After topping the double round robin qualifying stage on 21 July, Team Gilmour (TG) moved on to the Mid Summer Sun Match Race semi finals along with Reuben Corrbet (NZL), Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) and Antti Luhta (FIN). The Grade 2 race was out of Vaasa, Finland.
Winning the qualifying stage gave TG the opportunity to choose their opponent for the semi finals. The team decided to race the local Antti Luhta even though he was our only loss during the round robins. " We chose Luhta because we felt that we had better boat handling as well as a physiological edge over their team" said skipper David Gilmour.
TG won the first race against Luhta comfortably and were feeling confident, however they lost the second race by a narrow margin after a controversial umpire decision. With the score 1 all in a best of 3 semi, the pressure was coming on, but with a great start the team were able to sail a clean race and take the win to move in the final.
Aschenbrenner defeated Corrbet in the other semi final, so it was to be and Aussie VS Danes final.
TG won the first race of the final getting a penalty on the Dane in a port and starboard at the top mark. They were feeling good and sailing fast going into the second race of the best of 3 final. The team received a penalty on Aschenbrenner, this time in the pre-start, but the Dane won the start and was able to extend enough through out the race to take his penalty on the final upwind. TG sailed a nice final downwind leg to make a huge gain but were pipped by half a boat length at the finish forcing a 3rd and final race.
The 3rd and deciding race was super close, with TG having the upper hand for the first upwind then managing to luff the Danes past the port layline on the first downwind. However the race was still really close and the breeze shifty, Aschenbrenner initiated a tacking duel and we crossed blows a number of times, they were able to pick up a number of small shift to close the game up and round the top mark first. A left hand shift on the final downwind made it easier for the Danes to defend and the sail through the line for the win.
Full credit to the Danish team led by Joachim Aschenbrenner – he and his crew they sailed well and deserved the victory. Team Gilmour were happy with how we sailed this week and have learnt a lot to take to our next event.
In other BIG NEWS, Team Gilmour have received a wildcard entry to the ISAF Nations Cup (Grade 1) in Middelfart, Denmark from 6 to 11 August 2013. The Nations Cup is one of the most prestigious match racing events in the world and the team are looking forward to sailing the bigger DS 37 yachts.