from the shore, calling a better layline to the finish in the second match to snatch victory from Mirsky and go to a decider. Dackhammar was then able to use the teams momentum to overpower Mirsky in the decider match and take the bronze.
In the Nordea Women’s Trophy which ran parallel to this week’s GKSS Match Cup Sweden, it was local Anna Östling and her Team WINGS [Marie Berg, Annika Carlunger, Annie Wennergren, Linnéa Wennegren] that clinched victory for the second year in a row.
The Marstrand event concludes the extended 2018-19 World Match Racing Tour season which included four championship events from 2018 in Sweden, Portugal and Norway. Under new ownership since the start of the year, the World Match Racing Tour will announce its new season in the coming months, also celebrating its 20th year in 2020 as the longest running global professional sailing series. As one of only five sanctioned Special Events by World Sailing, the World Match Racing Tour promotes match racing around the world providing a unique platform for sailors to compete at the highest level of the sport. Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have contributed over USD20 million in prize money to sailors.
GKSS Match Cup Sweden – Match Racing World Championship
1. Phil Robertson (NZL) ChinaOne Ningbo
2. Taylor Canfield (USA) US One
3. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) ESSIQ Racing
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Cetilar Mirsky Racing
5. Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing
6. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
7. Måns Holmberg (SWE) Stratsys Racing
8.Harry Price (AUS) Down Under Racing
9. Markus Edegran (USA) Team Torrent
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
11. Daniel Bjornholt (DEN) Youth Vikings Team
12. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) NL Sailing Team