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06 / 11 / 2010

Berlin Match Race: Tough sailing for the semifinals Wieser, Marinho, Hansen and Robertson win their quarterfinals

Four teams qualified for the semifinals of the 19th BMW Berlin Match Race late Saturday afternoon. The only German driver Markus Wieser, last years champion Björn Hansen from Sweden, Phil Robertson from New Zealand and the Portuguese Alvaro Marinho could defeat their opponents. The eight quarterfinalists needed two wins out of three, which required a third race in only one of the quarterfinals.

Instead of the five races planned originally, the race committee decided on only three runs in order to keep up with the schedule. Initially, Markus Wieser sailed against Ian Ainslie from South Africa, beating him twice. Being in the semifinals after his two victories the experienced sailor commented: “The wind was much lighter compared to the previous days, which left room for tactical manoeuvrings.“

Part of Wiesers Crew is Ulrike Schümann, the only woman at the BMW Berlin Match Race. Together with Markus Wieser she represents the hosting yacht club “Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee“. Being Vice World Champion of the Yingling class twice, Ulrike is happy to join the match race crew:” It’s a great honour to participate and sail against these world class sailors. The Berlin Match Race is one of the most important German sailing events. The tough competition makes it a valuable experience even for experienced sailors.”

The Portuguese Alvaro Marinho is looking forward to a challenging semifinale: ”Everything is open and we face tough competition. Of course we go for the title, but Markus Wieser leads a strong team and has an advantage by being very familiar with Lake Wannsee.” Competing for the places five to eight completed today’s sailing. The French team around skipper Pierre-Antoine Morvan captured the fifth place. The South African Team, led by Ian Ainslie positioned at sixth, followed by the Russian Evgeny Neugodnikow and Keith Swinton from Australia.

Already after the Round Robins, Mads Ebler, Eric Monnin, Przemyslaw Tarnacki and Nicolai Sehested dropped out of the race.

By: Ohle, Cedric