Thursday, 7 October 2010

WMRT: BlackMatch still well in the hunt in Bermuda

Damien Iehl protests in the match against BlackMatch Racing. Image copyright Subzero Images/WMRT.

by David Swete

Involved in 3 matches today we managed a win against fellow Kiwi Reuben Corbett and Frenchman Damien Iehl, however there was a slight bump in the road in the form of Swiss sailor Eric Monin who, despite a terrible start, managed to overhaul us up the first beat to take the victory and maintain his impressive record this week.

Dubbed the pool of death by the media this week the situation is looking like this for BlackMatch, we have to beat Ben Ainslie tomorrow to qualify directly for the quarterfinals while a loss would mean we would have the dubious task of trying to qualify through a repechage series. A win for us would seal our fate and could possibly secure the top qualifying position, however a loss would mean Eric Monnin and surprise package Reuben Corbett would progress through, while Ben Ainslie is already resigned to the repechage no matter what the result is.

Our best race today came against Damien Iehl in an epic battle that saw several lead changes. Despite a slight advantage off the start line where Damien was forced to tack off our hip, we tacked with him and the next wind shift saw us forced to concede. The result was the French team gaining a slender 2 boat length lead by the top mark. On the downwind we attacked throwing many gybes at them and a small mistake at the bottom mark rounding gave us a sniff of rounding inside him and this was all we needed. The next beat saw us nail some good wind shifts and by the top mark we had gained an unassailable lead.

BlackMatch Racing trail Eric Monnin. Image copyright Subzero Images/WMRT.

There was also action a plenty in the other two pools with Jesper Radich and absolute bolter Taylor Canfield dominating group 1, while Torvar Mirsky, Ian Williams and Johnnie Berntsson seem to be the favourites in group 2. The man everyone is out to chase down Mathieu Richard is still just in the hunt, however, another shock loss this time to 21 year old Taylor Canfield not only saw the youngster take down the current World Tour leader, but it also saw Richard docked .5 of a point for causing damage.

In all three of our races today Adam did a great job of nailing the starts and after receiving some online coaching tips today from yet another Kiwi former Gold Cup Champion Rod Davis who won back in 1994, we are hoping to carry this into tomorrow’s ‘must win’ match against Ben.

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. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys and we would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.

BlackMatch Racing is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, Nick Blackman and David Swete.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour