After a fitful start in the morning and an entire flight of matches abandoned for lack of wind, the westerly seabreeze finally filled to perfect strength, with 8-14 knots available all afternoon to complete the six flights of three matches left in the round robin. Emerging from the pack as winner of this stage on the strength of nine wins was Philippe PRESTI (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team, though he went 1-1 on the day. His success in this stage was also due to a tie-break with fellow member of the French Match Racing Team Mathieu RICHARD.
Others advancing to the quarter-finals include, in order of finish in the round robin, Peter GILMOUR (AUS) and the YANMAR Racing Team, Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar, Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch team, Sébastien COL (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/K Challenge, Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team, and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) and his Team Onboard.
While finishing in ninth place and therefore not advancing to the next stage, its noteworthy to mention the extraordinary efforts put in by Phil ROBERTSON (NZL) and his WAKA Racing team. In his matches against two other young Down Under talents, fellow Kiwi MINOPRIO and Aussie MIRSKY, ROBERTSON was extremely tough, taking both to their limits amidst heated pre-start and mark-rounding action. He and his team got beaten for not having quite that extra polish the others have in having spent the last two years in Tour competition, but his performance today certainly makes him one to watch for the future.
Quarter-final pairings will be as follows: PRESTI vs. MIRSKY; RICHARD vs. HANSEN; GILMOUR vs. MINOPRIO; and COL vs. WILLIAMS. And as the sun started descending into the Serra Arrabida, three flights of the quarter-finals were completed for the PRESTI-MIRSKY and RICHARD-HANSEN matches.
With the depth of talent here at this event, it is perhaps of no surprise that the round robin winner is already on the ropes, as PRESTI has lost two to MIRSKY in the first-to-three point round. MIRSKY showed excellent timing and near-flawless teamwork to win his first two before falling to PRESTI in the critical third match.
Meanwhile it is RICHARD who has HANSEN in a must-win situation for their first encounter tomorrow, having won the first and third matches in this stage. Their matches were particularly contentious, with furious tacking and gybing duels, numerous lead changes, and even a penalty in the first against RICHARD which he was just barely able to shed on the finish line.
Quarter-Final action resumes tomorrow morning at the Troia Portugal Match Cup.
Philippe PRESTI (FRA) vs. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), 1-2
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) vs. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), 2-1
Peter GILMOUR (AUS) vs. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL)
Sébastien COL (FRA) vs. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR)
Round Robin Results
1. Philippe PRESTI (FRA), French Match Racing Team
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team
3. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), YANMAR Racing
4. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar
5. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch
6. Sébastien COL (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge
7. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), Mirsky Racing
8. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Team Onboard
9. Phil ROBERTSON (NZL), WAKA Racing
10. Álvaro MARINHO (POR), Seth Sailing Team
11. Ian AINSLIE (RSA), Team Proximo
12. Andrew ARBUZOV (RUS)
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 3 of 10)
1. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing, 41 points
2. Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Team Origin, 40 points
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 35 points
4. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar, 34 points
5. Damien IEHL (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 32 points
6. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Shosholoza, 32 points
7. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), YANMAR Racing, 23 points
8. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 21 points
The winner of the annual World Match Racing Tour is crowned as ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Find out more at www.sailing.org/matchworlds.