The Redline team rolled into Southampton the day after our win in Helsinki giving us plenty of time to acclimatise to the new venue. We were blown away by our kind hosts living less than 100 meters from the yacht club in beautiful houses where each of us had our own room and bathroom! No doubt this helped the team stay fresh throughout the regatta.
The Grade 2 Royal Southern Match Cup was sailed in the famous Solent waters, a stretch of water between the Isle of White and mainland England. This is a very technical area to sail as the tide eddies and bends around the island and up the various cannels. The tide can be extremely strong and changes speed quickly, our time on distance calculations before the start needed to be closely monitored from flight to flight. This extra curve ball makes it slightly harder for the international teams to adapt. Also the a-symmetrical kites where launched and dropped from the cabin rather than the forward hatch, this was an additional mechanical issue all teams were wrestling with.
We started our round robin against regular rivals GBR Race Team followed by Aschenbrenner Racing Team. Our race with the Brits was held in a steady 20 knots, racing was close around the entire race until the bottom mark where once again the race was decided. We had a terrible drop and rounding, luckily the Brits had a worse rounding under pressure forcing an extremely wide rounding allowing us to sail away for an easy win. Our next race against Aschenbrenner was a little cleaner however a lot of little mistakes were made by both teams where we made just a few less mistakes giving us the win. We were happy with the two wins, however our boat handling was behind where it needed to be, this was a similar problem felt by a lot of teams due to the strong winds, tight racing and cabin drops.
After a break we came back on for two races and started to gain momentum with 4 wins on the trot, but more importantly we started to sail the boats cleaner with better manoeuvres. As we finished the fourth race an umpire spoke with Matt and while he was focusing on the conversation forgot to steer the boat and crash jibed, knocking himself out in the process. It was a big hit, and put Matt on the floor of the boat. He was sent ashore for treatment with Pat to hold his hand as requested by management on the basis that our races would be postponed. Mark and Alex were left to sail the boat around. After 15 minutes the umpires said we had two options: accept two random crew and race or accept forfeit, this was a frustrating situation because we wouldn’t have sent our bowman to shore if we needed to keep racing, however we had no options and couldn’t fight the decision. So Mark took the Helm and Alex continued as mainsheet. Fortunately the boys rose to the challenge of the new roles and new crew to sail clean for another 2 wins without the opposition crossing in front once.
Our final 3 round robin races were in a fresh 25 knots. We won all except our race against 5 times World Match Racing Tour Champion - team GAC Pindar skippered by Ian Williams. Although we lost, it was a close race. We were behind slightly at the start, hot on his tail at the top mark and again kissing his transom around the bottom mark. We got a split right up the second beat and came out in front, another match was on our ladder rung and we accidently gave Ian the right thinking it was a boat in another match. A careless mistake that shouldn’t have been made. He used that to his advantage and lead around the top mark, he sailed well on the final run to defend the small lead.
From the round robin we went straight into semi-finals, partnered up with the inform Rascal Racing who are the current British Universities Match Racing Champions. The overly vocal team who made a lot of noise in the pre starts brought a tough set of races where the lead never extended more than 3 boat lengths. Our play of the series was in race 2 when we rounded the top mark just in front with a penalty, Both boats jibed just after the top mark and luffed, they rolled us, but we held on to defend the jibe back. We carried Rascal Racing past the bottom mark layline cleared our penalty and put a penalty on Rascal Racing before going back on a reach to the bottom mark. Although a tight series we came out on top 3-0.
We waited a good couple hours to watch an epic 5 race series between GBR Race Team and GAC Pindar. The young Brits sailed very well to almost beat the mighty GAC Pindar but ultimately Williams won out 3-2.
Our final we held in 2-5 knots with big wind shifts as the thermal breeze built and the gradient wind shut down. It was very similar to a Perth sea breeze pushing over the easterly gradient in summer. Both starts were very even and both races were ultimately won by whoever picked the shifts and puffs. This is an area of sailing that we as a team feel comfortable with hence we felt very happy to have equal starts. Both races saw us in control at various points and we had the choice of where to go up the beat, unfortunately both pivotal calls we made were wrong letting GAC take the cross in front from our decision. From there were struggled to break free. GAC Pindar are defiantly a level above the rest, and as you would expect being 5 time world champion.
Writing this at Doha airport in Qatar, the team is very proud of the results from the tour, our only losses in the finals were to full time, professional sailors. Our strong results have briefly put us on top of the World Match Racing Tour! Something we want to do a lot more of, the team can take a lot of lessons from the month for our next trip to Sopot and US Grand Slam. Look forward to seeing you all in Perth shortly.
Matt, Alex, Patrick and Mark
From day one on the Tom28 yachts we felt confident with the size and mechanics very similar to our local bw8 yachts, this little confidence boost is what we needed against the seasoned completion for this strong grade 2 eventwhere the winner qualifies for the Sopot leg of the World Match Racing Tour.
See the entry list below:
1. Reuben Corbett – NZL ISAF Rank: 12
2. Mark Lees – GBR ISAF Rank: 23
3. Przemek Tarnacki Energa Yacht Racing – POL ISAF Rank: 26
4. Philip Bendon – IRL ISAF Rank: 30
5. Marek Stańczyk Rainmaker Racing Team – POL ISAF Rank: 31
6. Matt Jerwood Redline Racing – AUS ISAF Rank: 32
7. Lucas Lier – DEN ISAF Rank: 43
8. Patryk Zbroja Yacht Racing Team – POL ISAF Rank: 55
9. Rafal Sawicki GSC Yachting – POL ISAF Rank: 58
10. Lukasz Wosinski Delphia Sailing Team – POL ISAF Rank: 86
11. Piotr Harasimowicz HRM Racing - POL ISAF Rank: N/R (Wildcard)
Our event opened with 5 races off, this gave us a great opportunity to watch the other flights and see if any trends were present with the top mark in close proximity to the marina. We had our mate Jack Walker and his partner Ellie Bramley over from England to cheer us on for the first two days so it was nice to have some time to relax with them. Once we hit the water we had 5 flights on with the last two against the top two seed. We got knocked off by local legend Tarnacki but sailed well to beat Lees and Corbett. Towards the end of the round robin we found ourselves making some out of character mistakes falling short against Stańczyk and Sawicki. Both losses were very close and we were disappointed in how we sailed and wanted to make a better effort for the Quarter finals.
Finishing the qualifying in 4th we could not choose our opponent and got partnered with Stańczyk. Without any time to lose we went straight out to the race area. After a long wait we got our first race under way, we sailed well and got the win. After many wind shifts and another long wait we went out for the second race in a first to two points knock out. We again sailed well and lead around every mark with a reach to the finish when the race was abandoned. This was very disappointing since we were less than a minute from the semi-finals. At the end of the session we were on the water for 3 hours+ and walked away with a 1-0 score.
The next day we came out to finish the quarters and in the first pre-start our bow collided with his stern hard enough to put a small hole in his boat and lost a point in damage along with our damage deposit. Equalizing the scores back to 0-0. This set back got the crew fired up which brought out some of our best sailing yet, additionally Stańczyk started making mistakes by hitting the committee boat anchor line which ultimately cost him the race. After almost every race there was either a protest, redress or mediation for various incidents. This long quarter finals, in and out of the protest room had toughened us up for the semi and quarter finals.
We were picked as the weakest team by the regatta favourite Tarnacki, Once again the boys sailed well to lead the opening race with a penalty against the opposition only to see the abandonment flag again. By this stage we were ready for anything feeling like we had all the bad luck. We were mentally ready for a long finals series and brought our best sailing to win the semi-finals 2-0.
Our opponent for the first to 3 point final was Sawicki who dominated Corbett 2-0 in their semi final. Our team was full of confidence heading into the final after a tough finals series. From watching the other finals we had an idea on what Sawicki’s strengths and weaknesses were and thought we knew what was giving him the edge on the other teams. Once again the boys sailed an outstanding finals series to lead at every cross and every mark to take a convincing win 3-0. In the end our quarter finals took as long as the semi-finals and finals combined. If you have been following us on facebook I am sure you will know that the boys are stoked and are looking forward to the Sopot World Match Racing Tour Event in late July. Once again we thank you for following our progress and look forward to our next event in Helsinki starting in 3 day’s time.
Matt, Alex, Patrick and Mark
The Redline boys moved up north to Helsinki to compete in the grade 2 Open Spring Cup. The city of Helsinki is north of Stockholm and one of the most northern major cities in Europe with only a few dark hours each day. The weather was peachy for all days except the last when the wind kicked up and temperatures dropped. Similar to the Tom28s used in Poland we felt at home on the J80s with symmetrical kites. See the entry list below:
1. Olli-Pekka Lumijärvi ISAF Rank: 20
2. Mark Lees – GBR Race Team ISAF Rank: 23
3. Antti Luhta – West Coast Sailing Team ISAF Rank: 27
4. Matthew Jerwood – Redline Racing ISAF Rank: 32
5. Markus Rönnberg- Team ALANDIA ISAF Rank: 62
6. Marios Zisimatos ISAF Rank: 80
7. Ville-Veikko Niskanen ISAF Rank: 126
8. Lauri Kääpä ISAF Rank: 137
9. Ilya Baraev ISAF Rank: 213
We sailed well against our first opponent in the round robin to just get the win after good tactical calls on the finish line to beat Rönnberg by a few meters. Our next race went much smoother until we had a small scare at the bottom mark when the course was changed for another flight and our opponent went around the changed mark, this planted seeds of doubt. Fortunately we backed ourselves and sailed clear for an easy win.
Following those first two unsettling races we got into gear and sailed well to win the remaining round robin races. In some sense we were quite lucky because we sailed fast boats as we felt there was discrepancy between all the J80s used for the event. Nevertheless we made the most of our opportunities to win 8 from 8 races in the round robin.
For our Semi Final we chose Rönnberg in the first to three points final. The first two races were sailed with genoas in 5-8 knots in the evening of the second day, we had a fast boat and sailed well to beat Rönnberg 2-0. This meant we only had to win one of the next three races provided there was no damage to qualify for the final. The race on the third day was in very different conditions gusting over 25 knots and was essentially down to boat handling and speed. We had an extremely tight race were we had to overtake from behind on the first downwind to ultimately roll and take the win by only a few meters. We were very happy to win in three races straight and stoked to still not have lost a race thus far. We watched the five race final between Luhta and Lees which was won by Lees in a thrilling 5 race final. From experience were know there is nothing better than a tough qualifier to prepare yourself for the next final.
The breeze was steadily building throughout the day and left us with a constant 25 knots gusting 30 knots for the final. The pictures do not do justice to the strong wind on the flat water, we could only just hold the sheets as we were being pulled into the blocks. With this in mind the race committee decided the change the finals from first to three points to first to two points. We were not happy with the change because it meant the brits had the best boat in the fleet for one extra race should the finals go to three races. We sailed a clean first race by winning the start and extending throughout the race to win by a comfortable margin, we were so far in front that we dropped early to avoid jibing in the nuclear conditions. The next race was much more difficult after we misjudged the start and didn’t give Lees room at the committee boat giving us two penalties off the start – this meant we had to do one straight away and a penalty in 25-30 knots is very expensive. Lees sailed well to keep the boat moving fast and finished with a comfortable margin. This left one final race to decide the winner of the 2015 Spring Cup. Unfortunately luck started to go against us as we had the slower boat of the two for the penultimate race. The team knew that in the strong wind it was down to speed and boat handling.
Off the line we were behind and in dirty air, not ideal but the team dug deep and picked a few shifts combined with hard hiking to claw ourselves within 1 boat length at the top mark. Around the top we had a killer set and almost felt the boat launch onto the plane as we further closed the gap to the brits. Once the gap was only meters we both jibed and luffed. Our jibe was better than Lees and that was enough to roll and sail over the bow of the opposition. Again we both jibed and powered to the bottom mark. At this point both boats had only 5 boat lengths to drop the kite pole, hoist the jib and drop the kite, to makes things interesting we were coming in on a tight reach in extreme conditions (see below). Going into overdrive the boys dropped and jibed faster than Lees and rounded the mark. Lees had a poor rounding took too much room giving him a penalty. We came away from the bottom mark with a big lead and held on for the final unstable run to win the regatta! The Boys were very happy to win with the slower of the two boats and are happy to have won two grade 2 regattas in two weeks!
Many thanks for following the Redline Racing progress.
Matt, Alex, Patrick and Mark
The team is happy to have cracked our first world tour event just 20 months since our very first regatta at the Sydney National Championships in late 2013. This milestone event is credit to the team’s hard work since inception and gives us confidence to keep pursuing our goal to become World Match Racing Champions.
Match Race Germany is a unique event held on Lake Constance, 400 meters above sea level surrounded by mountains where we could see snow on a clear day. Historically known as a light wind venue, this proved to be accurate as we sailed in 3 – 15 knots for the week. Our first two days were tough for us learning the boats, our biggest issue was finding speed upwind, downwind we felt confident and usually gained. Upwind was a big issue as we didn’t lead around a mark for the first 6 races! Although we won 2 of the first 6 races on the final downwind with clean jibes and good calls to sail in the puffs. This statistic was looming over us as we kept methodically talking about all the factors that could be affecting out speed and very slowly got ourselves onto pace.
The 7th and final race for day 2 was the first time we had lead around a mark, we lead around the top with the smallest of margins, lost the lead and gained it back on the final run to win by less than a meter. This gave the team a new breath of energy for the final 3 days.
At this stage of the regatta we were in 10th place and had only one opportunity to make the cut for the quarter finals, we had to win all three of our final three round robin races. The boys were all buzzing with energy and felt like we just had solved our upwind speed issues, not only that we had confidence from the last win. We came out confident and won the next three races leading around every single mark! The team motored in stoked to learn the boats so quickly and were stoked with the team’s ability to adapt to the situation that presented.
The quarter final was with the German local who has previously been ranked 20th in the world and knew the boats well. His ranking is not too strong now since his focus is now on the professional German League sailing. The first 2 races were one a piece after we won the first race fairly convincingly leading around every mark. He then won the second start with a penalty, and used the light wind to really hurt us off the line. He sailed well and got away to win the race. The next 2 races were all ours as we won both convincingly, especially the last race were we engaged in a luff near the bottom mark gave a penalty and stopped him rounding the bottom mark to finish with a leg lead.
We came ashore as we prepared for the semi-final. This was against the winner of the round robin and the eventual regatta winner. This was a gruelling 5 race series in the most wind all regatta at 10-18 knots offshore. We raced in front of a crowd of several thousand people as the regatta village started to fill with people. We sailed extremely well in the first two races and beat him convincingly both times. We had one more race to win and we were through to the grand final. We started to suffer a little mental and physical fatigue and unfortunately lost the remaining 3 races from the start and the team work on board was not up to standard.
This left the petite final against current leader of the world match racing tour, who sailed well in the two race final to beat us with most of the race decided in the start with a heavy bias to the left hand side of the course due to the convergence on the shoreline. Both pre starts consisted of two spinnaker sets each boat and we lost both starts giving our opponent the left of the upwind. The races were short and we could not find a passing lane. This put us in fourth place for the event, once we settled on the initial disappointment of losing this semi and petite final we were happy to finish in 4th position and happy to collect the 3,600 euro prize money.
Matt, Alex, Patrick, Mark and Niall
The Redline Racing team is ready to compete in our first World Tour Event starting tomorrow after all teams completed their practise sessions throughout the day. The Bavaria 40s used in Match Race Germany are the biggest boats used on the World Match Racing World Tour weighing around 8 tons and, as the name implies are 40 feet long. The team is looking forward to the new challenge and needs to quickly adapt as we only have one round robin before finals. Nevertheless the team is in good spirits and ready to go! See below the list of entries for the event:
1. Eric Monnin - Team SailBox, ISAF Rank: 4
2. Joachim Aschenbrenner - Aschenbrenner Racing Team ISAF Rank: 9
3. Reuben Corbett - Corbett Racing ISAF Rank: 12
4. Tomislav Basic - TB Race Team ISAF Rank: 22
5. Mark Lees - GBR Match Racing ISAF Rank: 23
6. Przemyslaw Tarnacki - Energa Yacht Racing Team ISAF Rank: 26
7. Matthew Jerwood - Redline Racing ISAF Rank: 32
8. Dejan Presen - Lumba Match Race Team ISAF Rank: 36
9. Christian Binder - Flat Lake Sailing Team ISAF Rank: 40
10. Max Trippolt - Trippolt Sailing Team ISAF Rank: 42
11. Tino Ellegast - Team Ellegast ISAF Rank: 394 (German Wildcard)
12. Tim Kröger - New Wave by adidas ISAF Rank: N/A (German Wildcard)
Matt, Alex, Patrick, Mark and Niall