Daily Yacht Boat News
Ian Williams' GAC Pindar at pace - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
Ian Williams' GAC Pindar at pace - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm

M32 European Series Marstrand 2019

Day two of the M32 European Series Marstrand dawned with the brilliant sunshine so lacking on Friday, but with a shortage of wind. However building cumulus cloud inland brought a sense of promise.

In the build-up to racing, flags were not flying but the nimble M32s were flying their weather hull under genniker. By 1300, when racing started, there was enough breeze for the eight high performance one design catamarans to sail fully powered up without gennakers upwind. As the afternoon wore on the wind built to double digits.

After Bliksem, the Dutch team of US-based Pieter Taaselar, won five of yesterday’s six races, the lighter conditions initially favoured some other teams. Always in the hunt, Richard Davies’ Section 16 from Switzerland finally managed to score a bullet in today’s opening race. However as an example of what a high scoring day it was for most, in the next race Section 16 was called over early along with two other M32 heavy hitters, Bliksem and Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar, and finished last.

JC de Champs' White Sound jockeys with Richard Davies' Section 16. - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
JC de Champs’ White Sound jockeys with Richard Davies’ Section 16. – Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 – photo © Drew Malcolm

Having an up, but largely down, day was Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina Velocce Cetilar, who was chief beneficiary of the trio of race two OCSes. This enabling him to lead around the reaching mark and then on to his five minutes of fame in a day that otherwise Lacorte admitted could have been better. However the Italian skipper, whose company Cetilar backed the opening event of the season in Pisa, is enjoying sailing in Scandinavia. “The positive is to be here racing in Marstrand. It is a fantastic place. It’s my first time in Sweden and for sure it is one of the best places I have ever sailed.”

Even Ian Williams’ normally immaculate GAC Pindar has been struggling here and perhaps the relative stability of the conditions has provided fewer opportunities than usual for the British team to fight back. Today Williams and his crew won the third race, but otherwise scored no result higher than a fifth.Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 © Drew Malcolm

As the afternoon progressed, the sky clouded over, the wind slowly built, clocked right and then surprisingly backed again. By mid-afternoon Bliksem was firing on all cylinders again and in swift succession claimed today’s final three races. With an unrivalled consistency that saw them finish no worse than fourth, Bliksem once again won the day by five points and will start the final day of competition tomorrow 18 points (or around two races) ahead. Despite this Taaselar said they are not going to rest on their laurels. “We will keep improving and doing our best.”

As yesterday, mastering the reaching starts was vital. Even for the polished Bliksem team this proved problematic today, Taaselar admitted: “We had one start where we got rolled and the second one someone came up from underneath us and it was too late to bail out. But then we had a talk and found ourselves better able to do it in the second half of the day, especially when the wind went left and the committee boat end became more favoured.”

Bliksem out of the blocks fastest again. - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
Bliksem out of the blocks fastest again. – Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 – photo © Drew Malcolm

Another stand-out performance today was Knots Racing, where young Danish match racer Joachim Aschenbrenner and two crew are standing in for Kiwi skipper Nick Egnot-Johnson and his regulars. Five podium finishes from six races left the Danish-Kiwi crew second best scorer today.

After Blikshem, stars of the show today were the Joachim Aschenbrenner-steered Knots Racing. - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
After Blikshem, stars of the show today were the Joachim Aschenbrenner-steered Knots Racing. – Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 – photo © Drew Malcolm

Aschenbrenner, one of the most talented match racers of his generation, admitted he was playing catch-up. “I haven’t sailed the M32 since Marstrand last year. We had a good debrief after yesterday and sorted all our errors out for the first race and had a solid day. We don’t take high risks, we just want to be in the middle and then work our way up from that.” However this conservative approach means they frequently don’t win races.

Progressively improving too is the well-known Inga from Sweden team of Richard Göransson, which currently lies fifth but in the tight mid-fleet where just four points separate third from sixth after 12 races. “We made a big step up from yesterday,” explained Göransson, for whom (coming from the east coast) this is only the second time he has raced in glorious Marstrand. “Some of it was trim because we have a new main, so we adjusted the rig to that and the boat was much easier for me to steer today.”

Richard Göransson's Inga from Sweden on the ascent. - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
Richard Göransson’s Inga from Sweden on the ascent. – Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 – photo © Drew Malcolm

Making it out on to the race course today, having only just resolved some insurance issues, was Karlsson Racing Team, skippered by Swede Anton Karlsson who is just 17-years-old. The boat has been lent to Karlsson by popular Swedish match racer Johnie Berntsson for whom he has crewed since he was 13 years old. The ultra-green crew, who are otherwise all in their early 20s, were nonetheless pleased to be in the mix. “Honestly before the regatta we had very low expectations, we thought we would be a lot worse but we still had contact with the fleet and could keep the speed with them,” said Karlsson.

The final day of racing tomorrow will kick off with a first warning signal scheduled for 1200.

Andrea Lacorte's Vitamina Velocce Cetilar won today's second race. - Day 2 - M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 - photo © Drew Malcolm
Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina Velocce Cetilar won today’s second race. – Day 2 – M32 European Series Marstrand 2019 – photo © Drew Malcolm

Results after day 2:

Pos Team Skipper D1 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1 Bliksem Pieter Taaselar 10 3 4 3 1 1 1 23
2 Section 16 Richard Davies 20 1 8 4 2 2 4 41
3 Knots Racing Joachim Aschenbrenner 32 2 3 5 3 3 2 50
4 GAC Pindar Ian Williams 23 6 5 1 6 7 5 53
5 Inga from Sweden Richard Goransson 31 4 2 6 4 4 3 54
5 White Sound JC de Champs 24 5 6 2 5 6 6 54
7 Vitamina Velocce Cetilar Andrea Lacorte 28 7 1 7 7 5 7 62
8 Karlsson Racing Team Anton Karlsson 48 8 7 8 8 8 8 95

2019 M32 European Series schedule
San Remo, Italy – 22-24 March (non-scoring warm-up event)

Marina di Pisa, Italy – 24-26 May
Medemblick, Holland – 21-23 June
Marstrand, Sweden – 19-21 July
Stenungsund, Sweden – 15-17 August (two days inshore racing followed by the Tjörn Runt)
Pre-Worlds, Riva del Garda, Italy – 24-25 August

(M32 World Championship, Riva del Garda, Italy – 26-30 August)

More information at m32world.com/europe

by M32 Series

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