Tuesday, 25 May 2010

WMRT: Two World Champions Knocked out - One World Champion Remains

Match Race Germany also a Match for Multinational Sponsors

A backdrop of the Swiss Alps for the quarterfinals of Match Race Germany. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

by Cailah Leask

There were a series of Quarter Final fights for first place today on Day 4 of Match Race Germany. Two previous ISAF Match Racing World Champions; Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar were knocked out in the quarters whilst Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team remained.

Jesper Radich's crew look to windward at their opponents during the quarterfinals. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

Radich is back in the game after a two year break from match racing, “It’s great to be back behind the wheel, I can definitely feel that I’ve taken time out but it’s all coming back to me. My crew have been amazing”, said a satisfied Radich.

Jesper Radich leads Ian Williams into the bottom mark during their quarterfinal. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, the current World Champion, sailed through to the semi finals after defeating Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team clinched victory over Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing after a controversial call by Gilmour’s team which took them round the wrong windward mark and Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team destroyed the hope of a semi final spot for Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar.

Peter Gilmour feeling the pressure in his quarterfinal match against Torvar Mirsky. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

This is a turning point for Mirsky who according to Gilmour has a “long and high profile career ahead of him” – he has beaten his master, who Mirsky back in Marseille said was his ‘inspiration’ to take up this sport.

BlackMatch Racing at Match Race Germany. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

Minoprio was confident yesterday that he could beat Holmberg and did not disappoint. This is a major achievement for Minoprio as Holmberg is renowned as one of the most competitive sailors in the match racing scene having been involved with the Tour circuit since 1991, representing Sweden in the Olympics 3 times as well as having 2 America’s Cup campaigns under his belt. A hungry Minoprio after 10 hours of racing chatted about the time he put in training with Holmberg before Stage 2, “I was worried at one point today that the training I put in with Holmberg would actually have worked against me and that he might beat us”.

The race committee cracked straight on into the semi finals as the skippers’ prayers for a more stable wind were answered. Minoprio came out on top against Mirsky beating him in 2 matches and Radich is 2 wins up on Richard.

The umpire team, boasting some high profile names, has had an enthralling start to the semi final with a collision between the youngest contenders. Jack Lloyd current Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race and originally rules advisor to Emirates Team New Zealand during the 2007 America’s Cup is enjoying the WMRT work. After a lengthy debrief Lloyd talked through his views on the WMRT, “The World Match Racing Tour is really striving to create an atmosphere for the public, bringing the racing closer in and building the entertainment factor that match racing has, basically what’s not to like”.

Bavaria 35s are used at Match Race Germany. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

Meanwhile, the semi-final of the Match Race Germany 2010 has attracted a staggering 50 sponsors with multinational brands intent on establishing an association with this World Series. BAVARIA has been the official ‘Boat Sponsor’ for Stage 2 of the Tour since 2004 and has signed up for further activity next year. Jasmin Müller, Marketing Manager of BAVARIA, has been hosting guests today at the 17th century castle, “Match Race Germany is key for our involvement with an international racing series. We are really pleased today that the WMRT enabled one of our guests to actually race on board a Bavaria 35 match with the elite crews”. This sponsor initiative is common place now on the Tour, where a ‘hot seat’ position is made available for VIPs to have a ‘once in a lifetime racing experience’.

One of the top players in the automobile industry, Alfa Romeo - part of the Fiat Group, is using Match Race Germany as an exhibition vehicle. This is the first year for Alfa Romeo’s association with match racing. Fiat’s Brand Marketing and Communications Manager, Alexander Knesewitsch, notes the success of having an onsite presence, “It’s excellent to have some of our newest models on display at the event village. The sheer number of people that this sports event draws in is incredible, we have benefited from this footfall with a lot of registered interest in the 8C Spider.” In fact independent quantitative reports show annual figures of 45,000 spectators flocking to this 5 day event.

‘Logistics company for the world’, DHL, one of the top sponsors at Match Race Germany, is proud to support the Tour. “It is always a pleasure for us to invite our guests from all over the world to Langenargen where they are sure to be indulged with a unique experience”, said Ernst Wallaschek representing DHL this year.

Mathieu Richard is all concentration at Match Race Germany. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

Richard got racing this afternoon during the start of the semis and has put his continued success down to maintaining a long term relationship with his crew, “I’ve been racing with my crew now for 10 years – in top teams you find that the crews are very stable, the good results come when you have a consistent crew. It’s a really key point to have the same crew. I think Gilmour is an example of what happens when you change your team line up too much”.

Miss Tuning 2010 will glamourise tomorrow’s final prize giving ceremony when she will present the winner of Stage 2 with US$10,000 prize money. All eyes will then turn to Stage 3, Korea Match Cup, which kicks off in just over 2 weeks on June 8th.

Video of Day 4 highlights from Match Race Germany

Day 4: Results
Day 4 Semi Finals after 3 Races

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team vs Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Sailing Team 1-2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing vs Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 2-1

Quarter Final results:
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing vs Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 3-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar GRB vs Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Sailing Team 3-2
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team vs Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-1

Overall Standings:
5 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
6 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
7 Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge
8 Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia
9 Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo
10 Mads Ebler (DEN) Ebler Matchracing
11 Kathrin Kadelbach (GER) EWE Sailing Team
12 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team

Match Race Germany action on Lake Constance/Bodensee. Image copyright Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.

2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 1 of 10)
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 25 Points
2. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 20 Points
3. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 15 Points
4. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 12 Points
5. Sebastian Col (FRA) ALL 4 ONE 10 Points
6. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 8 Points
7. Philippe Presti (FRA) 6 Points
8. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4 Points

Match Race Germany
World Match Racing Tour