St. Moritz Match Race 2011 - Bruni takes a break

Francesco Bruni in action at St Moritz Match Race last year - World Match Racing Tour 2011
St. Moritz Match Race 2011, the sixth stage of the World Match Racing Tour 2011, runs from 30th August until 4th September on Lake Moritz in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland.

World Match Racing Tour leader Francesco Bruni has revealed his strategy for success at the next stage of the Tour – taking a break from sailing. The Italian skipper and his crewmates will step away from the water in the run-up to St Moritz Match Race so they can come back to racing 'fresh' with '100 per cent energy'.

Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing is ten points clear at the head of the overall leaderboard and has been one of the most consistent skippers so far this season with a win at Match Race Germany and second place finishes at the Korea Match Cup and Portimao Portugal Match Cup. But the physical and mental demands of going head to head with the world’s best sailors over five high-pressure events in ten weeks took its toll at Stena Match Cup Sweden and Bruni could only muster 12th out of 14 teams, by far his worst result so far this season.

Bruni and his team will regroup ahead of St Moritz Match Race held at the end of August – but only after taking a much-needed break.

'We are going to take have a holiday in August because it’s been a very busy season so far and I want us to head into St Moritz with some fresh energy,' Bruni said. 'I think in Sweden we were a little bit tired – we didn’t have a good event there and we need to recover from that. We’ve done too much sailing so far and we need a little bit of a break. We don’t have to change much, we are happy with the way we are doing things and with the way we are sailing. It’s just a matter of going to St Moritz with 100 per cent energy.'

With five stages complete and only three remaining, Bruni’s obvious rival for the World Match Racing Tour title is Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, currently third in the overall rankings but with two consecutive event wins to his name. However just 28 points separate Bruni in first position and last year’s St Moritz Match Race winner Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team in eighth.

Bruni added: 'Ian is a big potential problem for us because he’s sailing very well and he has a lot of experience. I think this year the guys that are doing the best are the guys with experience like Ian Williams and Peter Gilmour. The younger guys are not doing as great but it’s very hard with the World Tour because one week you are the best guy and the next you are the worst. It’s very hard to say who is going to lead after the next event. Richard and Torvar Mirksy have not been doing so well but either one of them could win the next two events and end up being right up there.'

With just three events left of the 2011 season, including the closing event the Monsoon Cup where points are worth an extra 50 per cent, Bruni has promised to come back firing on all cylinders.

'Obviously with the position we are in now we need to think about winning the Tour, otherwise we won’t be giving it our best,' he said. 'I think that we have the potential to do it and we will put in every effort to win overall.'

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2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings (After Stage 5):
1 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 81pts
2 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 74pts
3 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar - 71pts
4 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 59pts
5 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 59pts
6 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 57pts
7 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 57pts
8 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 53pts
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 39pts
10 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team - 34pts

St. Moritz Match Race website
World Match Race Tour website