Alinghi 5 and D35
Hi all from BlackMatch,
An extraordinary day for Blackmatch saw us beat the legendary Peter Gilmour 3 nil in the quarterfinals and then defeat current World Champion Ian Williams also 3 nil to qualify for the final of the St Moritz World Tour Event.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for the team after just scraping through to the quarterfinals by the slimmest of margins to now be in our third World Tour final of 2009. Things were not always so straight forward in our races both against Gilmour and Williams, but the team really pulled together to dominate in the shifty conditions and in doing so have secured our place back at the top of the World Tour Standings.
Perhaps a race that best depicted how our day went was our final match against Gilmour. After forcing a well worked penalty onto the Australian, we also managed to shut him out at the boat end of the line and gain the advantage off the start. Peter clawed his way back however and by the top mark he only trailed by a boat length. On rounding the mark he dialled up on starboard and managed to get inside us, colliding with the back quarter of our boat and the result was an immediate penalty on us. We had to complete our penalty turn as soon as possible and while dropping the spinnaker during our turn we made the mistake of failing to get the head below the gooseneck of the boom which is the rule and our penalty still stood. The result was that we had to do yet another turn and by the time we were settled Gilmour had opened up a big lead, but still had his penalty outstanding. We sailed a very good final upwind leg and started our fight back while it became apparent that Peter was going to attempt to do his penalty turn on the finish line. On the final downwind we sailed in great pressure and as they undertook their penalty around the pin end of the finish we were coming in with speed. Not only did we surge in to take a very narrow victory but they hit the finish mark and were handed another penalty, a very exciting way to end a race right in front of a packed grandstand on the lakes edge.
It is hard to explain a day like today, even faced with prestart penalties in two of our matches against Williams in our semi final, we still managed to extend away, undertake our penalty turns and take comfortable victories in all of our matches. In the other semi final Torvar Mirsky is 2-1 up against Frenchman Philippe Presti and it will be interesting to watch these two teams battle it out tomorrow to see who we will face in the final.
For any media or results please visit www.worldmatchracingtour.com. Photos attached by Jenny Warner and from the World Match Racing Tour website.
We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors: FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS, Emirates Team New Zealand and everyone else, thank you for your support.
BlackMatch Racing is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, Nick Blackman and David Swete.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5 SEPTEMBER 2009
Adam Minoprio Through To St Moritz Final
No 1 in the world ranking, Kiwi sailor Adam Minoprio made no mistakes during the quarter and semi-finals. He got the first ticket for St Moritz Match Race final.
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing
St. Moritz, September 5, 2009 – Adam Minoprio (NZL, ETNZ Black Match) reminded everyone today why he is the No 1 in the Match Racing World Ranking.
The kiwi skipper won the six matches he sailed today, knocking Ian Williams (GBR, Team Pindar) out of the event in the semi-finals with a 3/0 score line.
Torvar Mirsky (AUS, Mirsky Racing Team) didn’t have to compete in the quarter finals thanks to his victory in the Round Robin. He had the right to choose his opponent and decided to sail against Philippe Presti in the Semi-Final. A choice that proved to be good (so far), with the Australian managing to win his first two matches. The Race Committee then decided to postpone the third and decisive match to tomorrow morning because the wind just wasn’t stable enough this afternoon.
Spectators enjoy the action at St Moritz Match Race
The visiting public who made the trip to St. Moritz for the event were not to be disappointed. The wind wasn’t at its best today, but the sun was shining and the show was great. Philippe Presti (FRA, French Match Racing Team) started the day in style, beating the Italian sailor Francesco Bruni (Joe Fly Match Racing) by 3 – 0. “It was like a boxing match”, commented Presti after the series. Indeed, there were many collisions in this contest. Bruni said, laughing, “that his new sunglasses were responsible for his lack of precision.”
Adam Minoprio also managed to beat his opponent in the quarter final by 3 – 0. sailing against Peter Gilmour (AUS, Yanmar Racing), the kiwi didn’t give away anyy opportunities to the Australian America’s Cups veteran, to take his spot in the semi-finals convincingly.
PERINI NAVI FLEET FILLS THE SKYLINE IN PORTO CERVO
Some of the world’s largest sailing yachts – with rigs towering upwards of 180′ off the water — have been streaming into the picturesque harbour of Porto Cervo, in advance of tomorrows start of the Perini Navi Cup. In fact the 2nd largest traditionally-rigged sailing yacht in the world, Felicita West is here, all 210′ of gleaming teak decks.
This annual gathering, the third edition, is being hosted and organized by Perini Navi in conjunction with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
>From the (not-so) smallest, the 80-foot Elettra to the 288-foot Maltese Falcon, a technological marvel with it’s three rotating masts, and a boat easily full of superlatives: 26,000 sq ft of sail area, 180′ masts, and a maximum draft of 36 feet.
Racing will take place on Friday and Saturday with one race planned each day; the first warning signal will be at 1200. The thought of all 19 boats on a starting line is enough to give even the most hardened race officer pause, so the fleet will start pursuit-style, with individual boats going off at two-minute intervals. In theory, this allows boats to finish close together.
Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and the YCCS race committee have laid out courses in and around the nearby La Maddalena islands, a scenic yet challenging course, which will allow these behemoth yachts to show their true potential. The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for westerly winds 18-20 knots.
Photos credit: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
more big boys toys here
Hi all from BlackMatch,
Starting the day with only 3 wins on the scoreboard and the unenviable task of winning at least three of our four matches to guarantee our spot in the quarterfinal, we had a terrible start losing to local talent Eric Monin when he overtook us on the run to the finish and then losing out narrowly to Sebastian Col. Fortunately for us the current leader of the World Tour Mathieu Richard was also having a terrible day and the very last match of the round robin saw us face off in a must win race to decide who would progress through.
After winning a nail biter against another Frenchman Philippe Presti, the scene was set for the deciding match against Mathieu Richard and it definitely did not disappoint. After an even start the French team held a narrow advantage at the top mark with us hot on their heals, they held a similar lead by the bottom mark but we had a great mark rounding and a fierce tacking duel ensued up the next beat. Both teams were throwing everything they had at each other and we were making small gains, but they defended well and still held a boat length lead going into the downwind run to the finish. We initiated a gybe into better wind pressure and started to roll over them, they attempted to defend their lead but we surfed past in great breeze, gaining half a boat length lead as we approached the finish line. We managed to ‘soak’ within two boat lengths of the pin end of the line which meant we were entitled to ‘mark room’ and a hapless Richard could only watch as we took the narrowest of victories.
It was a rollercoaster ride for BlackMatch during the round robin here in St Moritz and it was a huge relief to have made it through to the quarterfinals after such a terrible start to the event. Mirsky racing team qualified top of the table on 8 wins after Ian Williams lost 3 of his four final round robin matches, this sent the young Australian team directly through to the semi finals while 6 remaining teams are set to fight for the 3 remaining semi final berths. Francesco Bruni of Italy was the 2nd qualifier and this meant he had the choice of his quarterfinal opponent. He chose Presti, while Williams surprisingly chose to race Sebastian Col and this left us to race Peter Gilmour.
It is perhaps a compliment that although we have struggled so far in this event, the top qualifiers still did not choose to race us and we justified this by taking the first match against Gilmour in the best of 5 match up. So following a disastrous opening to this regatta we now find ourselves 1 nil up against one of match racings legends and vying for a spot in the semi final, it is a great turnaround for the team and we are hoping we can get the wins needed tomorrow to advance further in this competition.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 SEPTEMBER 2009
TORVAR MIRSKY GETS THE FIRST TICKET TO THE ST. MORITZ MATCH RACE SEMI FINAL
The Australian sailor wins the Round Robin and gets a pass straight to the semi-finals. The other competitors have to battle it out in the quarter-finals to join him.
St. Moritz, 4 September, 2009 – The Australian sailor Torvar Mirsky, Mirsky Racing Team, aged 24, managed to win the St. Moritz Match Race Round Robin. For his efforts he gets a direct ticket to the semi-finals whilst the other competitors will have to make it through the quarter finals first.
Francesco Bruni, ITA, Team Joe Fly Match Race; Ian Williams, GBR, Team Pindar; Philippe Presti, FRA, French Match Racing Team; Sébastien Col, FRA, French Match Racing Team; Peter Gilmour, AUS, YANMAR Racing and Adam Minoprio, NZL, ETNZ/Black Match made it through the Round Robin and are now engaged in the quarter finals. As for the other competitors, they are out of the event.
The last four flights of the Round Robin took place in difficult conditions this afternoon. Indeed, the wind was quite irregular and some of the situations encountered on the water made it very hard for the teams to choose the right option.
Amongst those who seemed to have an easy run, Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR team proved early on in the day that they deserve a spot in the quarter finals. The situation was completely different for Adam Minoprio (NZL) and the three French teams who completed their last matches under intense pressure.
Seb Col finds the mud…Image Loris von Siebenthal
Ian Williams and Sébastien Col even managed to run aground near the windward mark during their match. Williams got out of this trap quicker than his opponent and won the race. With a penalty against him Philippe Presti tried as hard as possible to inflict a penalty back on Minoprio and block him at the top mark and all the way down the final run, however the kiwi sailor managed to escape Presti’s clutches and grab a precious point.
Last but not least, the local sailor Eric Monnin won his last race against the world no 1 Adam Minoprio; a prestige victory only as he didn’t win enough matches to make it to the next stage.
The quarter finals (best of five) started immediately after the Corviglia Challenge corporate regatta, an event that allowed some of the event’s partners to sail with the best match racers in the world and compete against each other for fun.
Franceso Bruni chose to sail against Philippe Presti whilst Ian Williams opted for Sébastien Col, leaving Peter Gilmour against Adam Minoprio. Both Presti and Col proved to their opponent that maybe they should have chosen someone else, whilst Peter Gilmour lost his first match to Minoprio by a few seconds.
Racing will resume tomorrow at 11:00 AM with the rest of the quarter final and possibly the first races of the semi final. The finals will take place on Sunday.
They said :
Torvar Mirsky : “I wasn’t expecting such a good start to the event. Last year we finished 10th and I know how difficult it is to win here. However, we’ve made a lot of progress including the little details that allow us to feel more comfortable this year.”
Adam Minoprio : “This Round Robin was particularly difficult and we just made it in to the quarter finals ahead of Mathieu Richard. The wind is very shifty and it is always difficult to make the break. Having said that, the game is the same for everyone and I really love sailing here.”
Une expédition unique
Le 5 septembre 2009, à midi, le bateau Tara partira de Lorient pour une expédition de 3 ans sur tous les océans du monde.
Les océans produisent la moitié de l’oxygène que nous respirons. Si les forêts sont le premier poumon de notre planète, les océans constituent le second. Ces prairies de plancton et d’autres micro-organismes constituent, par leur activité photosynthétique, une immense pompe à oxygène. Mais, ces organismes marins sont aussi un important puits à gaz carbonique. Pour ces raisons, notre futur dépend de la sauvegarde des océans.
Cet écosystème complexe demeure pourtant l’un des domaines les moins explorés de l’océanographie. Ce monde invisible est l’un des moins connus des hommes alors que la richesse de sa biodiversité est considérable.
Cette vie marine est aujourd’hui menacée par les bouleversements écologiques majeurs que nous connaissons, le réchauffement climatique et la pollution. Les écosystèmes marins vont-ils survivre à ces bouleversements ? Allons nous vers une transformation de la vie océanique ?
Face à la nécessité d’agir aujourd’hui, des scientifiques internationaux de renom, avec à leur tête Eric Karsenti, directeur d’unité à l’EMBL, sont venus à la rencontre de l’équipe du Fonds Tara et son président Etienne Bourgois.
from Matt Sheahan
With her gennaker set she topped 27 knots in a wind speed of around 15 at the top of her giant wingmast, at least that’s what the crew told us afterwards. We didn’t see it, we were already 20 miles offshore by then but I can well believe it.
If the Swiss team did suffer a setback last week, it certainly hadn’t destroyed their confidence in pushing the boat just days later.
Naturally the team is saying little about the incident other than that the boat had come out of the water for maintenance, a statement that seemed as equally implausible as the rumour that she had suffered a major structural failure.
Yet, what many in the team are saying is just how nervous they are at any unusual noise. Indeed, in the two days that I spent careering around the Med in hot pursuit there were a number of occasions where frightening noises, not dissimilar to mortar fire, were heard above the racket generated by the snowmobile engine and the complex hydraulic pump system that hangs off the back of the boat. On one particular occasion a loud bag followed by the jib clew leaping skywards saw the crew running across the trampoline to investigate. When I asked what the problem was once the boat was back at the dock several hours later, I received an amusing number of answers, none of which seemed to tally.
But so what. Of course Alinghi are going to be tight lipped about the work up of an extraordinary machine that is doubtless going to experience teething problems. Of course they are going to play things down. The entire team is on tenterhooks every time she goes out and after all, this is the America’s Cup where technology and boat speed are king.
“Every time we hear a bang we sh*t ourselves”, confided one crew member. And he wasn’t the only one, others were more forthright.
Meanwhile back on the farm
Ernesto Bertarelli and his crew will race on Lake Geneva this weekend for the two day HP Cup la Réserve regatta. The 11-strong fleet of Décision 35s will meet on the start line in Bellevue, near Geneva, for this weekend’s competition; the seventh in the Challenge Julius Baer championship.
With only one more regatta to go for the championship after this weekend’s racing, Alinghi SUI1 is leading the ranking by three points, followed by Foncia and Okalys, also helmed by Alinghi team members.
Alinghi.com spoke to Pierre-Yves Jorand, mainsail trimmer onboard Alinghi SUI1, about what to expect from this regatta: “We are sitting at the top of the ranking but only with three a point lead over the second team. All D35 teams get better and better throughout the season. For example, Banque Populaire did a great job last weekend, so I think three points is not enough to secure the overall victory, we are going to focus on sailing the best we can. We know we have good boat speed in every kind of breeze so we need to try to avoid mistakes, and to try and have good starts. After the weekend we’ll see where we are and what the strategy will be for the last grand prix in Lausanne. We will keep the same crew as in the last regatta. We have reached a good level of communication on board and everything works very smoothly.”
Racing starts tomorrow at 13:30 for a maximum of four races. Check Alinghi.com for race results and quotes from the crew.
more later – day job calls 🙁