BlackMatch Wins Open Match Cup
[Source: BlackMatch Racing] Today was the final day of racing in the Open Match Cup. We completed our final three races of the round robin today in again, near perfect match racing conditions and managed to win all three. Our final races were against Rafal Sawicki from Poland, last year's champion Eric Monnin from Switzerland and Mads Elber from Denmark.
We qualified 1st equal at the end of the round robin, tied with Jure Orel from Slovenia and it was decided that we were to race America's Cup Helmsman and world #12 Ian Ainslie, in a best of 3 semi final while Jure Orel from Slovenia would take on Marek Stancyk from Poland.
In a well competed semi final, we managed to take a 2-0 victory over Ainslie who was arguably one of the best pre-starters at this event. In both races we held a slim advantage off the start line and extended throughout the race, claiming our berth in the final.
The other semi final was also won 2-0 by Jure Orel, so it was to be New Zealand taking on Slovenia in the best of 5 final. Jure and his crew had shown excellent form throughout the regatta while we had steadily been improving, so the scene was set for an excellent final show down.
Another victory for Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing
In our first match against Jure we had a big advantage off the start line, we had also forced a penalty on them when they failed to complete a tack onto starboard that resulted in a collision. We defended our lead throughout the race and sailed well to gain an early upper hand in the final.
Our second match saw a much closer affair, the Slovenians lead us off the start line after a closely contested pre-start and a fierce tacking duel ensued. By the first top mark it was 'neck and neck' but we had made significant inroads and managed to roll over the top of Orel on the final tack to the mark. We had an excellent spinnaker set and maintained our slim advantage throughout the remainder of the race.
The third match was ours to win, facing a 2-0 deficit all of the pressure was on the Eastern Europeans and we again had an excellent start. We had a big lead and Jure had received a penalty after gybing onto port in front of us, the advantage was too much and we held on for victory, in doing so winning the 2008 Open Match Cup.
Thank you to all of our friends and family back home, it was great to come away with a victory here in Austria and we appreciate all of the support that we have received from everyone.
BlackMatch would like to again thank our sponsors: FedEx Express, Ross Munro from Line 7 and John St Clair Brown from Waiwera Infinity, it is great to get our first win on our European Tour and their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.
Another victory for Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing (left)