Over the last week the Redline Racing team has been in Helsinki competing in the Jacquart Match Cup run as part of the Champagne Jacquart Masters Classic at the HSS Sailing Centre. The regatta was sailed on small and extremely manoeuvrable Elliot 6m boats which were great for match racing but the main attraction at the venue was the huge numbers of beautiful old classic wooden boats such as the 8 metres, 6 metres, 5 metres and Dragon classes. It truly was a spectical seeing 30-40 beautifully polished and maintained 6 metres raced around a short course in such close proximity and sailed to such a high standard.
Coming into the event the boys had only sailed the Eliiots once before and not that well we might add, so we went into the event with the goal of learning as much about the boats as quickly as possible and with a solid training session on the Friday with Regatta Organiser and our host Matias, we got up to speed and learnt a few little tricks. Saturday came around and greeted us with the all too familiar lack of wind but after about an hour the seabreeze began to fill in and we headed out to take on the ambitious schedule. We managed to get 7 race wins from 7 and were greeted with complimentary champagne from the sponsors on arrival back at the dock and a pizza dinner leaving the boys fuelled and ready for Sunday.
Sunday started early with teams out on the course area at 9:30 ready to go, we finished the round robin winning our final two races leaving us undefeated going into the finals. As winners of the round robin we sat out of the quarter finals and worked out out we would pick for the semis. We ended up picking the Latvian team of Alvkis where in stronger breeze we hiked hard and came away with the two wins. This left us to verse Talberg, a past Olympic Bronze Medallist from Finland in the Final. With a dying breeze our legs got some respite but made the racing ever trickier with droves of motor boats returning to the harbour chopping up the water. The first race went well with a solid prestart leaving our opponent with a penalty and floundering at the committee boat after some slick boat handling from the Patrick and Alex on the front. We went onto win the first race comfortably leaving us on match point! Our opponent came out swing and an error coming in too close on a luff meant we were a penalty down off the start but we quickly got onto the lifted tack and crossed ahead at the top mark. We extended and took our penalty on the second upwind leaving us with a small lead going to the final top mark.
The downwind was tense where we got rolled on the first gybe but we then managed to roll over the top again. Going into the final gybe we knew it was going to be close whether we would be able to defend our position and our wind out of the gybe but again slick sail and pole handling from Patrick and Alex and some smart timing from Matt meant we got a solid piece of him out of the gybe as we luffed him hard and consequently giving him a penalty. From here we sailed to the finish to remain undefeated and take home the Jacquart Match Cup!
Thanks to the sponsors Champagne Jacquart, we received a bottle of the good stuff which was we thoroughly enjoyed with the team favourite Pesto Pasta that night! We would like to thank the HSS Sailing Centre for having us as well as Matias Knipp for so generously giving us his apartment for the week. Hopefully we can come back next year!
Now the team has just arrived in Riga where we will be competing in the Latvian National Match Racing
Championships, also known as the Riga Cup. The regatta will be held on the river in the city centre, a stage the boys can’t wait to compete on! Here we will meet back up with Redline recruit Josh Marks for our second regatta together after he has been travelling Europe for a few weeks.
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