Mirsky gets the fast lane

Young Aussie skipper wins the round robin of St Moritz Match Race

Saturday September 5th 2009, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
24 year old Australian Torvar Mirsky of Mirsky Racing Team managed to win the St. Moritz Match Race Round Robin. For his efforts he gets a direct ticket to the semi-finals while the other competitors will have to make it through the quarter finals first.

“I wasn’t expecting such a good start to the event," said Mirsky. "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.”

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 all 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.

Among 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.

“This Round Robin was particularly difficult and we just made it in to the quarter finals ahead of Mathieu Richard," said Minoprio. "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.”

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.

Final results of the Round Robin
Name of the skipper, Nationality, Number of points

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

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