Friday, September 04, 2009

Torvar Mirsky gets first ticket to St. Moritz Match Race Semi-Finals

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] The Australian sailor wins the Round Robin and gets a pass straight to the semi-finals. The other competitors have to battle it out in the quarter-finals to join him.

The Australian sailor Torvar Mirsky, Mirsky Racing Team, aged 24, managed to win the St. Moritz Match Race Round Robin. For his efforts he gets a direct ticket to the semi-finals whilst the other competitors will have to make it through the quarter finals first.

Francesco Bruni, ITA, Team Joe Fly Match Race; Ian Williams, GBR, Team Pindar; Philippe Presti, FRA, French Match Racing Team; Sébastien Col, FRA, French Match Racing Team; Peter Gilmour, AUS, YANMAR Racing and Adam Minoprio, NZL, ETNZ/Black Match made it through the Round Robin and are now engaged in the quarter finals. As for the other competitors, they are out of the event.

The last four flights of the Round Robin took place in difficult conditions this afternoon. Indeed, the wind was quite irregular and some of the situations encountered on the water made it very hard for the teams to choose the right option.

Young gun Torvar Mirsky leads round robin and secures spot in the semifinals. St Moritz, 4 September 2009. Photo copyright Loris von Siebenthal

Amongst those who seemed to have an easy run, Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR team proved early on in the day that they deserve a spot in the quarter finals. The situation was completely different for Adam Minoprio (NZL) and the three French teams who completed their last matches under intense pressure.

Ian Williams and Sébastien Col even managed to run aground near the windward mark during their match. Williams got out of this trap quicker than his opponent and won the race. With a penalty against him Philippe Presti tried as hard as possible to inflict a penalty back on Minoprio and block him at the top mark and all the way down the final run, however the kiwi sailor managed to escape Presti's clutches and grab a precious point.

Last but not least, the local sailor Eric Monnin won his last race against the world no 1 Adam Minoprio; a prestige victory only as he didn’t win enough matches to make it to the next stage.

The quarter finals (best of five) started immediately after the Corviglia Challenge corporate regatta, an event that allowed some of the event’s partners to sail with the best match racers in the world and compete against each other for fun.

Franceso Bruni chose to sail against Philippe Presti whilst Ian Williams opted for Sébastien Col, leaving Peter Gilmour against Adam Minoprio. Both Presti and Col proved to their opponent that maybe they should have chosen someone else, whilst Peter Gilmour lost his first match to Minoprio by a few seconds.

Racing will resume tomorrow at 11:00 AM with the rest of the quarter final and possibly the first races of the semi final. The finals will take place on Sunday.

Sébastien Col runs aground in his match against Ian Williams. St Moritz, 4 September 2009. Photo copyright Loris von Siebenthal

They said:

Torvar Mirsky: “I wasn’t expecting such a good start to the event. Last year we finished 10th and I know how difficult it is to win here. However, we’ve made a lot of progress including the little details that allow us to feel more comfortable this year.”

Adam Minoprio: “This Round Robin was particularly difficult and we just made it in to the quarter finals ahead of Mathieu Richard. The wind is very shifty and it is always difficult to make the break. Having said that, the game is the same for everyone and I really love sailing here.”

Andrew Pindar OBE, chairman of Pindar Group (sponsor of Ian Williams and visiting St. Moritz in order to encourage his team): “I met Ian Williams here in St. Moritz. Peter Holmberg introduced me to this event, which is extraordinary. Ian's team didn’t have a sponsor when I met him. People advised me that he was one to watch because he was so promising. It seems like it was a good advise.”

Final results of the Round Robin

Name of the skipper, ISAF ranking, Nationality, Number of points

1: Torvar Mirsky (6) AUS, Mirsky Racing Team; 8
2: Francesco Bruni (50) ITA, Team Joe Fly Match Race; 8
3: Ian Williams (4) GBR, Team Pindar; 7,5
4: Philippe Presti, (7) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 7
5: Sébastien Col (3) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 6
6: Peter Gilmour (11) AUS, YANMAR Racing; 6
7: Adam Minoprio (1) NZL, ETNZ/BlackMatch; 5
8: Matthieu Richard (2) FRA, French Match Racing Team; 5
9: Johnie Berntsson (9) SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team; 4
10: Björn Hansen (10) SWE, Onboard Sailing Team; 3
11: Alvaro Marinho (17) POR, Seth Sailing Team; 3
12: Éric Monnin (31) SUI. Swiss Match Race Team; 2

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