First World Tour victory for young team from Australia
Young antipodeans Torvar Mirsky and Adam Minoprio feed their healthy rivalry as they go head to head in the final at Troia Portugal Match Cup. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
by Dobbs Davis
In only their second full season on the World Match Racing Tour, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team of Kinley Fowler, Kyle Langford, Tudur Owen, and Graeme Spence have claimed their first win at the Troia Portugal Match Cup. Victory here for the 24-year old skipper puts him in company with other world-famous match racing legends who have been champions at this event, including Peter Gilmour, Chris Dickson, Peter Holmberg, and Ed Baird. And for their efforts, Mirsky and team have won 10,000 Euros of the 50,000 Euro prize money purse.
“It’s been six years in the making, but we’re finally here,” said an exuberant Mirsky. “So many times we’ve been so close, but just unable to get through, and today everything just came together for us. I’m still a bit stunned we’re here!”
Battle of the Bowmen as Nick Blackman (Blackmatch) and Graeme Spence (MRT) call their respective skippers up to the start line. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Mirsky took his fellow antipodean Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch team in just two matches of the first-to-two point Final, displaying a smooth sailing style and impeccable sense of timing both in the pre-starts and around the track. It is this same style that also in only two matches got him past Mathieu Richard (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team in the first-to-two point Semi-Final.
Mirsky Racing Team (AUS). Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Mirsky Racing Team was not on fire throughout the entire event, however, as they barely qualified to the Quarter-Finals on a 6-6 win-loss record in the Round Robin. That all changed yesterday, however, as they went on to win all but one match in the Quarter-Final, Semi-Final, and Final rounds.
And while the first match of the Final was decided fairly early in the game as Mirsky took and extended on his winning start, the second match was far from easy. At the top mark the Kiwis were at the mark zone on the left, and attempted to force out the Aussies from claiming room with a hard luff. Amidst a heated exchange and calls for room, Mirsky managed to slip inside and around the mark in the lead, which he kept throughout the match to the finish.
“We enjoy a good rivalry with Adam and his team,” said Mirsky, “and actually trained with him over the past week in Valencia. He’s been doing so well lately, we needed this win just to slow him down!”
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar meet in the Petite Final at Troia Portugal Match Cup, with Williams gaining third place by 2 victories to 1. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
A jubilant Torvar Mirsky celebrates his first Tour win at Troia Portugal Match Cup 2009 with a backward flip into the tide. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
Indeed, in the overall World Championship leaderboard Minoprio’s runner-up finish here has earned him another 20 points to maintain a healthy 12 point lead. And on the strength of his exciting 2-1 win over Richard here in the Petite-Finals, Ian Williams (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar have jumped up to the runner-up position, but only a point over Richard. And Mirsky has vaulted 25 points ahead to go from eighth to fourth.
Smiles all round for Mirsky Racing Team as they celebrate their first Tour win. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
1st Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing
2nd Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch
3rd Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar
4th Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
5th Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team
6th Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
7th Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge
8th Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Onboard
9th Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
10th Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team
11th Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo
12th Andrew Arbuzov (RUS)
Mirsky Racing meets ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing in the final at Troia Portugal Match Cup. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
(After 4 of 10 events)
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch 61 Points
2. Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar 49 Points
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team 48 Points
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 46 Points
5. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 40 Points
6. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 32 Points
7. Paolo Cian (ITA) Shosholoza Team 31 Points
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 31 Points
Troia Portugal Match Cup winner Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team. Image copyright Wander Roberto/World Match Racing Tour.
World Match Racing Tour