Friday, June 19, 2009

BlackMatch go unbeaten on day 3 and qualify for Quarterfinals of Portugal Match Cup

Hello from BlackMatch in Portugal,

Today we went unbeaten winning all 3 of our races and qualified for the quarterfinals in 5th position, not a bad birthday present for the BlackMatch skipper Adam Minoprio, who turned 24 today.

We had some very close racing today, including exciting wins against fellow Kiwi Phil Robertson and eventual round robin winner Philippe Presti.

Our race against Philippe saw the birthday boy nail the start, we gained a two boat length lead and were heading to the favoured right hand side of the course as the wind gusted up to 25 knots. The Frenchman did a great job of staying close to us in the blustery conditions, managing to make significant gains down the first run as we both surfed downwind. Nearing the bottom of the run they gained an inside overlap and sailed us past the bottom mark however following the gybe back to the mark and the spinnaker drop we still had the lead and inside rights. The world number 6 then failed to give us room at the bottom mark and was handed a penalty by the umpires while we had a great rounding and sailed defensively for the remainder of the race to seal the win.

The end of the round robin saw an in form Presti finish on top, with fellow Frenchman Mathieu Richard in second and veteran match racer Peter Gilmour in 3rd. Presti had the first choice of who to race in his quarter final match and chose Torvar Mirsky, while Richard chose bottom qualifier Bjorn Hansen. Gilmour was next to choose and in a repeat of Monsoon Cup 2007, he chose us.

The other quarter finals are now underway and will continue until the sun goes down while the sea breeze is pumping, however our match up with Gilmour will not happen until tomorrow due to there only being 6 boats and we are hoping the breeze will kick in again tomorrow.

BlackMatch would like to again thank their sponsors FedEx Express and Line 7 New Zealand. We would also like to thank our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand.

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