Friday, 22 August 2008

Profile of Adam Minoprio, BlackMatch Racing

Adam Minoprio (skipper/helmsman) and the BlackMatch Racing team won the Toyota Sopot Grade One Match Race in Poland in July 2008. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann, Go4Image

by The World Match Racing Tour, with additional material and amendments from SailRaceWin

New Zealand newspapers have labelled him as the next Dean Barker, and at just 23 years old, his BlackMatch Racing team already have the support of Emirates Team New Zealand. His local sailing community in Auckland are expecting big things from the young Kiwi, but Adam Minoprio is a lot more modest about the whole situation. “I have a long way to go, the best out there are still a lot better. But my team and I are still young, so we have lots of time to get better and hopefully be the best.

What does “match racing” mean to you?
At the moment it’s pretty much my life. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to make it my career, so I guess it means a lot to me.

What does “sailing” mean?
Pretty much the same as what match racing means. It’s my life.

How did you get in to match racing?
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth training programme.

Adam Minoprio match racing Dean Barker on the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, earlier in his sailing career, as a member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth training programme. Image copyright Anne Hinton.

For others wanting to make it in match racing what would your advice be?
Go do the RNZYS youth scheme. It’s a great stepping stone into competitive racing, and really sets you up. If you are living in Europe it’s probably a lot easier, there are so many regattas that are easily accessible. Get a good group of mates and get out there and do it.

How did you meet your crew and how long have you sailed together?
Tom [Powrie] and I used to sail together as kids. I met the others through RNZYS youth scheme. We have been sailing together for more than 4 years.

What is your biggest goal?
Long term: to win the World Match Racing Tour. [Note: Adam Minoprio is currently #8 in the ISAF Open Match Race rankings.]

What is your most marked characteristic?
Pretty persistent, determined. Never give up.

What do you most value in your friends?

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Easy going.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I'm not very patient on the water, that’s something I am trying to work on, to be more patient.

Which living person do you most admire?
If Peter Blake was still alive it would be him. That’s a hard one. Do they really have to be living? There are heaps, Gilly (Peter Gilmore) – I have a lot of respect for everyone competing on the WMRT. I don’t like to idolize one person; I like to take the best attributes from a variety of people!

In which country would you like to live?
New Zealand. That’s a pretty easy question. These places I get to travel to with sailing are all amazing in their own way, but New Zealand still tops them all.

What is it that you most dislike?
Inconveniencing other people by being late, it’s rude. Most of the time you have no excuse for being late.

Which talent would you most like to have?
If I wasn’t a yachty I would want to be real good at... lawn bowls. Nah, seriously though I would like to be an entrepreneur.

What is your definition of a hero?
Someone like Shackleton. An explorer who in times of adverse situations would put yourself second for the benefit of the group.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I used to spend all my money celebrating... just celebrating anything, but now I’ve got no money. Travelling around Europe doing regattas is quite expensive and we have to save everything we can!

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?
Toughen up. I say that a lot, to people who complain about nothing. Actually I say it to anyone really.

When and where are you happiest?
When I’m doing the Friday night Rum Race with all my mates back in Auckland. It’s always a good time, and a good chance to go sailing and not worry about winning or losing. It’s all about having fun.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
This isn’t exactly changing my family, but we need more space in our house, with three boys living there and mum and dad, sometimes I feel like we are pretty much living on top of each other.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Well I haven’t graduated yet, but I plan on it. I’m nearly finished with a mechanical engineering degree so graduating would be cool... being in Europe and sailing in the world match racing tour. I’ve always wanted to be here and do this so I guess it’s a pretty good achievement. I get to sail against the best in the world on a regular basis and it’s great.

We noticed you are sponsored by Line 7 the official clothing supplier of the Tour how do you like their apparel?
The Line 7 racing gear is the best as it is lightweight, breathable and looks good too. They also have supplied us with great formal and every day wear. We are proud to be sponsored by a New Zealand brand of clothing and find it easy dealing with Line 7, especially someone like Ross Munro.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being comfortable in surroundings.

What is your greatest fear?
Failing to achieve my goals.

What is your motto?
Never give up – so hopefully I won’t have to face my greatest fear.

Adam started sailing competitively at 8 years old and won his first nationals when he was 11, competing in his first world championship at the age of 12.

Adam's older brother, Simon Minoprio, has also competed internationally in match racing with his own Vision Yachting team.

Simon Minoprio (left) and his Vision Yachting team qualified in first place for the 2004 New Zealand National Match Racing National Championships, which had several America's Cup team entries, whilst his brother Adam (right) was given a direct entry into the event as the top Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth match racing team. Image copyright Anne Hinton.

Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing are sponsored by Line 7 and FedEx Express.

World Match Racing Tour

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