Monday, 15 December 2008

BlackMatch Tied for Second after Day Two in Malaysia

Adam Minoprio (with Tony Rae, aka Trae, alongside), racing in Malaysia. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

by David Swete

Another spectacular day of sailing here in Malaysia saw plenty of exciting tight racing and the young guns coming through with BlackMatch and Mirsky Racing Team currently tied for second. Flying the flag for the 'old boys' is Paolo Cian who had a fantastic day, managing to finish with 7 wins and only 1 loss. Williams, Col, Gilmour, Holmberg and Ainslie are a further two points behind on 4 wins but a massive collision between Holmberg and Williams in the last match of the day, could see one or both of these teams in a little spot of bother in the protest room. Perhaps a big surprise so far is that Mathieu Richard, who is a serious contender for the world tour, has only 2 wins from his 7 matches and has a lot of work to do if he is to make the quarter finals.

Our victories today included a 'Black Flag' disqualification over Team Origin Skipper Ben Ainslie and an all important win over rival Torvar Mirsky. In our race against Ben we managed to lock him out at the boat end of the start line, forcing him to follow us around the start boat. Unfortunately for the Team Origin crew they misjudged the tide and got entangled on the committee boat, eventually needing assistance to free themselves which resulted in the disqualification.

Minoprio leads Mirsky in their match. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

A heated pre-start against our Australian rivals saw Adam again nail the start and manage to luff Torvar and his crew above the committee boat. They trailed us off the start line and a fierce tacking duel ensued with us still having the advantage at the top mark. The Perth team made inroads down the first run and at one stage were rolling us to windward, but we defended well and luffed hard which resulted in a penalty to Torvar when he failed to keep clear, this essentially handed us the victory.

We also managed a lucky win over Ian Williams after the World Champion went to the wrong top mark, but this perhaps was karma after we lost our race against Paolo Cian in very unfortunate circumstances. After leading Paolo for the entire race, we were on our final run to the finish when a team (who will remain nameless) from another match gybed on top of us when they were clearly out of their own race and forced us to gybe off, giving victory to the Italian's. After this incident it was good to have a little luck go our way which is very helpful against such an awesome lineup at this event.

Looking to tomorrow we would like to keep building on a good start and hopefully qualify well in the top 8 for the quarter finals. With the top qualifiers choosing who they are to race during quarter final stage, it is always very interesting. As we found out last year when Peter Gilmour choose to race us even though we had qualified second, it pays to be one of the teams choosing.

BlackMatch would like to again thank our sponsors FedEx Express and Line 7 New Zealand. Also a very special thank you to the RNZYS and the support of our friends and family.

BlackMatch Racing

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