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Match Race France: World Match Racing Tour Opener
Marseille, France: The long awaited start to the 2011 World Match Racing Tour is nearly over as the twelve teams competing in Match Race France took to the water at Yacht Club Pointe Rouge in Marseille on Practice Day where conditions look favourable for a week of enthralling match racing.
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar comes into the regatta in imperious form and confidence having won both the Congressional Cup in March followed by the VIII Open de Espana last week. However the Englishman believes 'form counts for nothing in match racing' and that the difference between winning and losing here in Marseille will come down to the pre-start.
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team discovered just how tricky the conditions can be here when his early practice session yesterday was cut short after being dis-masted in nearly 30 knots of wind: "We had a disaster with the mast coming down but the guys here did a really good job. J80s are quite small boats but really challenging. We're expecting heavy winds at the end of the week but I think that suits the J80 really well."
2011 Match Race France Teams
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Alexis Littoz-Baritel (FRA) Team Savoie Mont Blanc
Alvaro Marinho (PGL) Seth Sailing Team
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners Racing Team
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar