Veteran Swedish match racer Björn Hansen and his Extend Commerce Sailing Team of Mathias Bredin, Philip Kai Guhle and Nils Bjerkås have clinched their seventh win of GKSS Match Cup Sweden, an official stage of the World Match Racing Tour. Hansen defeated USA’s Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing 2-1 in the Final with Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson (SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team) finishing in third place.
Spectators swarmed to the picturesque island of Marstrand to watch the final four teams battle it out for the coveted Marstrand title.
Paired against Estonian Mati Sepp/ Clean Energy Sailing Team in the first semis, Hansen and crew defeated Sepp with two straight wins to secure their place in the final.
In the second semi-final, Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson took the first win against Poole before Poole and team were able to come back with two straight wins to finish 2-1 and advance to the final to meet Hansen.
In the first-to-two points final, Hansen picked up two penalties in the first race allowing Poole an early lead. But Hansen levelled the field 1-1 in the second race.
Requesting to change boat for the deciding race, the two teams split tacked form the start. On the downwind leg, Hansen was able to roll past Poole and reach the leeward gate ahead, opting for the right hand side of the course as they led upwind.
Edging ahead of Poole, Hansen was able to maintain the lead and cross the line to finish 2-1 and secure the title.
“Just an amazing finish” commented Hansen on his return to match racing “We are so pleased to be back in Marstrand and win the event again. Chris [Poole] and the team had a great event and we knew it would not easy in the final.”
“It has been great to bring this event back and return to the World Match Racing Tour with the world’s best match racers” added Event Manager Matias Rahm. “The island was packed with spectators today which was just fabulous to see again, we look forward to welcoming the world of international match racing back to Marstrand again next year.”