Video of Minoprio (NZL) vs. Williams (GBR) in match 1 of the semi-finals in St Moritz:
by David Swete
The wind failed to come to the party early this morning and with a tight programme to get through on the final day, the quarterfinals were called at 1 nil and we qualified for the semi final. Top qualifying Ian Williams chose to race us, which left Ben Ainslie to take on Mathieu Richard in the other semi final match up.
By midday a great thermal breeze had built and the afternoon saw some amazing action with the tightest racing seen all week. Unfortunately we lost our semi final to Ian Williams 2-1 after three very exciting matches while Mathieu Richard dispatched Ben Ainslie also 2-1.
This left us to take on Ben Ainslie and his Team Origin in the petit final which was a one race winner takes all affair, in blustery conditions. Following a busy prestart which saw us handed a somewhat cheap penalty in the dial up, we managed to get the start we wanted and head towards the left side of the course which was what we thought would be favoured. Ben opted for the right side of the course and by the top mark we had gained a healthy lead, although we still had an outstanding penalty.
Winds up to 20 knots and short courses combined to test the crews and the British team were always in contention, but as we built on our lead nearing the final top mark, we decided to do our penalty turn at the finish line, which provided a nail biting finish for spectators. We came surfing toward the finish line and executed a nice penalty turn while Ben came storming in, however we just managed to complete our turn and cross the line mere boat lengths in front, to secure 3rd position.
Despite feeling disappointed with not being able to defend our King of the Mountain title here in St Moritz, we are still happy with the result, especially after a decisive win against the formidable Ben Ainslie. Mathieu and his team took out the final 2-1 over Ian Williams and have extended their lead on the overall World Tour standings, while Ian Williams has leap frogged into 2nd position leaving us in 3rd.
For now Mathieu Richard looks to be the favourite to take out the overall championship, however we are still very much in contention and will be looking to chase him down over the next couple of events, starting in Denmark next week.
We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors FedEx Express and Events Clothing/Line 7. Owen Rutter from Events Clothing has supplied us with new sailing gear this season, keeping the boys looking very sharp and also warm up here in the cold mountains. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. We would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.
BlackMatch Racing this week is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman.
World Match Racing Tour