The Australian Peter Gilmour also won the Swedish Match regatta in Croatia a week after his victory at Lake Constance. He defeated French Philippe Presti 3-2 in the final. He has taken the lead in the overall standings of the series in the seventh of eight regattas. It's about a car from tour sponsor BMW.
Actually, everything had looked like a superior victory for Frenchman Bertrand Pacé, who finally wanted to secure the long-hoped-for victory on the tour for his employer BMW Oracle. Last year's winner was successful 17 times in the preliminary rounds, in which the eleven crews competed twice each against each other.
But at the end of the series there were four defeats when the team had already secured their first place in the semifinals. And this series continued there, of all places. As the leader of the overall standings, Pacé was allowed to choose his semi-final opponent and chose the supposedly weaker compatriot Philippe Presti. Ed Baird and Peter Gilmour met in the second semi-final duel.
But Presti (39) was tough. The former Finn World Champion, who drove the French boat from Le Défi at the last Cup, sent Pacé home 3-1. It could be understood as a job creation measure on one's own behalf. It is not yet clear whether Presti will join the new China team, which has entered into a joint venture with the French from Le Défi.
There are rumors that Presti could also join the Italians from LunRoss because there are problems with noble helmsman James Spithill. Presti did not want to comment on this in Split. In return, it increased its market value on the water enormously. Because few would have expected him to reach the final and the strong performance against Gilmour in the top-class field.
The only question now is when Peter Gilmour will get his chance with a current cup team. The Australian, who led the US syndicate One World to third place at the last Louis Vuitton Cup, is still without engagement. However, he is in close contact with the Italian team LunRossa, where many of his One World protégés have landed.
His crew is slowly spreading across the various syndicates. Kazuhiko Sofuku is under contract with BMW Oracle, and Rod Dawson is set to follow soon. Mike Mottl is on the wish list of the German AC team.
At the top of the Swedish Match Tour it has now become exciting. Alinghi skipper Ed Baird had to let himself be overtaken, but has the chance to take revenge in the grand finale at the Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand / Sweden (July 4th to 10th).
The results in Split1. Peter Gilmour - Pizza-LSailing Team2. Philippe Presti - Le Défi3. Bertrand Pacé - BMW Oracle Racing 4. Ed Baird - Team Alinghi5. Mathieu Richard 6. Staffan Lindberg7. Kelvin Harrap - Emirates Team New Zealand8. Bjorn Hansen9. Flavio Favini - Mascalzone Latino / CapitaliTeam 10. Dario Klib11. Ian Ainslie - Team Shosholoz