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Storming the summit 13 years after his first run: Monnin wins 20th Match Race Germany

Langenargen (Match Center Germany/Match Race Germany), 5th June 2017. Record competitor Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Team have won the 20th Match Race Germany. In their eleventh attempt since 2004 the sextet of Eric and Marc Monnin, Simon Brügger, Lukas Gerig, Dorén de Morsier and Loris von Siebenthal perfected their triumph in time for Match Race Germany’s jubilee edition on Lake Constance.

In the final, 41 years old Monnin, sailing for the Sailing Club Stäfa, and his crew defeated Mati Sepp’s well-oiled Estonian Sailing Team in an epic battle. Sepp took the first two wins and looked comfortable. „They were extremely fast“, commented an impressed Eric Monnin who knew that he had to change his game if he would want to turn the tables. Monnin explained, „We decided to be more aggressive in the pre-starts as we spotted that phase as a little weekness of Mati’s team.“ And the Swiss did just that. Their attacking put pressure on the Estonians. And the Swiss benefited with some desperately needed advantages. Finally they won the thrilling final 3:2. A relieved and super happy Monnin said after the racing, „We first competed in Match Race Germany back in 2004. It was the first time we sailed against some of the world’s best sailors with America’s Cup or olympic background and were really impressed. I think it even was the first time I put my hands on a wheel instead of a tiller. It then took us 13 years to finally win this regatta. It means so much to us! There is a very special connection between Match Race Germany and us... And I want to really thank my team. Ich believe, there is no other discipline in sailing, where teamwork plays such an important role.“

Second placed Mati Sepp did not repine too long with the defeat, although he did lead the match by 2:0 before the Swiss celebrated their strong comeback. Sepp said, „That were good and tough races today. We hope to come back next year to try and set the record straight. It is just amazing how they organize and present matchracing here in Langenargen!“

In the Petite Final Max Gurgel’s Hamburg based Team Vmax Yachting defeated Max Trippolt’s Austrian Trippolt Sailing Team by 2:0. What looked easy from the outside eclosed to be a handful for the Germans. Despite two brilliant pre-start phases and a forced early start by the Austrians in the second match, Gurgel’s crew still had to defend their leads highly concentrated. They managed that in style and secured the best German result in Match Race Germany since 2001, when Markus Wieser (was eliminated in the quarter finals this year) defeated Germany’s most successful sailor of all times, Jochen Schümann, by 3:2.

Helmsman, physicist and „boat accelerator“  Max Gurgel (Vmax Yachting) said after the racing, „We were able to win both starts. We were dominating the first one and Max Trippolt had an early start in the second race. We are happy with our performance but also congratulate the Austrians.“ The Trippolt Sailing Team has been cheered along by a huge fan crowd and the Austrian helmsman bowed down tot hem and their support, „What a great group of supporters they were! We were sailing fast today but did not start well enough. Nevertheless we are proud of our fourth place in this high level fleet.“


Tweve teams from 10 countries had started into the five day series which has been visited by around 25.000 spectators. The best visited day has been Whit Sunday with more than 10.000 excited fans enjoying the quarter and semi finals, a total of 22 matches. It’s been a day on which Lake Constance showed almost all of its multifaceted conditions: Winds between 5 and more than 20 knots, wild cloud formations in the sky, sunshine and finally a crystal clear blue sky in the evening. Embedded in a fairytale scenery including the Swiss Alps and Langenargen’s beautiful Montfort Castle, no one could have asked for anything more on that memorable day. The crews shared a purse of 20.000 Euro plus extra prizes in the value of 10.000 Euro.

The organizers signaled green light for the 2018 edition. Event Director Harald Thierer said, „We received a lot of tailwind from the sailors, our partners and the fans. We have already started planning for the 2018 edition.“

Langenargens Mayor Achim Krafft had asked the „Matchrace-Engines“ Harald Thierer und Eberhard Magg from Match Center Germany to aim for another decade of Match Race Germany: „We’ve had a good idea! We have donated a new trophy with space for another ten names. So we hope that there will be at least another ten years to celebrate Match race Germany in Langenargen!“


The Grade 1 event on Lake Constance also was the opener for the new Match Race Super League. Co-Founders are Match Race Germany’s Eberhard Magg and Harald Thierer. Eberhard Magg said, „We want to revitalize classic matchracing on monohulls and give it an international and really attractive stage. Therewith we follow the wishes and hopes of the next generation as well as many of the established top matchracing helmen farther enjoying this discipline.“ The motto for the new Match Race Super League was characterized by Max Gurgel’s crew member Bertil Balser. Said the North Sails sailmaker with a smile on his face, „Let’s make match racing great again!“

Year one of the new Match Race Super League is now well under way. Magg said, „The plan ist to build up and establish the new series in its first year and then extrend it.“ The Match Race Super League will be continued in August with the well known Sopot Match Race and the Air Calin Match Race in New Caledonia. The 21st Match Race Germany is scheduled for the 2018 Whitsun Weekend and will then again be a popular host for high caliber corporate events like the E Mobility Forum, that fascinated its participants from all over the world under the banner of the sport of match racing and leading Match Race Germany in 2017.

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