Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Local Hero, Perris Surprises the WMRT and Mirsky Builds Series

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Match Race France, the first event of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), has launched in style at Marseille today. The Opening Ceremony was attended by all of the 12 skippers and crew, WMRT team, Tour umpires, Yacht Club Pointe Rouge organisers and media.

Christian Tommasini, President of Yacht Club Pointe Rouge at the opening ceremony said, “we are very happy to have such an exceptional sporting platform here in Marseille with Match Race France. I would like to thank the City of Marseille for their financial support in making this event happen and the confidence that the World Match Racing Tour has in our team to organise a successful event”.

Mediterranean style conditions during the morning favoured the local hero Gian Luca Perris (MON) and the late afternoon allowed Mirsky (AUS), ranked number 2 in the WMRT standings, to show his consistent ability to build a racing series in all conditions. Mirsky won his 2 matches this morning and also 2 matches this afternoon in totally different racing conditions which is a vital ingredient for those helms aiming to win this World Sailing Series and be crowned ISAF Sailing World Champion.

Highlights from Day 1 of Match Race France. Marseille, 7 April 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour

The race committee worked through the majority of the day in variable winds of only 7 – 10 knots in the Bay of Marseille completing a commendable 2 flights in shifting wind patterns. This was to the advantage of wild card entry, Perris from the Principality of Monaco, who surprised not only himself today but also the high profile Tour Card Holders. Perris, a new face to WMRT, was off to a strong start 2 nil up against Adam Minoprio (NZL) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) ranked number 1 and 2 in the world rankings. The wind then moderated to conditions unable to hold a fair race and the racing was postponed until further notice with all competitors returning to the shore.

The newest European match racing star and also owner of a successful cosmetics and perfumery company talked through his excellent start to Match Race France, “I started sailing J24’s for leisure and my friendship with pro crews who are regulars on the international match racing circuit motivated me into trying to secure a spot to race within the World Match Racing Tour”. This move from amateur sailing into professional racing was only 3 years ago and by today’s results was a good decision. “Today has been the highlight of my sailing career it has been our dream to compete at a World Match Racing Tour event”.

The forecast then took an unpredicted change, keeping all the sailors on their toes, as the temperature suddenly dropped the rain clouds rolled in, winds increased to 15 knots from the North West and racing was started quickly to make the most of the favourable conditions. Luckily for Mirsky, the conditions were also within his abilities to secure top results throughout the afternoon. “I have really dedicated my training over the last year to hone my boat handling skills with my Mirsky Racing Team so we are both effective in light and strong winds. This is our strength at the moment as normally sailors from the Southern hemisphere struggle in the Mediterranean style variable conditions. I feel confident for tomorrow as we are not worried about the forecast which can be a huge psychological barrier for a lot of helms to overcome”.

Tomorrow the weather conditions are meant to be 11 knots from the North for early morning, veering round to the North West by late afternoon as the wind again moderates to 6 knots, but as today demonstrated the regional variables could produce anything. Thursday will be day 2 of Match Race France for the skippers, both sailors and fans will wait to see if our new star from Monaco can keep up with the likes of Mirsky, who is ‘sailor of the day’ today with his consistent results.

Please find the final set of results from today, April 7 below:

Day 1: Current Round Robin Standings
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-0
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 4-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-3
Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch 2-2
Gian Luca Perris (MON) 2-0
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team 1-1
Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team 1-1
Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE 1-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra Racing 1-2
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 1-2
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 0-3
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) 0-4

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