Sunday, 21 September 2008

Paolo Cian Wins the 2008 ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia

Paolo Cian, winner of the 2008 ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

Italian Paolo Cian repeated his last year's success from the 21st ACI Match Race Cup. In brief: experience outplayed youth.

Paolo Cian and Bertrand Pacé were uncertain about entering the play-offs. When they managed to reach the semi-finals they demonstrated their value. On the other hand, two of the unsurpassed sailors from the First Round Robin, the Frenchman Sébastien Col and the Australian Torvar Mirsky, did not make it to the top because they were defeated in the semifinals. Cian won against Col with the result 2:0 and Pacé against Mirsky 2:1.

Then, the final decisive matches for the first place began. Two experienced skippers confronted, and the Italian Paolo Cian resulted as a winner, while Pacé took the second place.

In the matches for the third place Col managed to overcome Mirsky with the result 2:1. Actually, he wouldn’t have won if it hadn’t been for Mirsky’s penalty.

In the lower part of the table, Minoprio from New Zealand is fifth, Kliba is sixth with eight victories. Bašić is next, with half point less because of a penalty. The Russian Musikhin sailed well on the last day of the event and he scored four victories, while Barbieri and Tarnacki were the tail enders.

It is important to mention that the last day was marked by a northeasterly wind of 30 knots.

The 22nd ACI Match Race Cup handed the awards to the winners on Split’s Riva, and the celebration of ACI’s 25th birthday continued in Diocletian’s palace.

Paolo Cian and his crew from Team Shosholoza celebrate winning the ACI Match Race Cup 2008. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Comments from the semi-finalists and finalists

Sébastien Col

Q: You were able to pick the opponent and you've picked Cian the defending champion?

A: Yes, I still think it was a good decision. We didn’t make it to the finals, but we sailed good and won a lot of races.

Q: Please tell us how do you feel and how different sailor are you now in comparison to the last time you've been here?

A: Yes, I came to Croatia almost 10 years ago for the first time. Since then we have practiced a lot and we have improved a lot in match racing. Therefore, we have more experience now than 10 years ago. And now we are among top five in the world.

Bertrand Pacé

Q: Was the start Cian's advantage?

A: Yes, his first start was very good, he pushed us. In the second we were even but we didn’t make the right calls. If we hadn't made mistakes, we would have done better. Paolo used the wind better than we did and we also had some troubles with the boat. The best man won. Congratulations to Paolo.

Torvar Mirsky

Q: You finished and took the fourth place?

A: We sailed well, we really gave everything but the French team has beaten us today in the semifinals and the petit-finals. Congratulations to them. We thought that Pacé was a weaker opponent, but we were wrong. The experience pulled him through.

Q: Will you come next year?

A: We’ll definitely come back next year, we have some unfinished business. Congratulations to Paolo Cian.

Paolo Cian

Q: This is your second victory here in Split?

A: It was not easy, winning two times in a row. The wind was very strong and my team did an incredible job.

Q: Col picked you to be his opponent in the semifinals?

A: Yes, but it's always difficult to pick the opponent. We did some mistakes in the round robin but we were sailing very well, I was confident in our victory. In the finals, the conditions were very difficult, but we did a couple of very nice starts and had the control of the match.

Other Skipper Comments on the last day of Racing

Dario Kliba, one of the Croatian skippers at the event. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Dario Kliba (CRO)
Too much wind! They even raised a flag after the second match signalling that we cannot sail with the spinnakers any more. After that the matches lost their charm. It was a very hard day for all of us, especially for those who entered the semifinals. Hats off to them!

Adam Minoprio (NZL)
It was very windy. The racing was really exciting because of the shifty wind conditions - very tricky but same for everyone. We lost couple of matches, and now we're out of the regatta. I must confess we are a bit disappointed... Those who made it to the semifinals really did a good job, and I think it is going to be hard to win.

Sergey Musikhin (RUS)
Wind in Split today was almost the same as the winds that blow in Russia. The regatta was a first-class event and we are very glad for being a part of it. We would also like to come again next year, if you invite us.

Paolo Cian and Team Shosholoza on the last day of racing in Split. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.


Flight 1
M1 Sebastien Col v Torvar Mirsky 0-1
M2 Bertrand Pace v Paolo Cian 0-1

Flight 2
M1 Torvar Mirsky v Sebastien Col 0-1
M2 Paolo Cian v Bertrand Pace 1-0

Flight 3
M1 Sebastien Col v Torvar Mirsky 1-0

Final - summary
Paolo Cian v Bertrand Pace 2-0

Petit-Final - summary
Sebastien Col v Torvar Mirsky 2-1


Flight 1
M1 Paolo Cian v Sebastien Col 1-0
M2 Bertrand Pace v Torvar Mirsky 0-1

Flight 2
M1 Sebastien Col v Paolo Cian 0-1
M2 Torvar Mirsky v Bertrand Pace 0-1

Flight 3
M2 Bertrand Pace v Torvar Mirsky 1-0

Semifinals - summary
Paolo Cian v Sebastien Col 2-0
Bertrand Pace v Torvar Mirsky 2-1

Final Overall Results (with Round Robin points - the four highest point scorers progressed to the semi-finals)

1. Paolo Cian (ITA) 12pts
2. Bertrand Pacé (FRA) 13pts
3. Sébastien Col (FRA) 16pts
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 14pts
5. Adam Minoprio (NZL) 11pts
6. Dario Kliba (CRO) 8pts
7. Tomislav Bašić (CRO) 7.5pts
8. Sergey Musikhin (RUS) 4pts
9. Frane Barbieri (CRO) 2pts
10. Przemek Tarnacki (POL) 2pts

ACI Match Race Cup

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