Phil Robertson claimed his second match racing world title after beating the United States’ Taylor Canfield 3-0 in the finals in Marstrand, Sweden.
It follows on from the World Match Racing Tour title he won in 2016 and confirms his standing as one of the world’s best match racers.
Robertson has been skippering the China team in the Sail GP and last week raced in the GC32 series but transferred seamlessly into the M32s used in Sweden. His ChinaOne Ningbo team was stacked with Kiwi talent with Stewart Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski on board.
“It’s fantastic to win here again,” he said. “Marstrand is a very special place to sail and we love coming here. The whole team sailed superbly today to make sure I could take the boat in the direction we needed. Our congratulations to Taylor and the team for sailing so well against us as well.”
It was also a good week for Celia Willison and her Edge Women’s Match team, who finished second in the Nordea Women’s Trophy which ran parallel to the GKSS Match Cup Sweden.
They sailed impressively given it was their first outing in the M32s and qualified for the final after a 3-2 semifinal win over Sweden’s Lovisa Karlsson.
They faced another Swede in the final, Anna Östling, who clinched victory 3-0 for the second year in a row.
“The final today was a lot of fun,” Willison said. “It was really breezy so we got to send it around the course. Unfortunately, we got pumped by Anna 3-0.
“We had a bit of a crew change because Paige [Cook] was sick so she couldn’t sail with us, but Anna was far too good for us today.
“We are super-keen to come back and give it another crack next year. The boats are so much fun to sail once you manage to overcome the realisation of how fast they can go. Everything is so heavy on the M32s, too. It’s seriously hard work.
“I’m very extremely proud of the girls and how we went. We improved so much the whole week and that’s all we could ask for, making the final was a really good result for us. Bring on the next regatta.”
Robertson dominated his final, although he was the beneficiary of some bad luck for Canfield in the first race when the American lost his port rudder blade in the tight pre-start manoeuvring allowing Robertson to put the first score on the board.
“It wasn’t to be our day today but we are pleased with a second place,” Canfield said. “It’s the third time we have lost to Phil here in the finals but we will be back for sure.”
Nicklas Dackhammar (Sweden) won a tight petit final to give the locals something to cheer about.
The Marstrand event concludes the extended 2018-19 World Match Racing Tour season which included four championship events from 2018 in Sweden, Portugal and Norway.
Under new ownership since the start of the year, the World Match Racing Tour will announce its new season in the coming months, also celebrating its 20th year in 2020 as the longest-running global professional sailing series.
Final standings from the GKSS Match Cup Sweden - Match Racing World Championship
1. Phil Robertson (NZL) ChinaOne Ningbo
2. Taylor Canfield (USA) US One
3. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) ESSIQ Racing
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Cetilar Mirsky Racing
5. Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing
6. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
7. Måns Holmberg (SWE) Stratsys Racing
8.Harry Price (AUS) Down Under Racing
9. Markus Edegran (USA) Team Torrent
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
11. Daniel Bjornholt (DEN) Youth Vikings Team
12. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) NL Sailing Team