Monday, 21 July 2008

Adam Minoprio from New Zealand wins the Toyota Sopot Match Race 2008 ISAF Grade 1

BlackMatch Racing - Emirates Team New Zealand: winners of the 2008 Toyota Sopot Match Race. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

Report by Juerg Kaufmann

Sopot, 22nd of July – In the final of the Toyota Sopot Match Race 2008 ISAF Grade 1 Adam Minoprio (NZL) defeated Eric Monnin (SUI). In the fight for third place, Keith Swinton (AUS) won over Ian Ainslie from the Republic of South Africa. It was a great day here in Sopot today, with sun, lots of wind, a broken mast and great show for the large quantity of spectators on the Sopot pier.

Saturday was the day of surprises. All expected Torvar Mirsky and Staffan Lindberg in the semis, but it was not to be. The top 4 after the quarterfinal were: Swinton, Minoprio, Ainslie and the surprise of the day Monnin, who also won the sponsor race and got the Tag Heuer watch.

The BlackMatch crew concentrate hard during racing. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

Adam Minoprio managed to qualify for the final with a clear 3 – 0 against Ainslie. The other semifinal between Swinton and Monin was a real battle and Monnin won it with a 3 – 1.

The attraction on the final day was even better. Already during the skippers' meeting we had 15 knots of wind, and at the start of the first flight there were 25 knots of wind.

Close racing on finals day at the Toyota Sopot Match Race 2008. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

There were many lead changes in the first flight on both matches. in the petit final the young talent from Australia, Keith Swinton, managed to beat Ian Ainslie 2-1.

Keith Swinton leads Ian Ainslie in the petit-final. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

The final matches were even harder, with lead change after lead change in all races with a solid breeze, with gusts up to 30 knots.

Adam Minoprio and Eric Monnin cross tacks during the finals. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

At the 4 min signal, just when Adam Minoprio’s crew was entering the start box for the third race, suddenly the mast came down.

The mast comes down on Adam Minoprio's boat on entry to the third race in the finals. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann (

With a new boat the last race was sailed in great conditions, and the winner was again Minoprio, giving him the well deserved 3 points to win the event. Crewing with Adam Minoprio were Dave Swete, Tom Powrie, Nick Blackman and on Eric Monnin's boat, Marc Monnin, Simon Brugger, Yann Maillet completed the team. End result 3:1 to Minoprio.

Final standings of the Toyota Sopot Match Race 2008 ISAF Grade 1
1.Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing - Emirates Team New Zealand
2.Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team
3.Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
4.Ian Ainslie (RSA)
5.Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team
6.Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team
7.Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Yachting Australia
8.Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) Arbuzov Team
9.Przemek Tarnacki (POL) Tarnacki Racing
10.Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) Ecowave – Lord of the Sail
11.Rafał Sawicki (POL)
12.Marek Stańczyk (POL) Polish Match Tour/Nautiner

2008 Toyota Sopot Match Race

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