Saturday, 20 June 2009
Ian Williams' (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
by Dobbs Davis
After a long day Friday, stretched to the limits of sunset, Round Robin racing has been completed along with three flights of two pairs in the Quarter Final stage of the Troia Portugal Match Cup. Eight teams have advanced to this next stage in the competition out of 12 who came here for a slice of the 50,000 Euro prize money purse at the beautiful Troia Resort.
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
After a fitful start in the morning and an entire flight of matches abandoned for lack of wind, the westerly seabreeze finally filled to perfect strength, with 8-14 knots available all afternoon to complete the six flights of three matches left in the Round Robin. Emerging from the pack as winner of this stage on the strength of 9 wins was Philippe Presti (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team, though he went 1-1 on the day. His success in this stage was also due to a tie-break with fellow member of the French Match Racing Team Mathieu Richard.
Mathieu Richard (FRA) leads Andrew Arbuzov (RUS). Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Others advancing to the Quarter-Finals include, in order of finish in the Round Robin, Peter Gilmour (AUS) and the YANMAR Racing Team, Ian Williams (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar, Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch team, Sebastian Col (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/K Challenge, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team, and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and his Team Onboard.
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
While finishing in 9th place and therefore not advancing to the next stage, its noteworthy to mention the extraordinary efforts put in by Phil Robertson (NZL) and his WAKA Racing team. In his matches against two other young Down Under talents, fellow Kiwi Minoprio and Aussie Mirsky, Robertson was extremely tough, taking both to their limits amidst heated pre-start and mark-rounding action. He and his team got beaten for not having quite that extra polish the others have in having spent the last two years in Tour competition, but his performance today certainly makes him one to watch for the future.
Local hero Alvaro Marinho at the Troia Portugal Match Cup 2009. He finished the round robin in tenth place. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Quarter-Final pairings will be as follows: Presti vs. Mirsky; Richard vs. Hansen; Gilmour vs. Minoprio; and Col vs. Williams. And as the sun started descending into the Serra Arrabida, three flights of the Quarter-Finals were completed for the Presti-Mirsky and Richard-Hansen matches.
Peter Gilmour and Thierry Doulliard consider potential opponents for the quarter final round. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
With the depth of talent here at this event, it is perhaps of no surprise that the Round Robin winner is already on the ropes, as Presti has lost two to Mirsky in the first-to-three point round. Mirsky showed excellent timing and near-flawless teamwork to win his first two before falling to Presti in the critical third match.
Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Meanwhile it is Richard who has Hansen in a must-win situation for their first encounter tomorrow, having won the first and third matches in this stage. Their matches were particularly contentious, with furious tacking and gybing duels, numerous lead changes, and even a penalty in the first against Richard which he was just barely able to shed on the finish line.
Quarter-Final action resumes Saturday morning at the Troia Portugal Match Cup.
The beautiful nature reserve of Troia, Portugal. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Round Robin Results (win-loss)
1st Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team 9-2
2nd Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 9-2
3rd Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 8-3
4th Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar 7-4
5th Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing/Emirates Team New Zealand 7-4
6th Sebastien Col (FRA) K-Challenge/French Match Racing Team 6-5
7th Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 6-5
8th Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team OnBoard 5-6
9th Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 3-8
10th Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-9
11th Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo 2-9
12th Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) 2-9
(After 3 of 10 events)
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch 41 points
2. Ben Ainslie, (GBR), Team Origin 40 points
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Team 35 points
4. Ian Williams (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar 34 points
5. Damien Iehl (FRA), French Team 32 points
6. Paolo Cian (ITA), Shosholoza 32 points
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS), YANMAR Racing 23 points
8. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team 21 points
World Match Racing Tour