Saturday 13 September 2008

Trieste Challenge - Day Three

Mascalzone Latino Match Racing Team, skipper Matteo Savelli, on Day Two of the Trieste Challenge. Image copyright Ray Giubilo.

by Kinley Fowler, Mirsky Racing Team

A steady breeze saw the 52 footers come to life on Day Three, Friday, as the second round robin got underway. In only 6 knots of breeze the carbon fibre canting keel yachts took off, reaching 7 knots comfortably on the downwinds, making for some exciting racing.

Today was a real chance for us to get used to the big boat side of match racing with a steadier and stronger breeze than the previous two days. We learnt exponentially as the day progressed through watching the other three teams, in particular Saville and his Mascalzone Latino team, who displayed dominant boathandling, and are now sitting in first place.

The four teams are extremely close, but it was clear that experience was the key today, as we lost all three of our matches. Despite this, we are still very happy with our performance and are getting what we want out of the event.

Tomorrow we are racing Damien Iehl for third place in the notorious “Bora mountain wind” which is forecast to reach up to 35 knots. Hopefully it is not deemed too strong, as the chance for us to sail boats like these is rare to come by, and it would be an opportunity sorely missed.

A special thanks to Line7, Harken and the Royal Perth Yacht Club for their support.

Note from SailRaceWin: Mascalzone Latino also sent out a press release in Italian. They have two teams present - Matteo Savelli with Mascalzone Latino Match Racing Team and Jes Gram Hansen (of Denmark) with Mascalzone Latino Trifork Team.

Savelli is sailing with Andrea Ballico, Davide Scarpa, Luca Albarelli, Nicola Pilastrs, Furio Benussi, Daniele Fiaschi and Pierluigi de Felice (who has just become a match race umpire in New Zealand).

The two Mascalzone Latino teams are set to race each other for first and second place in Trieste, Italy.

Mirsky Racing Team
La Sfida - Trieste Challenge

Semifinalists Decided at the European Match Racing Championships, the Yava Trophy, Russia

by SailRaceWin

Two sailors finished the quarterfinals with a 5-2 score: Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) and Staffan Lindberg (FIN). Both are former winners of the Yava Trophy.

They are joined in the semi-finals, Saturday, by Spain's Manuel Weiller, and Nick Cherry of Britain, who each had a 4-3 win-loss record on Friday in Moscow.

Quarterfinal Results

1. Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) 5-2
2. Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 5-2
3. Manuel Weiller (ESP) 4-3
4. Nick Cherry (GBR) 4-3
5. Alvaro Marinho (POR) 3-4
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA) 3-4
7. Peter Wibroe (DEN) 2-5
8. Tomislav Basic (CRO) 2-5

YAVA Trophy 2008

The Opposition: EUROSAF match racing in Russia, Yava Trophy 2008

by Yana Dobzhitskaya

While the Kiwi BlackMatch team is en route to the ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia for next week, some of their regular opponents are match racing in Russia.

The round robins in two groups have decided the competitors for the quarter-finals of the EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship, “Yava Trophy 2008”, Grade 1 event in Moscow. The event is being held 9th-14th September on the Pirogovsiy arm of the Klyazminskiy reservoir.

Russian skipper Evgeny Neugodnikov, who has won only the half of his races, had a chance to make up for lost time on Thursday. He has now clocked up five victories for his team.

Unfortunately, the team of another Russian skipper, Andrey Arbuzov, has missed the qualification. He managed to win only three races out of seven.

Only four crews from each group have qualified for the quarter-finals. These skippers will compete on Friday for the right to participate in the semi-finals:

1. Group A: Francesco Bruni (Italy), Nick Cherry (Great Britain), Alvaro Marinho (Portugal), Eugeniy Neugodnikov (Russia);

2. Group B: Manuel Weiller (Spain), Tomislav Basic (Croatia), Peter Wibroe (Denmark), Staffan Lindberg (Finland).

From the first two days of racing, two skippers, Francesco Bruni and Manuel Weiller, have the best results. However, even they have each lost one race out of seven. Bruni lost against Cherry, and Weiller against Basic.

On Friday, the competitors for semi-finals will be determined and on Saturday the sailors will qualify for the finals, and we will find out the name of the holder of the “YAVA Trophy – 2008” cup on Sunday.

Round Robin Results (wins-losses):

1. Francesco Bruni (ITA) 6-1
2. Nick Cherry (GBR) 5-2
3. Alvaro Marinho (POR) 5-2
4. Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) 5-2
5. Eric Monnin (SUI) 3-4
6. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) 2-5
7. Marek Stanczyk (POL) 1-6
8. Jelle Roos (NED) 1-6

1. Manuel Weiller (ESP) 6-1
2. Tomislav Basic (CRO) 5-2
3. Peter Wibroe (DEN) 4-3
4. Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 4-3
5. Carsten Kemmling (GER) 4-3
6. Andrey Arbuzov (RUS) 3-4
7. Jon Baeck (SWE) 1-6
8. Jon Brecelj (SLO) 1-6

YAVA Trophy 2008

Monday 8 September 2008

BlackMatch Report on a Testing Final Day in the St Moritz Match Race 2008

Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch Racing sail against Tour leader Ian Williams in the semi-finals of the 2008 St Moritz Match Race, beneath Badrutt's Palace Hotel. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by David Swete

Sunday held so much promise but the weather put an early dampener on things with the lightest, shiftiest and coldest day of the entire week, that even saw snow falling on the surrounding hills.

We were held ashore for 3 hours until a very light and uncharacteristic northerly came through. With pressure on the race committee to get through the tight programme they shortened the semi-finals to a best of 3 series, and we were sent out to take on the current world champion.

In our first race against Ian, Adam absolutely nailed the start and we had a significant lead off the start line. We held our lead throughout the race in the tricky conditions until 100m from the finish line when the wind shut down on us and the British team managed to sail around us in a breeze of their own, setting them up for match point.

Team Pindar (Ian Williams) defends against BlackMatch Racing (Adam Minoprio) in their semi-final in St Moritz. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the next race Ian had the advantage off the start line and held a good lead for most of the race. Again in the shifty conditions it was almost beneficial to be behind on the final downwind. This was illustrated when we brought pressure up from behind and made significant inroads to reduce the deficit to half a boat length. However, luck was on the Brits' side and they got our puff just in time to defend their lead and win the semi-final 2-0.

World #1 Mathieu Richard took his semi-final 2-0 over fellow countryman Philippe Presti, which meant we were to race Philippe for 3rd place.

Conditions were even more fickle in the race-off for 3rd and we took the first race after overtaking the Frenchman, again while trailing and on the downwind leg.

BlackMatch lead Philippe Presti in the petit-final at St Moritz. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

The second match was taking convincingly by the French team after they got too big an advantage off the start line and sailed in their own breeze for the first leg of the race, gaining an a lead we could not come back from.

In the third and deciding race we didn't even have enough wind to set the sails for the majority of the race. After an even start we slowly drifted towards the top mark, not even knowing what direction the wind was coming from at times in the freezing rain.

In a race that dragged on forever, we drifted around the final top mark with a 4 boat length lead. However, the breeze yet again built from behind on the run to the finish and we were once again left stranded with no way of defending our lead, handing the French team the victory.

It was a disappointing way to end a great week of racing for us, but we are extremely happy with our 4th place here in St Moritz and realise that all of our competitors have invaluable years of experience over us. Our 4th place will help us with our ISAF World Ranking, also with our World Tour points and we are looking forward to the challenge of our next World Tour Event in Portugal at the end of the month.

Mathieu Richard, winner of the 'King of the Mountain' Trophy at the St Moritz Match Race 2008. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

BlackMatch would like to send big congratulations to Mathieu Richard and his team after they defeated Ian Williams convincingly in the final and were crowned the 2008 Kings of the Mountain in St Moritz.

From Adam, Dave, Tom and Nick we would again like to acknowledge our long-term sponsors FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7. Their ongoing support is making it possible for us to be in Europe on our long term quest to win the World Match Racing Tour. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

New King in Town...

Mathieu Richard (far right) and his crew of Jean Marie Lauris, Olivier Herledant and Greg Evrad hold up the 'King of the Mountain' Trophy after winning the St Moritz Match Race 2008. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by Kirsten Bollinger

Mathieu Richard was crowned the ‘King of the Mountain’ Sunday in St Moritz, after beating Ian Williams 2-0 in a light wind final.

At 1130 Sunday morning sailors, umpires and officials were sitting in the warmth of the café with their hot drinks and looking at a lake with not a breath of wind to be seen. Officials were making plans for the worst case scenario and working out the count back in case of no wind while everyone sat with their fingers crossed hoping the breeze would come in enough to get the racing under way.

Finally around lunch time the breeze arrived. It was barely visible on the lake but officials deemed it enough to race in. The first match of the day saw Ian Williams meet Adam Minoprio for a tough race in very shifty conditions.

Adam Minoprio in a dial-up against Ian Williams in the pouring rain at the St Moritz Match Race. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

“Adam won the start, and led most of the way round the course, but it is like snakes and ladders out there and luckily we were able to roll them by the finish”, commented Ian Williams.

“I don’t know what we could have done better. To cover them, we would have had to do more gybes, and that would have cost us time. It almost seems like it would be easier to attack than defend”, commented Adam Minoprio, but possibly a comment made a little to soon.

Adam Minoprio (with trademark tongue-out concentration) is put about by Ian Williams in the semi-finals. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the second match between the two, Williams hit the start line with pace, and got the favoured pin end. He led comfortably around the course, and was able to fend off Minoprio who attempted to roll ahead down the final leg but couldn’t quite make it. This win saw Ian Williams’ Team Pindar progress to the final.

Mathieu Richard leads Philippe Presti in their semi-final in St Moritz. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the other semi-final, Mathieu Richard was already one up against fellow Frenchman Philippe Presti after winning the first match on Saturday. The wind was rapidly disappearing and moments after the race started it looked as if the breeze had died completely.

“We got very lucky because at the start of the race there was no wind, but we had got the left so managed to get ahead and stay in front for the rest of the race” said Mathieu Richard.

Mathieu Richard sails away from Philippe Presti in their semifinal in St Moritz. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

From there on, there was no stopping the French team who went on to win the final two-nil against last year’s winner, Ian Williams.

In the first match, a split tack saw Richard take an early lead but not enough to be able to cross in front of Williams. As the teams approached the top mark on opposite tacks, with Richard on port, they both luffed head to wind, but Richard just had enough speed to wriggle around the bow of Team Pindar to take the lead.

Mathieu Richard on his way to becoming King of the Mountain. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

“Mathieu was faster off the start in both races, and that’s what won him the races. For some reason we weren’t able to attack or defend this afternoon”, said Williams at the press conference after racing.

In the petit-final Adam Minoprio went head to head with Philippe Presti. While Minoprio won the first race, Presti went on to take the next two and secure 3rd place. “Every location is different. St Moritz has beautiful mountains surrounding the lake but there is not a lot of wind so you have to do the best you can in the conditions”, commented Presti after racing.

When the day finally finished after eight hours of on and off rain, Principal Race Officer Christian Scherrer told spectators “Today has been especially difficult, with the pressure of the cut-off time and trying to make sure we avoided a tie, so I’m glad we got through it.”

Despite the wet weather, there is no dampening of the spirits of Mathieu Richard (holding the champagne) and his team as they celebrate winning St Moritz Match Race 2008. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

The new ‘King of the Mountain’ and St Moritz Match Race 2008 champion is Mathieu Richard with his crew of Greg Evrad, Olivier Herledant and Jean Marie Dauris.

“Today we had good speed, good trimming and good tactics”, said Richard. “Of course it is good to beat Ian. He is still winning the Tour, but we are putting the pressure on him and not letting him get too far ahead.”

Currently Ian Williams leads the World Match Racing Tour with 92 points, followed by Mathieu Richard on 72 points.


1st Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/French Spirit
2nd Ian Williams (GBR)Team Pindar
3rd Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team
4th Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing
5th Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge
6th Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team
7th Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) Mascalzone Latino/Trifork Racing
8th Eric Monnin (SUI)
9th Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team
10th Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
11th Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza
12th Michael Hestbaek (DEN) Team Hestbaek

St Moritz Match Race
World Match Racing Tour

Sunday 7 September 2008

Adam Minoprio Rises Up World Tour Rankings; Williams Extends Overall Lead

Ian Williams (Team Pindar, GBR), current World Match Racing Tour leader. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/World Match Racing Tour.

by SailRaceWin

After the sixth event in the 2008 World Tour Match Racing, New Zealand's Adam Minoprio has risen up the rankings, from 11th to joint 7th place overall, with Paolo Cian. Britain's Ian Williams has extended his overall lead to 20 points over second placed French skipper Mathieu Richard, who overtakes compatriot Sebastien Col by five points on the leader board after Richard's win in St Moritz.

Australia's Torvar Mirsky is in fourth place on the 2008 World Tour, with 45 points, while Sweden's Bjorn Hansen is fifth, on 40 points. Adam Minoprio and the BlackMatch Racing Team have 33 points, one less than the 2008 Match Cup Sweden winner, Mattias Rahm.

The 2008 World Match Race Tour consists of 9 events in different countries around the world. The top 5 event placings are used to make up a skipper's total score towards the rankings.

With 25 points on offer for the winner of each event, Ian Williams could still potentially be beaten by even the twelfth placed Damien Iehl. The Tour remains wide open, despite Williams' current 20-point lead.

The Championship Trophy of the World Match Racing Tour, from sponsor Wedgwood. Image copyright Guido Cantini/Sea&See.

There are currently nineteen teams with points on the World Match Racing Tour scoreboard. Five of these teams are from France, including two of the top three, showing how seriously the French are taking their match racing. Given this, it is perhaps surprising that there are no World Match Racing Tour events located in France this year, although Marseille International Match Race acts as a qualifying event for Match Cup Sweden. Then again, there are no events in Britain, despite a British team leading the Tour.

There are three more events on the 2008 World Match Racing Tour; the Portugal Match Cup this month, the Bermuda Gold Cup in October, and the Monsoon Cup in December. Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch are competing in all three events.

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard (top 12)

1st Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 92 points
2nd Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit 72 points
3rd Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge 67 points
4th Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 45 points
5th Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 40 points
6th Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 34 points
7th= Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 33 points
7th= Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza 33 points
9th Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) Mascalzone Latino/Trifork Racing 32 points
10th Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 31 points
11th Peter Wibroe (DEN) Team Wibroe 26 points
12th Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 25 points

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

Richard Lifts 'King of the Mountain' Title in St Moritz

by SailRaceWin

In wet weather and light winds at St Moritz, Sunday, 7th September, France's Mathieu Richard defeated reigning champion Ian Williams to take the 'King of the Mountain' match race title, 2-0.

The finals were a battle between ISAF ranked world number 1 and 2 match race skippers, Richard and Williams. However, it is Williams who retains the lead in the World Match Racing Tour series, with Richard now lying in second overall.

In the petit-finals, New Zealand's BlackMatch Racing team took the first race, but then France's Philippe Presti came back and took the next two to secure third place overall in St Moritz.

A full report of the racing will follow from Kirsten Bollinger, with images from Loris von Siebenthal.

(Winner in bold)

M1 Ian Williams v Mathieu Richard
M2 Mathieu Richard v Ian Williams

M1 Adam Minoprio v Philippe Presti
M2 Philippe Presti v Adam Minoprio
M3 Adam Minoprio v Philippe Presti

1st Mathieu Richard (FRA)
2nd Ian Williams (GBR)
3rd Philippe Presti (FRA)
4th Adam Minoprio (NZL)

St Moritz Match Race
World Match Racing Tour

Walker Wins 2008 Australian Match Racing Championships

Evan Walker and his crew with their prizes.

by John Roberson

Evan Walker and his crew, representing Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, claimed the 2008 Barbagallo Marine Australian Match Racing Championships on Perth’s Swan River Sunday afternoon in unequivocal style.

Crewed by Will Ryan, Brendan Casey, Kurth Fatouros and Silas Nolan, Walker won the first match of the best of three final by 52 seconds, then in the second encounter he forced his opponent, Robert Gibbs, into a succession of penalties which led to him being disqualified from the race, handing the title and the trophy to the defending champion.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” commented the winning skipper, “I couldn’t have done it with a better bunch of guys. We had a great week together, and it was just great to win it with them.”

Talking about winning for the second successive year, the Sydneysider said, “there was a lot more competition this year, so it means a fair bit more than last year, it was good to get out there this afternoon and have two good solid wins.”

Walker and his crew proved tactically superior to Robert Gibbs and his team, from the event hosts, Royal Perth Yacht Club, essentially winning the final by inflicting penalties on the locals.

In the first race of the final Gibbs had two penalties against him before he crossed the starting line, and in the second he started with one penalty already outstanding.

It was on the second leg of the course that Walker harassed Gibbs into two more penalties in quick succession, which in addition to the one he was already carrying, prompted the umpires to raise the black flag and eliminate him from the race, handing the title to Walker.

In the battle for third place, two local skippers, Gordon Lucas of Royal Perth and Doug Cooksey from South of Perth, had two tight races, with Lucas a former winner of the title in 1999, beating Cooksey by 29 second, and then a slender 1 second.

Conditions for today’s competition were ideal, with a steady 10 to 15 knot seabreeze filling in just in time for the start of racing in the Foundation 36 yachts.

See The Freo Doctor for a blow-by-blow account of the racing.


1st Evan Walker CYCA
2nd Robert Gibbs RPYC
3rd Gordon Lucas RPYC
4th Doug Cooksey SoPYC
5th Peter Nicholas RFBYC
6th David Chapman RSYS
7th Nicky Souter RPAYC
8th Tristan Brown RFBYC

Royal Perth Yacht Club

St Moritz Match Race 2008: Williams vs. Richard in Final; BlackMatch in Petit-Final

by SailRaceWin

A determined Ian Williams defeated the BlackMatch boys 2-0 in very light winds at St Moritz, to go through to the final against Mathieu Richard, Sunday afternoon. Richard beat compatriot Philippe Presti 2-0 in their semi-final.

Adam Minoprio and the Kiwi team will be looking to get 3rd place overall in the petit-final this afternoon against Philippe Presti of France.


M1 Ian Williams v Mathieu Richard
M2 Mathieu Richard v Ian Williams
M3 Ian Williams v Mathieu Richard

M1 Adam Minoprio v Philippe Presti
M2 Philippe Presti v Adam Minoprio
M3 Adam Minoprio v Philippe Presti

(Semifinals first to two points; winners in bold)

M1 Philippe Presti v Mathieu Richard
M2 Mathieu Richard v Philippe Presti

M1 Ian Williams v Adam Minoprio
M2 Adam Minoprio v Ian Williams

World Match Race Tour

Following the Action in St Moritz

St Moritz Bad (St Moritz Spa) from by the Blu26 boat moorings in St Moritz Dorf (St Moritz village), beneath Badrutt's Palace Hotel. Webcam images are taken from the opposite side of the lake, with the webcam located just to the left of this picture, in St Moritz Bad. The lake is used extensively for rowing, due to the light winds and flat water. Image copyright Anne Hinton/

by SailRaceWin

The Swiss weather service, MeteoNews provides links to Webcams around Switzerland, one of which is located on the shores of Lake St Moritz (St Moritzersee in German, or Lej da San Murrezzan in the local Romansch language). The Webcam images are updated at half-hourly intervals and provide good coverage of almost the entire lake area, which is only about 1.5km long and 800m wide.

The location of the St Moritz Webcam is in St Moritz Bad (St Moritz Spa), directly opposite St Moritz Dorf (St Moritz village) where the boats are moored, beneath Badrutt's Palace Hotel. When the local thermal, down-valley, breeze, called the Maloja, is blowing, the windward mark is in the vicinity of St Moritz Bad (i.e. to the left of the webcam image).

For anyone in New Zealand wanting to stay up and follow the progress of the BlackMatch boys through the racing Sunday in St Moritz, the webcam images, together with updated scores on either the local St Moritz Match Race organisation webpage, or that of the World Match Racing Tour, provide the best means of doing this.

Sunday's weather forecast in St Moritz is not good, with rain expected all day, although becoming lighter in the afternoon. As the morning Webcam images show, in St Moritz, at 1,850m above sea level, the weather is wet with temperatures of only about +5C at 1100 (local time).

Cloud tends to shut off the local down-valley breeze, so the racing is likely to be towards the opposite (northern) end of the lake from St Moritz Bad on Sunday, in light winds. The 1130 webcam image shows the Blu26 boats heading upwind in that direction (i.e. to the right of the image) and downwind towards the webcam location.

BlackMatch Report on reaching the Semifinals in St Moritz

Adam Minoprio controls Peter Wibroe in their quarterfinal. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by David Swete

We won our way through the quarterfinals today with a 2-1 victory over Peter Wibroe, setting up a repeat of our semi-final encounter with Ian Williams and his Team Pindar in the Korea Match Cup. The Current World Tour Champion won narrowly on that occasion 3-2 and we are looking at going one better here in St Moritz to reach the final.

In an all French affair the other two competitors to proceed to the semi-finals were World #1 Mathieu Richard, who beat Jes Gram-hansen, and Philippe Presti who upset the 'in form' Sebastien Col.

Peter Wibroe was on fire sailing the new Blu 26 designed boats and every match was a fierce battle. At 1-1 and on match point we had an excellent start and forced the Danish team to be slow at the committee boat and heading to the right hand side of the course, they, however, picked up a very good wind-shift and held a 3 boat length lead at the top mark.

We made in-roads down the first run and gybed inside Wibroe at the perfect time for a puff of breeze that carried us into the lead by the bottom mark. We covered him very tightly for the rest of the race, not giving an inch and managed to hold on for the win, taking us through to our second World Tour semi-final this year.

It is again very exciting to have the prospect of winning a World Tour Event and although we are racing the reigning St Moritz Champion, we are looking forward to getting revenge for Korea.

We would again like to acknowledge our long term sponsors FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is making it possible for us to be over here in our long term quest to win the World Match Racing Tour. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

St Moritz Match Race: Day Four Report and Images

Minoprio (left) and Wibroe (centre) eye each other up in the pre-start in their quarterfinal. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by Kirsten Bollinger

The sunshine returned to the shores of Lake St Moritz Saturday, bringing with it the breeze, albeit a shifty one. Racing got underway as scheduled and as the quarterfinals were completed more teams saw their chance of taking the prestigious ‘King of the Mountain’ title slip away. Racing continued right into the evening, with the first match of the semi-finals being completed.

Adam Minoprio (NZL) began the day on match point against Peter Wibroe (DEN), in their first to two point quarter final. However Wibroe managed to take the first win. After starting in better pressure at the committee boat end of the start line and maintaining their lead, Wibroe sailing team took a convincing victory. Minoprio commented “It was a tricky course this morning and beating Wibroe is always a very difficult challenge”.

Eric Monnin and Ian Williams in the pre-start. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the other quarterfinal, Ian Williams’ (GBR) Team Pindar took an essential win after starting the day one nil down against local favourite Eric Monnin (SUI) and the team. “We really felt the pressure this morning, and that’s probably the most pumped up we have been for a quarterfinal for a long time”, said skipper Ian Williams.

With both matches going to one all, whoever won the next race would be through to the semi finals. The first match of Minoprio versus Wibroe saw the Danes once again win the start and lead around the first top mark. However an excellent gybe set into pressure from the ETNZ/BlackMatch team saw them gain the lead by the bottom mark. On the next beat Minoprio defended well to maintain the lead at the top and they managed to hold on for victory and to claim their spot in the semi-finals. “In both races we shared the lead, luckily the last lead change went our way,” said Minoprio after the race.

Eric Monnin and Ian Williams in their quarterfinal. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

Ian Williams took another win over local Eric Monnin securing his semi-final spot and relegating Monnin to the 5-8th place sail-offs.

After the first two semi-finalists were decided the next four quarterfinalists hit the water to begin their matches. Sebastian Col (FRA) taking on Philippe Presti (FRA) in an all French Match Racing Team affair, and Mathieu Richard (FRA) racing against Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) and his Mascalzone Latino/Trifork Team.

Mathieu Richard pushes Jes Gram Hansen in the pre-start. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

It was a French benefit day with Mathieu Richard winning his quarterfinal 2-0.

Mathieu Richard defends his lead at the St Moritz Match Race. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

Col won his first race after Presti narrowly failed to take a penalty at the finishing line, and while many expected Col to win the second, this was not to be the case. Philippe Presti came back fighting and sailed an exciting race to draw even.

Philippe Presti leads Sebastien Col in their quarterfinal. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the deciding race between Col and Presti, Presti managed to get a penalty on Col in the pre-start in a windward leeward situation, where Col as the windward boat failed to keep clear. However the teams remained very close around the course and approaching the top mark for the final time Presti created an overlap with Col meaning Presti had to give room at the mark.

A collision between the two resulted in a penalty to Presti. This offset Col’s penalty but Presti managed to maintain a small lead after the incident, which he held to take the victory and proceed to the semi-finals.

After the sail-offs for 5th to 8th, the semi-finals got underway and in diminishing breeze only one match between Mathieu Richard and Philippe Presti was completed.

Presti got a penalty in the pre-start for attempting to gybe on to starboard in front of Richard, who was on port, as he didn’t complete his gybe before Richard had to avoid him. This penalty was then changed to a red flag penalty when umpires determined that Presti had gained control from the manoeuvre.

“Obviously getting a red flag penalty wasn’t in the plan, but apart from that we were happy with how we sailed the rest of the race”, commented Philippe after the race. Richard went on to win the race, saying “Today was perfect for us, we won every race and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.”

Mathieu Richard leads Philippe Presti in match one of the semifinals. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the final day of racing tomorrow, the semi-finals are still to be completed with the finals scheduled for the afternoon. Spectators and sailors alike are looking forward to another day of exciting match racing.


SEMIFINALS - first race (winner in bold)

M1 Philippe Presti v Mathieu Richard

5-8 SAIL-OFF (Winners in bold)

M1 Jes Gram Hansen v Sebastien Col
M2 Peter Wibroe v Eric Monnin

M3 Peter Wibroe v Sebastien Col
M4 Eric Monnin v Jes Gram Hansen

5th Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge
6th Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team
7th Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) Mascalzone Latino/Trifork Racing
8th Eric Monnin (SUI)

St Moritz Match Race
World Match Racing Tour

New Zealand, France and Britain in the Semis at St Moritz Match Race 2008

Sebastien Col (seen here racing Paolo Cian) lost out to compatriot Philippe Presti in their quarterfinal pairing in St Moritz. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by SailRaceWin

Mathieu Richard defeated an out of practice Jes Gram Hansen 2-0 in their quarterfinal, while Philippe Presti made it two for France in the semifinals at the St Moritz Match Race 2008, defeating compatriot Sebastien Col 2-1.

The full semifinal line-up for St Moritz Match Race 2008 is Adam Minoprio (NZL) versus Ian Williams (GBR), while Mathieu Richard (FRA) races Philippe Presti (FRA) in another all-French affair, in the second semifinal. The semifinals are best-of-five races.

Sail-offs for places 5-8 will be held Saturday afternoon in St Moritz, with the semifinals and finals taking place on Sunday.

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS (winners in bold)

M1 Philippe Prestiv Sebastien Col
M2 Sebastien Col v Philippe Presti
M3 Philippe Presti v Sebastien Col

M1 Mathieu Richard v Jes Gram Hansen
M2 Jes Gram Hansen v Mathieu Richard

M1 Peter Wibroe v Adam Minoprio
M2 Adam Minoprio v Peter Wibroe
M3 Peter Wibroe v Adam Minoprio

M1 Ian Williams v Eric Monnin
M2 Eric Monnin v Ian Williams
M3 Ian Williams v Eric Monnin

(Semifinals are first to two wins)

M1 Philippe Presti v Mathieu Richard
M2 Mathieu Richard v Philippe Presti
M3 Philippe Presti v Mathieu Richard

M1 Ian Williams v Adam Minoprio
M2 Adam Minoprio v Ian Williams
M3 Ian Williams v Adam Minoprio

St Moritz Match Race
World Match Racing Tour