World Match Racing Tour - The Kings of Perth

On Day 4 of Match Race Germany, one of the quarter finals highlights was the battle between the two Western Australian teams - YANMAR Racing and Mirsky Racing Team.

The silver haired veteran Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing team were confident they could overcome fellow Perth sailor Torvar Mirsky and his Mirsky Racing Team. But Mirsky and crew were aiming to finish this encounter as 'the Kings of Perth.'

Yasuhiro Yaji, YANMAR Racing's Pittman tells the story of the day's quarter final matches.

'In the first race we were at the pin. Torvar was to windward, about a length ahead. We crossed behind them heading right, we were trading tacks, then we got a nice right hand shift, while they were in softer conditions.

'We were three to fourth lengths ahead approaching the top mark, but the wind was dropping. Torvar gybed simultaneously with us and rolled us. The same thing had happened to the two lead boats ahead of us (in another match).

'Torvar had the inside overlap at the leeward mark and rounded just a length in front. But he found a little pressure on the left and was two boat lengths ahead at the top mark.

'Again we gybed at the same time but Torvar did well, he found pressure on the left, and MRT gained three to four lengths. We came back at them but we were still two boat lengths short at the finish.

'The day was warming and the wind was swinging left, but not as far and fast as we thought it would.

'In the second race, at the start, we were both over the line. We came back under spinnaker, we took the pin end and MRT the Committee end; it was an even start. We found pressure on the right, albeit it very shifty. We gained at the top mark, we gained thereafter and our mood was good as we crossed the line to make it 1-1.

In race 3 we started on pin. Torvar was lifting and found more breeze. We misjudged and split from them. It hurt us as Torvar found pressure and a ten degree shift on the right. Suddenly we were three lengths behind.

'From then it was follow the leader. But then the mark was moved and the sound signals were confusing; we went to the wrong mark. We protested but our protest was denied.

'We were down 2-1, so it was 'do or die' for us in race 4.

'YANMAR Racing had quite a good start at the committee boat end; then a little duel as we tacked up the very short course.

'We realised that the previous pairing, a couple of hundred metres ahead the upwind boats were both on our side of the course and were throwing dirty air on us. Mirsky and his crew were gaining ... gaining, and they were two boat lengths ahead at top mark.

'The run, on this very short course did not allow us time to catch him. We seemed slow, we missed a puff and lost a quarter of a boat length ... all over' related the disappointed Yaji.

'Torvar and his crew sailed well in the shifty conditions. We had good boat speed, but overall we are very disappointed with this result. Today we were leading in three races, we had our chances to win, but we did not take them' Yaji concluded.

Nils Bjerkas agreed it was 'a tough day for us today. I think that we sailed well a lot of the time, but not well enough. The conditions were very tricky with light shifty winds and we were outsailed.'

Torvar Mirsky who turns 24 tomorrow said he was 'very pleased to win against Peter. He has always been part of our learning, but we also wanted to report back to Perth that we are now the number 1 Perth team!

'Peter has always guided me, and the team, through to professional match racing. We have leaned a lot from him. He has been a mentor to us.'

Peter Gilmour concluded 'Torvar and team did a good job of just being consistent; we led in three of the four races in the quarter finals and at this level you cannot give up that opportunity and it is not like us. So well done to them! The match racing world is going to continue to see a lot of Torvar - he has a long and high profile career ahead of him.

'As for our YANMAR Racing team we are actually quite encouraged and if we keep up the current gains, 11th in France now sixth in Germany, chances are we will be in the winners circle soon!'

Quarter Final results
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team vs Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing vs Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 3-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar GRB vs Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Sailing Team 3-2