Richard leads field heading into Portugal Match Cup
The ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) returns to Europe this week with the 2010 Portimão Portugal Match Cup taking place over 22 – 27 of June.
The Tour is currently led by Mathieu Richard (FRA) of French Match Racing Team who holds a 29 point lead over Adam Minoprio (NZL) of ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, the 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
For Stage 4 of the Tour, eight of the 12 skippers confirmed, sit within the top 10 of the official ISAF rankings.
Portimão is predicted to provide stronger wind strength and a different test of boat handling skills for the teams. Racing will take place daily close to the marina and beach to satisfy spectators as well as the sailors. The Algarve city will be home to this Stage of the Tour for the next 3 years through to 2012.
President of Portugal, Cavaco Silva, is committed to the progression of sport in his nation and perceives that the ISAF World Match Racing Tour is an important maritime sporting element in continuing the modernisation momentum. Today, he praised the accomplishment of the event touching on how the sea was an integral feature to Portugal’s past and will guide the Portuguese into the future. “It’s such initiatives, of international dimension, that enhance our condition as a country placed by the sea. The Portuguese hospitality grants the proper environment to welcome all lovers of nautical activities. Portimão has all the elements for spectators to intensely experience the event through this unique sporting practice connected to the sea that will take the Portugal name further afield”.
As well as 8 of the high profile ISAF World Match Racing Tour card holders entered for Portugal Match Cup, there is the welcome addition of three wild card entries from Portugal, Spain and Russia. Swede, Magnus Holmberg (SWE) of Victory Challenge, also returns to the 2010 WMRT after making his debut earlier in Stage 2 at Match Race Germany. After finishing 7th at Langenargen with his new crew, Holmberg now hopes for a podium position at Portugal and to finish ahead of fellow match racing legend, Peter Gilmour (AUS) of Yanmar Racing, who finished one place in front of Holmberg at Lake Bodensee.
Eugeny Neugodnikov (RUS) and his Team Synergy started sailing in 1992 and was enrolled into the Russian Youth Team the following year. Neugodnikov is familiar with the World Match Racing Tour programme having previously raced in four of the events and understands the supreme level of skippers that this ISAF sanctioned series annually commands.
The Tour card holders will all take note of Neugodnikov as he has already achieved a top ten finish at this year’s Congressional Cup, won by Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra and secured second in the ‘Sails of White Nights Qualifier’ in St-Petersburg, Russia.
|1||Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team||65 Points|
|2||Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing||39 Points|
|3||Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar||30 Points|
|4||Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team||28 Points|
|5||Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra||23 Points|
|6||Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN||20 Points|
|-||Jesper Radich (SWE) Radich Racing Team||20 Points|
|8||Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing||18 Points|
|9||Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia||16 Points|
|10||Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team||15 Points|