Volvo Ocean Race helm Nicolai Sehested (DEN) and his TREFOR Match Racing Team clinched victory Saturday at the Energa Sopot Match Race, Poland.
A triumphant Sehested defeated current ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2-0 in the Final providing plenty of action for the spectators lining the end of the 500m Molo Pier. Local favourite Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team finished third defeating Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 2-1 in the Petit Finals.
The Sopot win for Sehested marks a long awaited return to match racing for the 26 year old Dane who, for the last nine months, has been taking part in the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race as helmsman for Danish Team Vestas Wind.
Sehested was unable to compete in the opening World Championship stages of the 2015 Tour in Long Beach, CA, Germany and Sweden however was determined to return his TREFOR match racing team to the Tour as soon as his Volvo duties were over.
The team will now focus on the next World Championship Event at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda in October.
In the Petit Final for third and fourth places, Karol Jablonski was first to secure a point against Bjorn Hansen in the first-to-two race format. In the second race, the two long-time skippers of the World Match Racing Tour threw every match racing move at each other in the pre-start, circling dangerously close to the pier in the 4 minute countdown to the start.
Hansen was able to level the score to 1-1 with a marginal lead, but it was to be Jablonski’s day in the third and deciding race as he led Hansen from start to finish to secure third place.
2015/16 World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard Standings after Sopot
1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 90pts
2. Björn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 85pts
3. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 60pts
4. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 59
5. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 58pts
6. Matthew Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing 51pts
7. Phil Robertson (NZL) Team TREFOR 51pts
8. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 49pts
9. Przemyslaw ‘Tara’ Tarnacki (POL) Energa Yacht Racing 48pts
10. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 44pts