Tuesday, 23 June 2009

WMRT: BlackMatch still top of the World Tour after a second in Portugal

BlackMatch Racing competing in the finals of the 2009 Troia Portugal Match Cup. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.

by David Swete

Following yesterday's extremely tough quarter final win against Peter Gilmour, we again didn’t make life easy on ourselves today in the semi final against the current World Champion Ian Williams and after winning our way through to the final, we lost to a rampant Torvar Mirsky.

The semi-finals were shortened to the first team to win 2 matches and the first race saw us take a decisive victory. We forced Williams to the pin end of the start line where he did not have enough room to build speed and he was over when the start gun went. Once he had returned to the start line we held a significant advantage and sailed defensively for the remainder of the race to seal the win.

In the second match we thought we had a comfortable buffer after forcing a penalty on them in the pre-start and holding the lead until the final upwind. But in the shifty conditions here in Portugal the race is never over, especially against such a fierce competitor and Williams managed to ‘dial down’ at us on starboard tack nearing the top mark to offset his penalty and gain a lead that was too big for us to comeback from. Although we felt we totally threw this race away we bounced back well in the deciding race to take it out by a huge margin and secure our place in the final.

Perhaps it was the fact we had to beat a triple World Match Racing Champion and the current double World Champion on our road to the final, but we just didn’t hit our straps against the talented Australian who took out the final 2 nil. Both our quarter and semi finals were extremely gruelling and took a lot out of us, which may have contributed to us not putting up more of a fight, but a deserved Torvar Mirsky sailed extremely well to seal his first World Match Racing Tour Victory.

Close but not quite close enough for us as we trail MRT into the bottom mark. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.

Our second placing here in Portugal has seen us build a nice 12 point buffer on the overall World Match Racing Tour Standings and we are very happy with this, but we are particularly looking forward to our next event in Sweden. BlackMatch would like to congratulate Torvar Mirsky and his crew on an incredible display of sailing this week and a magnificent victory. It was great to see the two young ‘Line 7’ sponsored teams in a World Tour Final and we are hoping it’s a sign of things to come.

BlackMatch would like to again thank their sponsors FedEx Express and Line 7 New Zealand. We would also like to thank our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

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