The four Semi-Finalists are Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch team, Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar, Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team, and Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team. All four are currently lying in the top eight of the World Championship standings, holding, respectively, the first, third, fourth, and eight positions on the leaderboard.
There may be some metaphorical value in the fact that the one pair that went to five had the oldest and youngest skippers doing battle against each other, with both also being from the Southern hemisphere. In his matches against Tour veteran Peter GILMOUR (AUS) and the YANMAR Racing Team, MINOPRIO had some highly spirited encounters to keep Chief Umpire Shane BORRELL and his International umpire team busy with numerous whistles and penalty flags in nearly all their matches.
One of the reasons for this high level of aggressiveness was not just the usual incentive to win Tour points and a piece of the 50,000 Euro prize money purse, but that the 8-10 knot wind conditions were perfect for tight manoeuvring in the Swedish Match 40's used in this event. Also, in the Rio Sado course area just north of the Troia Resort venue a strong flood current early followed by a strong ebb later in the day made the pre-start fight for the favoured end all the more intense in each match.
Another particularly aggressive pair was the match-up between Ian WILLIAMS and Sébastien COL (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge. COL had a good start to the series, winning their first match, but this ignited WILLIAMS determination, taking three straight by showing an aggressive style and smooth teamwork appropriate for the reigning two-time World Match Race Champion. COL won this event last year, and finished last year's Tour overall as runner-up to WILLIAMS, but has been having problems finding his stride as yet this year.
So, tomorrow will be the final day of match race action on the Rio Sado at Troia Resort, with results and reports of the Semi-Final and Final rounds available online at www.wmrt.org .
Philippe PRESTI (FRA) vs. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), 1-3
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) vs. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), 3-1
Peter GILMOUR (AUS) vs. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) 2-3
Sébastien COL (FRA) vs. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) 1-3
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.