Poole wins GKSS Match Cup Sweden

Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing became the first American skipper to win the 2024 GKSS Match Cup Sweden, held July 1-6 in Marstrand, Sweden. The GKSS Match Cup Sweden is a founding event of the World Match Racing Tour which this year was celebrating its 30th Anniversary. It was the second elite championship of the 2024 tour, with Poole’s team also winning the Congressional Cup on April 24-28.

After racing in the Fareast 28R keelboats was postponed on the penultimate day due to high winds, Principal Race Officer Annika Ekman and the GKSS race committee team started promptly on the last day morning with the first-to-two-point semi-finals.

Popular local Swedish sailor and veteran of the World Match Racing Tour Johnie Berntsson and team were quick to use their local knowledge and defeat Denmark’s Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing 2-0 in the opening semi-final match, advancing Berntsson to the final.

USA’s Chris Poole and the Riptide Racing Team also defeated their semi-final opponent Eric Monnin/ Capvis Swiss Match Racing 2-0 to secure their slot in the final.

In the first-to-two-points final, Berntsson led Poole off the start in the first race, but the teams came together at the top mark in a luffing duel which Poole was able to come out ahead despite several protests from his opponent which were green flagged by the umpires. Poole was able to control the lead to the finish line.

After a course reset due to a shift in wind direction, Poole and team led the second start, gaining a four-boat length over Berntsson after the first leg which they were again able to hold to the finish to clinch the Match Cup title with a 2-0 score.

“It’s just awesome” commented Poole over the finish line, “Match Cup Sweden is one of the most famous match races in the world and to win it is amazing, but to be the first American to do so is event better – the team sailed phenomenally, and we’re delighted with the result.”

Tour information – Event details – Results – Facebook

Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion.

Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL), and Ian Williams (GBR).

Since inception, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors.

Source: scuttlebutt – https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2024/07/06/poole-wins-gkss-match-cup-sweden/

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