Williams and Ainslie through
Three nationalities and a stack of talent have made it through to the semi-finals of the Sunseeker Australia Cup after some tense and tight racing in the quarter-finals, with Britain’s Ben Ainslie and Ian Williams, home-town boy Torvar Mirsky and Kiwi Phil Robertson all making it through.
Upset of the day was young skipper Phil Robertson bundling World Tour leader Mathieu Richard of France out of the regatta after a hard fought five race series in which the Kiwi chalked up two wins, before the Frenchman levelled the score, then Robertson took the decider.
Commenting after the series Robertson said, “we should have won the first three, but we gifted him two races.”
When Ben Ainslie faced up to South Africa’s Ian Ainslie in their quarter final it was a crash and burn contest, with a collision between the two, and Ian Ainslie running aground, allowing multi gold medallist Ben Ainslie to take the series in straight races.
Ian Williams, who has won the world championship twice, also progressed into the semi-finals in three straight races over local skipper Keith Swinton.
Aussie rising star Torvar Mirsky chalked up a quick couple of wins over Will Tiller of New Zealand, before the Kiwi pulled one back, then Mirsky wrapped up his place in the semis in the fourth race.
“We won our quarters, which is always a really tough part of a regatta,” commented Mirsky at the end of the day, “Will Tiller from New Zealand did well in the shifty stuff, and made it difficult for us.”
Discussing the conditions for the day he said, “the wind this morning was south easterly and north easterly and always tricky, that happens in Perth when the easterly stays in and the seabreeze doesn’t make it, there were big shifts, and sometimes you’d get a long way ahead, and sometimes you wouldn’t.”
The semi-finals and finals will be sailed on Saturday, with Ben Ainslie having selected Phil Robertson as his opponent, leaving Mirsky to duel with Williams.
The regatta is hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club and managed by Swan River Sailing and is the last qualifying event for the Monsoon Cup, final event on the 2010 World Match Racing Tour.
Results – Quarter-finals
B. Ainslie (GBR) bt I. Ainslie (RSA) 3 – 0
P. Robertson (NZL) bt M. Richard (FRA) 3 – 2
I. Williams (GBR) bt K. Swinton (AUS) 3 – 0
T. Mirsky (AUS) bt W. Tiller (NZL) 3 - 1