High drama and Monsoon quarter final matches

The final six teams in the Monsoon Cup quarter final round were on the water this morning racing their hearts out for the five remaining places in the quarter final round.

None of eight teams racing in the final four matches were prepared to give an inch at any stage of their matches.

The results are now in with the following skippers and boat pairings to go forward into the quarter finals.
Paolo Cian (Team Shosholoza) on Astro (boat 1) to race Adam Minoprio (Black Match Racing/ETNZ) to start on starboard on Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa (boat 6).

Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) on Richard Mille (boat 4) to race Magnus Holmberg (Victory Challenge) to start on starboard on Tourism Malaysia (boat 2).

Mathieu Richard (French Sailing Team/French Spirit) to start on starboard to race Ian Williams (Bahrain Team Pindar).

Sebastien Col (French Sailing Team/K-Challenge) to race Peter Gilmour (Yanmar Racing)

As the race committee will be running two matches at a time the boat allocation for the third and fourth pairings will be announced prior to the start of their matches.

Richards choice of Williams as his opponent in the quarter finals is about taking a calculated risk that he will be able to beat Williams and shut him out of any chance of winning the 2008 ISAF World Match Racing Championship. Williams is first on the world leader board with 92 points and Richard is placed third with 77 points.

Williams did not seemed surprised by Richard's decision saying he would probably made the same choice of opponent had he had the chance.

Cian, who was not required to race this morning, would not reveal his choice of opponent until the round robin stage was complete. 'It is not superstition. It is important information so I have got to hold it. There
are small differences even if the pairings are evened up. The boat can be a small advantage.'

Round Robin Review

In the Johnie Berntsson versus Ian Williams match, Williams dominated to take out the match.

In the Adman Minoprio versus Magnus Holmberg match, Holmberg was in control and had shut Minoprio out when he hit the pin. It appeared the vang was on and Holmberg was fighting his rudder as he tried to bear away. Minoprio ultimately won the match.

The drama was high in the Adam Mirsky versus Sebastien Col match. In the pre-start the boats collided. The damage to Mirsky's boat was significant enough the race committee abandoned the race. Chief Umpire Bill Edgerton explained 'the Sailing Instructions requires us to have a hearing. There was the issue of damage to one boat and a request for redress from both boats due to the race abandonment. So we had two bits to the hearing. We addressed the Rule 14 issue and all the testimony and were convinced the collision was unavoidable. '

On the redress for abandonment, the race committee determined it was prudent to abandon the race.
'There was significant damage to boat would could have caused the rig to come down. It was entirely appropriate to abandon the race. The race now needs to be sailed. The damage was on the starboard aft quarter very close to the backstay attachment. The whole of the transom area over a distance of
about 40cm by 20cm is damaged. If that was damaged the rig could have come down.'

The result of the rescheduled match was Mirsky beating Col to finish the round robin stage with nine wins, equal to Paolo Cian.

Ben Ainslie went out against Mathieu Richard using all his skills. 'We had a good start and we were in the lead. Basically we picked the wrong gate giving Mathieu the other gate. We thought the one we went to was closer and we thought it was in the tide and the way the wind shifting and it would be the favoured end. But, in reality Mathieu had a bit more tide on his side and he got a right hand shift and came back. It was pretty frustrating.'