World Match Racing Tour Sailing in France

Posted: March 18, 2009 in boat, boating, boats, sailboat race, sailboats, sailing, sailing race, yacht race, yachting, yachts
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Having scored their first World Match Racing Tour victory on Sunday at the Marseille International Match Race, Adam Minoprio of New Zealand and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing team have taken an early lead in the Tour standings over some much more established teams. Their win, along with the 3rd place finish of 22-year old Torvar Mirsky and his Mirsky Racing Team, shows that these young teams are a force to be reckoned with for the upcoming 2009 World Match Racing Tour season.

Sailing in the World Match Racing Tour

Sailing in the World Match Racing Tour

Taking the very talented runner-up Mathieu Richard (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit to three matches in the first-to-three point Finals at an event hosted in their native land, Minoprio showed signs of talent and poise under pressure well beyond his 23 years. And while Mirsky could not get past Richard in the Semi-Finals, he did take that series to three hard-fought matches, and then proceeded to dominate another native French team led by Damien Iehl 2-0 in the Petite Finals.


So with these two young Antipodeans having gotten off to an impressive start to the ten-event 2009 season, they may very well present a formidable obstacle to Richard, fellow Frenchman Sebastian Col and his French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, and reigning World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar to once again dominate the podium positions in this year’s Tour standings. Col finished down the pack in 6th in Marseille, his hometown, while Williams finished deep in 8th place.


But ironically there was another surprise in Marseille, but at the other end of the age spectrum: veteran Tour campaigner and reigning America’s Cup champion Ed Baird and his team from Alinghi sailed to the top of the 12-team field in the Round Robin, and went on to finish a respectable 5th in the event. After a several year hiatus to focus on the America’s Cup competitions and training, Baird said “It is great to be on the Tour once again and to get an opportunity to sail against these guys. The game has clearly moved on since I was last on the Tour, so we’re pleased we can come out and learn and still be competitive.”


Current World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard (top eight teams after stage one of ten):
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing, 25
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 20
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 15
4. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 12
5. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 10
6. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 8
7. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 6
8. Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, 4 points
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