Friday, June 25, 2010

Williams and Mirsky tied at the top of Portimao Portugal Match Cup

[World Match Racing Tour] The breeze arrived early today on Day Three at Portimão Portugal Match Cup and by lunchtime a Mediterranean style chop developed off the mouth of the marina. The earlier racing changed tactics with crews having to keep their heads out the boat and look at the big picture. The wind stayed stable for the Tour sailors for the majority of race time with the start of white caps forming.

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar had another outstanding set of matches at this latter stage of the Round Robin sitting pretty at 7-1. After 8 hours of back to back racing Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team was also satisfied sharing the same score as Williams after a physically demanding day of racing. Both of these top players have another 3 matches left to finish the Round Robin tomorrow.

After a very strong start to Stage 4, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ BlackMatch Racing, took a surprising dive today and he now has to win at least 2 of his remaining 3 matches to avoid an early trip home before the Quarter Finals even begin. As Minoprio commented earlier in the week it is easy to loose your focus here in such a holiday friendly environment.

Great performance by Torvar Mirsky. Portimao, 25 June 2010. Photo copyright Gareth Cooke / SubZero Images

A very positive Williams hit the dock today laughing with his crew, “It’s been pretty similar conditions to the rest of the regatta, nice and sunny and windy, it’s been good. We had some really tight tussles, Minoprio led us off the line but we had our heads out of the boat and managed to catch him up the first beat, get ahead and defend from there. All the others were pretty tight as well, but the key moments were always being able to stay ahead or just sneak ahead of the other guy”.

Mirsky, who seems to blossom in the Portuguese climate, chatted through his thoughts at this defining point in the event, “We feel comfortable in the SM40 boats, our crew work together is really good, we’ve been sailing as a unit for a few years now and it just feels easy that way. It’s just the Round Robin but to be leading this stage is really nice, there are still a few more races to go and we want to be first, hopefully we will get to race an easy person first in the quarters”.

Crews were quick to comment on the change in conditions that the early established breeze produced. Williams continued, “Yesterday the right paid with a starboard biased line and the right hand gate mark was favoured, today it was the opposite with a slightly biased pin and the gate was changing so I think that actually dictates the favoured sides a lot as well as the wind shifts.”

Ian Williams is on a roll in the 3rd day. Portimao, 25 June 2010. Photo copyright Gareth Cooke / SubZero Images

Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team, Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team and Manuel Weiller (ESP) Team Iberdrola are now out of the game and one more skipper has to fall. Each with three matches to sail the candidates are Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team, Minoprio, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, who will be rueing his loss against Eugeny Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy. Hansen needs to win three to be safe, Minoprio has to win two. Gilmour and Richard have to win at least another race to go through. Whatever happens, the Round Robin result will go down to the wire tomorrow on Day 4 of Portimão Portugal Match Cup.

Day 3: Current Round Robin Standings

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 7-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 7-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 7-4
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge* 7-4
Manuel Weiller (ESP) Team Iberdrola 6-5
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing* 5-3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-3
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 4-4
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team 4-7
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 3-5
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 1-10
Eugeny Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy 1-10

* Deducted 0.5 point for damage

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