Thursday, April 23, 2009

Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch finish round robins 4th in Open de España

Greetings from BlackMatch on day two of the Open de Espana,

The second day of racing saw the round robin completed and the top 8 teams progressing through to the quarterfinal. We managed 5 wins from our 7 races today and with an overall scorecard of 7 wins 4 losses, we earned our way through to the quarterfinals in 4th position. Today's effort set us up for a show down with Frenchman and world #6 Damien Iehl, who we recently defeated in the Marseille International World Tour semi final.

We had wins today against the highly regarded french duo of Mathieu Richard and Damien Iehl, also managing wins over local hopeful Manuel Weiller and Alvaro Marinho of Portugal while we also had the edge in the clash of the Kiwis, managing a narrow victory over Phil Robertson.

After a comprehensive defeat against Eugeny Neugodnikov following a split tack start that saw the Russian pick up a massive right hand windshift, we had a very close race against the top qualifier Bjorn Hansen. Bjorn had the better of us in the start and we trailed the Swede up the first beat but managed to make a significant dent in their lead as we gybed on top of them downwind. We outmanoeuvred them in a gybe and managed to roll over the top of them nearing the bottom mark, also breaking the overlap which meant we were entitled to sail to the mark, however in the tight maneuvering we struggled to get our spinnaker down in the windy conditions and they gained a significant enough advantage to take the win.

Tomorrow will see us compete in a very tough quarterfinal against Iehl and his French team, with the first team to reach 2 wins progressing through to the semi finals. With a mixed start to this regatta we have been slowly improving throughout and are hoping that we will start to 'hit our straps' tomorrow and proceed through to the later stages of the event.

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