Saturday 2 August 2008

Quarter-Final Line-Up in French Grade One Match Racing, Brittany

by SailRaceWin

The quarter-final line-up in the Trophée Manu Minard, sailed off Pornichet, Brittany, matches Mirsky (AUS) against Littoz-Baritel (FRA), Minoprio (NZL) against Wibroe (DEN), Richard (FRA) against Ainslie (RSA), and Iehl (FRA) against Brenac (FRA).

Racing was delayed in the quarter-finals on Saturday by heavy rain and gusty 20-25 knot winds. Amelioration to 20-22 knots, with puffs, should see the competition underway in the best-of-five matches by midday (Central European Time).

At this event, Chief Umpire, Soren Krause (DEN), has, amongst others, local sailor and former French America's Cup helmsman, Marc Bouët on his umpiring team.

Trophée Manu Minard

BlackMatch Through to Quarter-Finals in French International Match Racing Grade One, Brittany

Sunny conditions on the second day of racing off Pornichet, Brittany, France. Image copyright BlackMatch Racing.

from Adam Minoprio

On the second day we finished off the first round robin. After not managing to get away any races on day one due to the weather, we had a perfect 12 knot sea breeze and an arduous day finishing 11 races to have a scorecard of 7 wins, 4 losses. At the end of racing today we have raced everyone at the regatta once and are placed 4th, securing a spot in the quarter-finals.

Perhaps best win of the day for us came against world #1 Mathieu Richard. In a hectic pre-start we timed our run to the pin end of the start line perfectly and managed to trap the Frenchman below the lay-line, when he luffed past head to wind in an attempt to lay the mark he came into contact with us and received a penalty.

It was a close race around the course but we maintained a two boat length lead around the first top mark, however the French team did an excellent job downwind and rolled over the top of us to take the lead. Richard was in front but we still had starboard rights and on his final gybe to the bottom mark he failed to keep clear and received a second penalty to be taken immediately, essentially handing us the victory.

BlackMatch versus Ian Ainslie (South Africa) on Day Two of racing off Pornichet. Image copyright C. Gibault.

The next stage of the regatta will be the quarter-finals to see what four teams will progress through to the semi-finals. The top qualifier will have the choice of who to race, then the runner up will have the next choice and so on. Tomorrow we will wait to see who will take us on in the quarter-final and this next stage of the regatta should be completed by tomorrow evening.

A special thank you to our sponsors, FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is making this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys and we hope we can earn our spot in the semi-finals of the 2008 Internationaux de France tomorrow. To the RNZYS and everyone else thank you for your support.

Round Robin Final Positions (win-loss)

1) Mirsky (AUS) 9-2
2) Richard (FRA) 8-3
3) Iehl (FRA) 8-3
4) Minoprio (NZL) 7-4
5) Brenac (FRA) 7-4
6) Wibroe (DEN) 6-5
7) Litoz-Baritel (FRA) 5-6
8) Ainslie (RSA) 5-6
9) Orel (SLO) 3-8
10) Morvan (FRA) 3-8
11) Neugodnikov (RUS) 3-8
12) Lanier (FRA) 2-9

Adam Minoprio speaks about the venue in the second video on Overlapprod/APCC and the third video has footage of the first day's racing, including good downwind rides for Richard, Wibroe and Mirsky.

Trophée Manu Minard

Trophée Manu Minard, Grade One Match Racing in Brittany, France - Day Two: BlackMatch in 2nd Place in Round Robin

by SailRaceWin

Adam Minoprio and the BlackMatch Racing team beat the world number one, Mathieu Richard of France, on their way to a 6-2 win-loss scoreline in the second day of competition in the Grade One match race event in Pornichet, France. They currently lie second, with three matches outstanding, in the round robin. Racing today was held in southwest winds of 10-15 knots, with sunshine: perfect conditions for sailing.

Torvar Mirsky (Australia), last year's winner, had the best scorecard at the end of the day, with 7 wins and a loss to Matthieu Richard. Peter Wibroe (Denmark) is tied with Minoprio in second place, but BlackMatch defeated the Danes when they raced each other.

The three remaining flights will be completed today to decide the quarter-final positions from the Round Robin.

Trophée Manu Minard

'Daunting' competition for the iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week

BMW Oracle Racing training on the Solent yesterday before round 3 of the iShares Cup. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle Racing.

by iShares Cup/OC Event media

In brief:
* 11 Extreme 40s to compete, including three America's Cup teams and two new boats from BMW Oracle Racing
* Britain's TeamOrigin is ready for a tough battle to defend their series lead
* Sea breeze conditions are forecast for more full-on racing on the Solent at Skandia Cowes Week!

Preparations for Skandia Cowes Week are underway close to the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

Preview of iShares Cup action in Cowes

From Saturday until Monday the iShares Cup races will be held on short courses between Lepe Spit and Calshot Spit, with good sailing winds predicted of at least 15 knots. "Looking at what's coming in we've got breeze from the south-west direction, depending on cloud cover," said Race Director Alan Hillman. On hot days Cowes often enjoys an added bonus of a sea breeze effect - which builds the wind even further. "If we get any sun, it's going to hoon! The sea breeze will fuel it, and I think it could be windy."

"The boat-handling will sort the men from the boys then!" commented Pete Cumming, who was feeling confident at the prospect of some big breeze sailing on board Oman Sail, "We've got Freddie [David Carr] up front and you don't get a much bigger engine than that, so we're looking forward to it!"

Shirley Robertson's JP Morgan Asset Management Extreme 40 team sail reefed down in 30 knots and sunshine, in the lee of the Isle of Wight to avoid the short, steep Solent chop kicked up by wind against tide.

Although the Solent is renowned for its strong currents, racing over such a small area will limit the tidal impact for the Extreme 40s. "Where we're racing basically to get out of the tide they'd have to either hit the beach, or get out into the main shipping channels, so I don't think tide's going to be a huge factor," explained Alan. But the sea venue may well bring some waves for the iShares Cup teams to contend with, "I think the main local knowledge will be having sailed in the Solent chop, and knowing how short and steep it is."

BMW Oracle Racing skipper James Spithill commented, "Certainly the area is renowned for its tide but the good thing with these boats is that hopefully we'll get some breeze and then it shouldn't be too much of a factor - and it's the same for everyone, but we'll see!"

Six races a day are scheduled, between 14.00-17.00, with practice sailing in the morning.

iShares Cup

Friday 1 August 2008

BlackMatch makes no. 8 in World Match Race Rankings

BlackMatch training in Pornichet, France. Image copyright C. Gibault.

from Adam Minoprio

After another good result with our win in the Sopot Match Grade 1 event in Poland, we have risen through the ISAF World Match Race Rankings to further solidify our place in the top ten, with a career best of #8.

This excellent news came on the opening day of our latest regatta, the 2008 Internationaux De France. However, today the weather failed to deliver with no breeze in the morning and a gale coming in the afternoon, which meant we took part in none of the action on the water.

This regatta is a Grade 1 Event and has a very tough entry list which includes Frenchman Mathieu Richard, who regained his world #1 position in the latest ranking release. Reigning champion Torvar Mirsky is also competing here, along with world number five and local, Damien Iehl. The regatta is being held on the North West Coast of France, in Brittany, and is being sailed in J-80 four-man boats. We are hoping for a change in the weather situation tomorrow and look forward to getting underway in this regatta.

BlackMatch would like to again thank sponsors FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7 New Zealand. We feel very privileged to have support from these world-renowned companies and also to have the backing of Team New Zealand and our yacht club, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Trophée Manu Minard, Pornichet

Videos available on Overlapprod/APCC

BlackMatch Racing

SailRaceWin notes that Adam's brother, Simon Minoprio, is 32nd in the 30th July 2008 rankings, while Philip Robertson is 65th and Wellington's Josh Junior has climbed to no. 68.

In the Womens Rankings, Jessica Smyth is 23rd, Samantha Osborne 35th, and Jan Dawson 62nd.

Top Ten World Open Match Race Rankings

1. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) 11721pts
2. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) 11698pts
3. Paolo CIAN (ITA) 11384pts
4. Sebastian COL (FRA) 11062pts
5. Damien IEHL (FRA) 10523pts
6. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) 10516pts
7. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) 10172pts
8. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) 9962pts
9. Philippe PRESTI (FRA) 9386pts
10. Mads EBLER (DEN) 9317pts


Tuesday 29 July 2008

Kiwi Gold and Bronze + Team Trophy at Splash Worlds

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Ben Lutze of Taipa in Northland is New Zealand’s latest sailor to take a world title, crowned Splash World Champion over the weekend in Tavira, Portugal.

Kiwi team-mate, George Lane also made it to the podium taking third overall at the regatta, which was contested by 100 sailors. A further five Kiwis finished in the top ten at the championships giving them the Champion Team Trophy for having the most sailors in the top ten.

The final two days of this year’s regatta really turned things on their head for much of the fleet with Ben Lutze coming from behind to take the title with a top performance on the final day. The lighter breezes from earlier in the regatta were replaced by stronger winds and big swells for the final two days, some relishing the more challenging conditions.

Travelling with the team, Rob Burns reports back on how Lutze managed to secure the title. “He ground his way from just inside the top ten, to winning, with some great sailing. Some of his best races were in the lighter breezes of the middle of the regatta but he came into his own when pure power was needed to haul his boat through the large waves.”

A popular youth class in parts of New Zealand, in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Splash is a single-handed dinghy typically sailed by up and coming talent between the ages of 14 to 18 years. The 2006 New Zealand team produced similar results when Kiwi, Blair Tuke won the world title; Tuke went on to represent New Zealand in the 2007 ISAF Youth World Championships winning silver in the boy’s 29er class.

The Kiwi team arrive back into Auckland airport, New Zealand on Tuesday morning at 8:30am.

It has recently been confirmed that New Zealand will host the 2010 Splash World Championships off Takapuna in Auckland.

2008 Splash World Championships
New Zealand Team Final Results

1st Ben Lutze
3rd George Lane
5th Scott Fyfe
7th Michael Cate
9th Josh Edmonds
10th Jordan Coles
16th Declan Burn
17th Keziah Deverall (2nd girl)
22nd Joesph Wright
25th Laura Hemmingway
40th Michael Turney
48th Melissa Gibbs
86th Sebastian Masters