Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Adam Minoprio number one in Open ISAF World Match Race Rankings

[Source: ISAF] Adam Minoprio (NZL) has finally broken the French stranglehold at the top of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. By displacing Mathieu Richard (FRA) at the top of the Open Rankings, Minoprio is the first non-French skipper to occupy the top spot in either the Open or Women’s Match Race Rankings since June 2008.

Minoprio jumps up two places in this release to hit the world #1 spot for the first time, following in the footsteps of other famous Kiwis to hold the World Rankings top spot such as Dean Barker, Russell Coutts and Chris Dickson.

Since demonstrating his talent by winning the prestigious Warren Jones Youth Regatta in Perth three years ago, Minoprio, now aged 24, has rapidly developed into a major force on the world match racing scene. Last year he won his first ISAF Grade 1 match racing event and ended up fourth in the World Match Racing Tour for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship, just missing out on the bronze medal to Mathieu Richard (FRA).

BlackMatch Racing training with Mirsky Racing Team. Valencia, 14 June 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

In 2009, Minoprio and his Black Match Racing team got their season off to a flying start by winning their first World Match Racing Tour event at the season opener in Marseille. Ever since then the team have been mixing it right at the top of the World Championship Standings, where they currently occupy the silver medal position.

Ironically, it’s Richard, the skipper Minoprio displaced from the world #1 spot this month, who currently sits ahead of the Kiwi in the World Championship leading position. However, whereas the World Championship only includes this season’s World Tour events, the Rankings take into account results from events competed in over the past 24 months and it’s here Minoprio holds the edge over his French rival.

BlackMatch Racing training with Mirsky Racing Team. Valencia, 14 June 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Whilst France might have lost the top spot, the French Match Racing Team looks well placed to take on Minoprio for world #1 honours for the reminder of the season. Behind world #2 Richard is Sébastien Col (FRA) at #3 with ISAF Nations Cup winner Damien Iehl (FRA) at #5. British double and reigning World Champion Ian Williams is the other top-five skipper at #4.

Further down the Rankings, US Virgin Islands’ skipper Taylor Canfield makes impressive gains up from #100 to a career-best #57 after winning the recent ISAF Grade 3 Chicago Match Race. Another recent winner is Estonia’s Mati Sepp, who is the highest new entry into the world top 100, climbing 35 places to #75 after winning the ISAF Grade 3 Tallinn Open Match Race.

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