Stena Sailing Team started the season with a forth place in Match Race Germany; a good result but still a letdown after missing the final with the smallest possible margin. Now they are looking forward to Korea Match Cup where another good result could put them in a good position before their home event in Sweden.
Johnie Berntsson and his crew managed to reach a 2-1 against lead against the World Champion Ian Williams in the semifinal in Germany two weeks ago. They came close to reaching the final in the opening event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2013 but Williams managed to strike back, won to straight matches and sent Stena Sailing Team to the Petit Final. There they lost to the French skipper Mathieu Richard and it was a bittersweet end to the event, according to pitman Martin Berntsson.
“Reaching the Semis is good but once you are there you don’t want to end up on forth place. It was disappointing to loose against Williams after having a 2-1 lead and we had plenty of opportunities to take control and decide the match. We know that Williams isn’t unbeatable and it was a good start of the season for us”, says Martin Berntsson.
Since Match Race Germany, the team has refocused and prepared for Korea Match Cup starting tomorrow (May 29 - June 2). Every event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is unique, and in Korea the challenge is to master the light winds and the boats, which are the only ones on the Tour with a gennaker and not a spinnaker.
“We have been warming up with gennaker sailing in a short but good training session this weekend. It is a bit different to sail with a gennaker and we have another set-up on maneuvers on the gibes and the roundings than we are used to. But we feel ready for it and we have been talking about good and bad things the team has done here in Korea in the past” says Martin Berntsson.
Björn Hansen and his team have a strong record in Korea and have won the event two years in a row. For Ian Williams, Korea Match Cup is the only Tour Event he hasn’t won and he has lost two finals in the event. Every move and point is important and the race for the medals has been on from day one. For Stena Sailing Team it’s all about winning points against as many teams as possible. To follow up after Germany with another top result would put them in a strong position heading for their home event Stena Match Cup Sweden.
“It’s always tight and it will be close margins that decide the outcome but it would feel great to get a good result this week. We want to show that we are in good form and get an even better start of the season. It really feels like we have the capability to pull off something big at Marstrand”, says Martin Berntsson.
Stena Sailing Team:
Johnie Berntsson – Skipper
Oscar Angervall – Trim
Johan Barne – Main/Tactics
Martin Berntsson – Pitman
Björn Lundgren – Bowman