A game of snakes and ladders in 2008 Monsoon Cup
The leaders are struggling and the followers are powering through to deliver
wining results as the top match racing teams finish day two in the 2008
The day was full of exciting racing with crashes, penalties, mistakes and
celebrations as the top 12 international match racing teams fought for
dominance on the waters off Terengganu, Malaysia, in the final event of the
World Match Racing Tour.
The excellent conditions allowed the race committee to complete seven
Today's results are a reflection of the true challenges of match racing as
leaders falter in their performance in one event and yet can pull up and
deliver podium finishes in other tour events. This year alone the tour has
eight different winners over the eight events preceding the Monsoon Cup.
At the start of the event Ian Williams' Bahrain Team Pindar holds the top
place in the ISAF Match Racing World Championship on 92 points. In second
place is Sebastien Col's K-Challenge team on 88 points and Mathieu Richard's
French Spirit team on 77 points. Facing down the competition today in shifty
breezes, strong currents and strong competition, all three leading teams are
going to have to work harder, and look for a lot of luck, to keep themselves
in the running if they want to qualify for the quarter final.
At the top of the leader board in the round robin stage with seven wins and
only one loss is Paolo Cian's Team Shosholoza.
Cian has now beaten Richard, Adam Minoprio, Torvar Mirsky, Magnus Holmberg,
Johnie Berntsson, Nurul Ain and Dato' Peter Gilmour. His only loss has been
to Williams in yesterday's racing. Cian's dominance on the race course
playing the shifts and working the strong current has been outstanding.
'It is an important event and an important tour for Team Shosholoza. I
strongly believe the World Match Racing Tour is an important part of world
match racing. My team is sailing the boat very well so I am confident enough
that I can come back into the race and this is an important approach to
match racing. If you make a mistake, you are still in the match.
'It is just the beginning. We are going to the quarter finals and then we
start again,' Cian said.
On only just beating Keith Swinton by a matter of seconds Cain said 'I must
congratulate them (Swinton's Black Swan Racing Team) and the way they are
sailing the event. They don't look like newcomers. They sail the boat very
well and I am not the only one to get penalties in the pre-starts.'
Hot on the tail of Cian is Torvar Mirsky's Mirsky Racing Team and Adam
Minoprio's Black Match Racing team both with six wins each. Mirsky has
rolled over the top of Richard, Holmberg, Berntsson, Ainslie, Swinton and
Nurul Ain. His losses were to Cian and Minoprio.
Minoprio sailing with good boat speed and confident crew work has now beaten
Williams, Col, Mirsky, Ainslie, Gilmour and Swinton. His only loss was to
Cian. 'We had a good day plus a win against Ian (Williams) in one race. We
got lucky and the rest of the race was really close and the lead changed a
lot,' Minoprio said.
So the pattern emerges as Cian stands out from the two nearest challengers
who are yet to beat the feisty Italian.
The match of the day was undoubtedly the battle between 22 year-old Torvar
Mirsky and 23 year-old Adam Minoprio. Both were placed equal fourth on the
World Match Racing Tour leader board going into the Monsoon Cup. Their match
really was a battle of the young guns.
Mirsky went into the match with five wins while Minoprio had four. It was
race of determination and tactics as the two young crews showed why they are
placed equal fourth on Match Racing Tour score board. Minoprio timed his
start brilliantly and was right on time crossing the line a boat length
clear of Mirsky. Outstanding crew work from the Mirsky racing Team crew had
them gaining ground, but as Mirsky tacked the jib caught around the winch
slowing the Mirsky Racing Team down. Mirsky continued to bite away at
Minoprio's lead covering every move of the other team, but it was not enough
with Minoprio and his Black Match Racing Team taking a decisive victory over
Mirsky and his Mirsky Racing Team.
Olympic champion turned match racer, Ben Ainslie and his Team Origin,
created high drama this afternoon when they collected the committee boat
anchor chain at the start as they went into the last few seconds of their
match start against Minoprio and his Black Match Racing Team. Both teams
were fighting closely when they approached the start line. Minoprio pushed
Ainslie from behind forcing him close to the boat. Battling the strong tide,
Ainslie collected the anchor line while Minoprio sailed away comfortably.
Ainslie in commenting on his anchor chain experience noted he was under
quite a bit of pressure at the time.
'To be honest we did not sail a great race today. We made a lot of bad
mistakes. But, I have a really good team around me and we will just keep
plugging away. It is all part of match racing; getting through the rounds
and getting better each time.'
If that wasn't enough Peter Gilmour and his newly named Yanmar Racing Team,
in his late afternoon match against Cian, also hit the committee boat at the
start allowing Cian to sail freely away. Gilmour's team freed the boat and
continued sailing, but he still carried a penalty out of that incident.
Gilmour said afterwards 'it was quite simply a mistake. The rope on the
anchor is very, very long out there. Sometimes the committee boat is at a
slightly different angle. You turn downwind and put the keel abeam of the
flow of the current. It is like a trap if you don't realise it is coming up.
In fact we were watching Ben (Ainslie) and that was how we worked out how to
get off quickly'.
The match between Williams and Holmberg was re-sailed late in the afternoon
after Williams protested the committee for allowing Holmberg to sail with a
sixth man. The first match was sailed with Williams winning. But, on hearing
the protest, the decision was made to re-sail the match. The drama did not
stop there with two huge collisions between the two boats in the pre-start
doing nothing to help the tension between the two teams as they lined up for
second attempt at their match race. Williams sailed the match with a
noticeable hole in the starboard side. The result of the re-sail is subject
Swinton and his Black Swan Racing team delivered two of the more surprising
results of the day Young Swinton is new to the international match racing
circuit with his first major World Match Racing Tour event the King Edward
VII Bermuda World Cup where he finished sixth. Today Swinton out matched
tour leader Ian Williams and second placed Sebastien Col.
'It was definitely good to beat the two top-ranked guys. We have had lots of
races when were in a good position to win and we made some really bad
mistakes. It has really come down to experience, which we do lack compared
to some of the other guys here. Compared to Bermuda, the boats here are
similar to most of the other boats on the tour so everyone starts fairly
evenly. It has come down to teamwork and experience,' Swinton said.
At the end of day the results are as follows -
Bahrain Team Pindar 4 - 2 (subject to protest)
French Match Racing Team / K-Challenge 4 - 3
French Match Racing Team / French Spirit 2 -5
Black Match Racing / ETNZ 6 - 1
Mirsky Racing Team 6 - 1
Victory Challenge 4 - 3 (subject to protest)
Team Shosholoza 7 - 1
Pierluigi de Felice
Berntsson Sailing Team 2 - 6
Team Origin 4 - 3
Yanmar Racing Team 3 - 3
Black Swan Racing 2 - 6
Perak Sailing Team 0 - 7
Nurul Ain bt Md Isa
Hazwan Hazim B Dermawan
Muhammad Izzad B Samdin
Syed Ahmad Syahmi B Syed Ahmad Hilmi
Muhammad Shaifullah B Ali
Event website - http://www.monsooncup.com.my