Saturday, December 04, 2010

End of an era, as BlackMatch bow out of Monsoon Cup

Greetings from BlackMatch in Malaysia,

Sailing in our last Regatta ever as a team, it was the end of an era today for the BlackMatch Racing crew and it couldn’t have come in a more heartbreaking fashion. After showing very mixed form throughout the week our hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals all came down to our last race against the current World Tour leader Mathieu Richard and despite having a great early on advantage, we squandered our lead to bow out of the 2010 World Title Race.

The start really couldn’t have gone better for us as we wriggled free of the Frenchman’s starboard advantage and hoisted our spinnaker in a bold move during the pre-start. Using the extra speed from hoisting our kite we managed to gain an overlap in the dying seconds of the pre-start to not only force Mathieu over the line, but to also inflict a penalty on him. Usually ‘game over’ it was just not meant to be for us and the crafty French sailor got a great left hand wind shift when we failed to capitalize on our first cross advantage. Although we kept it very close throughout the first half of the race, Mathieu and his team sailed away from us up the last beat as the fickle wind left us stalled at bottom mark. From then on they extended to complete their outstanding penalty turn on the finish line and seal their quarterfinal berth.

Minoprio executes a brilliant start, forcing Richard to be early over the line with a penalty. However, the French skipper will later overtake Minoprio, build a comfortable lead and win the race after offloading his penalty!!

Earlier on in the day we managed to defeat Ben Ainslie in a tight affair, but there were too many cases this week of small mistakes and failing to capitalize on advantages, this ultimately cost us our chance of defending our World Title.

Despite an extremely disappointing end to not only this year, but also our time sailing together as Team BlackMatch, we now have time to reflect and look at what we have achieved over the past 3 years, also to plan what the future holds for each of us. For BlackMatch Skipper Adam Minoprio he is set to join Emirates Team New Zealand in the Volvo Ocean Race, on to a new and exciting venture. For the rest of the boys the future is a little less certain as to what will be the next challenge, but for the 5 Kiwi boys who embarked on a goal back in 2008 and were crowned 2009 World Match Racing Champions, it has been a great journey.

Adam, Dan, Tom, Dave and Nick would all like to say a massive thank you to our sponsors FedEx Express and Events Clothing/Line 7. Without the help and support over the years especially from David Ross and Fedex, none of this would have been remotely possible. We would also like to thank our friends and family back home in New Zealand, also to Emirates Team New Zealand and our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, thank you.

BlackMatch is Adam Minoprio, Dan McLean Tom Powrie, Nick Blackman and David Swete

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At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BlackMatch - you can all be very proud of what you achieved and will continue to achieve even when going your separate ways. You guys rocked!


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