Energa Sopot Match Race claimed a worthy winner today in Nicklas Dackhammar and his Essiq Racing team. The talented young Swede and his crew muscled their way through the three day regatta on Poland’s Bay of Gdansk with his only loss coming at the hands of Eric Monnin.
With time running out at the event due to the varied conditions, the Semi Finals were cancelled. Because of this, when the last matches were completed in the Round Robin this morning, Dackhammar ended up progressing directly to the Final, lining up against Australia’s Torvar Mirsky and his Mirsky Racing Team. Meanwhile another Australian, Sam Gilmour, and his Neptune Racing team pitched up in the Petit Final against Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Team.
Once again there were challenging conditions for the final day of the World Match Racing Tour’s Energa Sopot Match Race with a trying mix of sunshine, rain that also saw the wind twice clock through 360°, while ranging in velocity from a resolute zero to a shifty 14 knots.
As to his Final races against Torvar Mirsky, Dackhammar described them: “In the first race, we were behind Torvar the whole race up until the last upwind when we had a cross and tacked in front of him. Then we were in front of him on the downwind to the finish. It was down to good manoeuvring from the crew and we had good boat speed, which helped.
“In the second race we got him into a good situation where he was forced to do an OCS start so we led from the beginning. But then there was a big left shift and he took us at one point on the second upwind by tacking before us. But we managed to roll him by pulling the genniker out. It was interesting sailing because the wind shifted 180°, so the upwinds became downwind and the downwind became upwind.”
As to his success in Sopot, having had the most time in the high performance M32 catamaran has not hurt Dackhammar and his crew, who enjoyed a good short season on the World Match Racing Tour and the M32 Series Scandinavia, finishing the former in seventh place. “We had a third in Copenhagen and a little struggle in Marstrand when we lost to Phil Robertson, who won the regatta. We are a good team and winning here is not a surprise to us,” he said.
Like the other five skippers who competed at Energa Sopot Match Race this week, Dackhammar was impressed with the venue and its giant wooden pier which is typically packed with visitors and match racing fans during this regular annual regatta. “I would love to come back. It is a really beautiful place to sail and all these people on the pier. It is the Polish Rivera. I would be very happy to return.”
>From here Dackhammar returns to the next event on the M32 Scandinavian Series, which takes place in Aarhus, Denmark. He hopes to then join the first event of the next World Match Race Tour, at the end of September.