David Gilmour on a roll at Dutch Match Cup

Lelystad, Netherlands (27th Sept 2014): David Gilmour was the only skipper to keep a clean sheet in today’s light-air action at the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. Team Gilmour swept aside their fellow Western Australians in a 3-0 Quarter Final against Keith Swinton and Team Alpari FX. The young Aussies then took the first match of their Semi-Final against the reigning ISAF World Champions, Taylor Canfield and US One.

This is Gilmour’s first full season as a Tour Card holder on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) and reaching the Semi Final of this inaugural event is his best performance yet. Part of that could come down to the fact that the lightweight, asymmetric-spinnakered Maxfun25s are a new type of boat to everyone on the Tour.

“The other teams have had a few years on the Tour to really learn how to get the best out of the other boats that we race,” said Gilmour, whose other job is steering a 49er skiff on the Olympic circuit. “Here I think we’re benefiting from the fact that everyone is still learning the boats, so we’re not suffering from a lack of experience compared with the others.”

Racing the responsive Maxfun25s, his 49er experience seems to be helping Gilmour and his team of dinghy-racing experts, which includes British 49er sailor Ed Powys on mainsheet and tactics, along with Pete Thomas and Luke Payne at the front, who together recently finished runner-up in the 505 World Championships.

Canfield enjoyed a relaxing day watching the other crews battle their way through the light and shifting breezes of the Quarter Finals. “We had a great lunch, the restaurants have been doing a great job keeping us fed,” he said, although another part of him would have liked to have been out there gaining valuable hours on the water. “It’s the downside of going straight to the Semis. You come up against a sailor who has been racing all day in those conditions, which makes it a bit tough, but after our race against Gilmour this afternoon we've figured out a few things to do different tomorrow.”

Event qualifier Arthur Herreman gave his fellow Frenchman a few scares in the Quarter-Final battle against Mathieu Richard. “Our 3-1 win doesn’t really tell you the story of how close it was against Arthur,” admitted Richard. “Perhaps we have been training too much with him! He has been learning the game very well.”

Perhaps even Herreman was surprised to have made it so far in the competition, because as soon as his match against Richard was over, he high-tailed it on the five-hour drive south back to Normandy to fulfil his ceremonial duties as a witness at a friend’s wedding this evening.

The tensest Quarter Final duel was between Ian Williams and Phil Robertson. The Kiwis on WAKA Racing took the first two matches, leaving GAC Pindar with the daunting prospect of winning three in a row. However the four-time ISAF World Champion kept his nerve and managed to do exactly that. With Canfield selecting Gilmour as his Semi Final opponent, Williams and Richard were pitted against each other.

“Ian has beaten us in all three of our knock-out matches at other events this year,” said Richard, “so we need to find a different strategy here.” So far so good for Richard and LunaJets, who narrowly beat Williams in the first Semi-Final match this afternoon. Gilmour took a more comfortable win against Canfield.

With the 5 knot breeze vanishing to almost nothing, the rest of the Semi Finals would have to wait for tomorrow. Williams will take the break to analyse what GAC Pindar needs to do to counter the smooth and precise sailing of Richard. “It’s always difficult to beat Mathieu, especially in the light airs, and we'll have to bring a better game tomorrow if we're to move through to the Final.”

The final day of racing takes place tomorrow, starting at 1000 (CET). 

Stage 5 Dutch Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Semi Finals
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets vs Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 1-0
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour vs Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 1-0

Quarter Finals
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets beat Arthur Herreman (FRA) Team Herreman 3-1
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour beat Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 3-0
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar beat Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-2


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