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Simon Bertheau wins inaugural European Match Race Tour

by Helmut Czasny-Bonomo on 12 Sep 8-10 September 2017
Simon Bertheau wins the European Match Race Tour at Ravenna, Italy © 2017 EMRT / CVR

French skipper Simon Bertheau and his team APCC Team Jeune secured the victory in the first European Match Race Tour with an impressive win over reigning European Champion Maxime Mesnil.

Poland's Patryk Zbroja left Ravenna after a disappointing fifth place with the Silber Medal while Dejan Presen from Slovenia secured Bronze overall, who lost the petit final against local skipper Jacopo Pasini.

It was the perfect setup for the Grand Final – a broad range of wind conditions from light sea breeze to gusty thunderstorms, the natural amphitheatre of Ravenna's harbour, perfect organization by the host club Circolo Velico Ravennate and the three contenders for the tour title close at the top of the rankings, with Bertheau on the maximum of 150 points after his victories at Sibenik, Tivat and Monaco, then Zbroja, winner at Vienna and Szczecin, just 10 points behind, and trailed by Presen, another 20 points of the lead.

While their focus was on the tour, it was the local favourite, wild card skipper Jacopo Pasini, who decided the round robin in his favour to win the Sabrina Gurioli-Trophy, which should remember this very talented match race girl from Ravenna, who passed away far too early. As Zbroja did not make the cut for the Semi-Finals, the two remaining contenders for the Tour title were the French and the Slovenian skipper. Bertheau was determined on taking both event victory and tour title and he then defeated the reigning continental champion, compatriot Maxime Mesnil to finish the tour with 4 wins and the maximum of 250 points.

"We are so happy to win the European Match Race tour", exclaimed the young French skipper, "we were working so hard through the whole year and to have a score card of 3 victories plus the Grand Final, it is just unbelievable! It is just possible because of my fantastic team and thanks to the support from the APCC club and the French Federation!"

Patryk Zbroja said: "We are very proud to take the second place of the Tour back home to Poland. It was a long season with great events and tight matches! Match race at its best!"

The European Match Race Tour, which started 7 months ago in February at Croatia's Sibenik, had then stops at Montenegro, at Austria's capital Vienna before heading to the Yachtclub de Monaco. The second part of the tour saw world class match racing at Poland's Szczecin and at the Royal Danish Yachtclub at Copenhagen ahead of the penultimate stop-over at northern Germany's Ploen. There are 46 skippers from 20 nations in the final ranking list. The European Match Race Tour 2018 will start end of February at Sibenik on the Dalmatian coast.

Overall Results:

1Simon Bertheau FRA.250
2Patryk ZbrojaPOL190
3Dejan Presen SLO170
4Christian Binder AUT100
5Helmut CzasnyAUT85
6Maxime MesnilFRA.80
7Teo Piasevoli  CRO80
8Vladimir LipavskyRUS75
9Jacopo PasiniITA70
10Jelmer van BeekNED65
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