Monday, 12 October 2009

WMRT: British Bulldogs Take on Kiwi Silver Ferns

Minoprio and Ainslie to match up in Argo Group Gold Cup final seeking the King Edward VII Gold Cup

Adam Minoprio leads Eric Monnin in the semi-finals. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

TeamOrigin lead Team Pindar in the semis. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Talbot Wilson

In the Argo Group Gold Cup semifinal match racing on Saturday afternoon, ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his team of Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman took the first slot in the Finals with a 3-0 win over Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team with crewmen Simon Brugger, Mark Monnin, Jean-Claude Monnin and Loris von Siebenthal. Minoprio is the top skipper in the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rankings and was second in the World Match Racing Tour going into the Argo Group Gold Cup.

Ben Ainslie (GBR) sailing for Team Origin with his crew of Matt Cornwell, Iain Percy, and Christian Kamp took the other semifinal match 3-1. Ainslie moves into the finals after defeating reigning World Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) of Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group with his crew of Mark Nicholls, Richard Sydenham, and Gerry Mitchell and goes into the Petite Finals Sunday. Ainslie, holder of four Olympic medals, three of them gold, had a perfect 7-0 score going into the quarter finals but lost two matches in that stage and only one more in today’s semifinal.

Matt Cornwell prepares the pole on Ben Ainslie's boat. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

Ainslie said that in the Quarterfinals he missed the shifts in the two races he lost. “In the last race, we got into the shifts,” he said. “We just got ahead and stayed ahead.” About his match with Ian Williams, he said, “We just got the shifts better. We are happy with the way the day turned out and we are looking forward to racing Adam Minoprio tomorrow. The Argo Group Gold Cup is a special event, both the boats and the sailing conditions suit our style of racing.”

Minoprio will move up to the top of the World Tour rankings. “We really want to win the Gold Cup tomorrow,” Minoprio said. “We would like to go into the Monsoon Cup with a healthy lead to have a good chance to win the World Match Racing Tour.” The Tour winner is also crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing go through to the finals. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

Tomorrow, Minoprio and Ainslie will race for the gold, each doing his utmost to put his own name on the famous King Edward VII Gold Cup trophy and take home the first place prize purse of $50,000. Second place takes $20,000, third place $10,000 and fourth place $7,000. The total purse is $100,000.

Williams and Monnin will match up in the Petite Finals to decide third and fourth place.

Racing had been delayed Saturday morning until 10:00AM waiting for the breeze to fill in sufficiently for racing to start. In their first match of the morning, Flight 3 of the quarter-final, Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Team Origin took their first two losses. Ainslie came back in the fifth race to defeat Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 3-2 as Argo Group Gold Cup quarterfinal racing concluded Saturday morning. Mirsky, the current World Tour leader, was relegated to the consolation matches to decide places 5-8.

Ben Ainslie leads Ian Williams in the semi-finals. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

In the consolation matches to decide the 5th through 8th places, Bermudian Blythe Walker and his Max Re team lost their first match to Mathieu Richard (FRA) representing the French Match Racing Team. Last year’s King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team won their first match against Torvar Mirsky.

The second matches of the consolations saw Berntsson defeat Richard for fifth place, so Richard took sixth place. Blythe Walker had a win against Mirsky for seventh place pushing Mirsky into eighth.

Fifth place takes home $ 5,500, Sixth place gets $ 4,000, Seventh place earns $2,500, and Eighth place $ 1,000.

Note from SailRaceWin: It is our belief that the headline writer of this supplied article was unaware that the Kiwi ladies netball team are called the Silver Ferns.

World Match Racing Tour

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