Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adam Minoprio reports from Sopot Match Racing

Hi all from BlackMatch,

We are currently competing in the Sopot Match Racing, Grade 1 event. The event is being held on the Baltic Sea in the north of Poland. While during the winter season the water temperature is so cold it ices over, in the summer the weather is stunning and today we had warm sunny conditions with a shifty offshore breeze, providing some exciting racing. There are 12 teams here and some very highly ranked competitors, there are also three local teams that are well accustomed to the boats and the tricky conditions. World #8 Torvar Mirsky is competing here along with world #? Peter Wibroe from Denmark and Stefan Lindberg from Finland who is a world tour regular and world #?. The regatta is being sailed in Diamante 3000 class boats which are well suited to match racing but are difficult to sail with complicated rigs and running backstays. We found today challenging but are happy with our start, after winning 3 races and losing two.

Adam Minoprio's BlackMatch racing in the Toyota Sopot Match Race. Sopot, 17 July 2008. Photo copyright Jürg Kaufmann

Our losses today came against the higher ranked Wibroe and Lindberg, however we are confident that we will be competitive here and have taken a lot out of these two early losses. In our loss to Lindberg, we found ourselves in a very controlling position after the start and dictated the first upwind leg to have a 3 boat length lead at the top mark. This however changed when Stefan managed to pick up better pressure from behind and made inroads into our lead downwind to be level pegged at the bottom mark. An incident followed and we received a harsh penalty for taking too much buoy room at the bottom mark, but we kept sailing well to have a five boat length lead by the final top mark rounding. We thought we had enough of an advantage to take our penalty turn so it was decided that we would do our turn on the finish line, however the lead was not quite enough and on completing our turn, the Finnish team sailed past to win by half a boat length.

The format for this regatta is one robin, quarter finals, semi finals and finals, so our first goal is to make the top 8 quarter finals and we are looking forward to completing the first round robin tomorrow with 6 races in a row.

Again a special thank you to our sponsors: FedEx Express, Ross Munro from Line 7 and Waiwera Infinity, their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.



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