Twenty-four year old Australian sailor Torvar Mirsky of Mirsky Racing Team won the St Moritz Match Race round robin to secure the first semi-final place.
For his efforts Torvar Mirsky
(AUS) gets a direct ticket to the semi-finals whilst the other competitors will have to make it through the quarter finals first.
(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 and 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, 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 Minoprio and the three French teams who completed their last matches under intense pressure.
Williams and 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 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
(SUI) won his last race against the world #1 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.
Bruni chose to sail against Presti whilst Williams opted for Col, leaving Gilmour against Minoprio. Both Presti and Col proved to their opponent that maybe they should have chosen someone else, whilst Gilmour lost his first match to Minoprio by a few seconds.
Racing will resume tomorrow at 11:00 with the rest of the quarter final and possibly the first races of the semi final. The finals will take place on Sunday.
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."
Andrew Pindar OBE, chairman of Pindar Group, sponsor of Ian Williams and visiting St. Moritz in order to encourage his team: "I met Ian Williams here in St. Moritz. Peter Holmberg introduced me to this event, which is extraordinary. Ian's team didn't have a sponsor when I met him. People advised me that he was one to watch because he was so promising. It seems like it was a good advise."
1. Torvar Mirsky
(AUS), Mirsky Racing Team, 8
2. Francesco Bruni
(ITA), Team Joe Fly Match Race, 8
3 . Ian Williams
(GBR), Team Pindar, 7,5
4. Philippe Presti
(FRA), French Match Racing Team, 7
5. Sébastien Col
(FRA), French Match Racing Team, 6
6. Peter Gilmour
(AUS), YANMAR Racing, 6
7. Adam Minoprio
(NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch, 5
8. Mathieu Richard
(FRA), French Match Racing Team, 5
9. Johnie Berntsson
(SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team, 4
10. Bjorn Hansen
(SWE), Onboard Sailing Team, 3
11. Álvaro Marinho
(POR), Seth Sailing Team, 3
12 . Eric Monnin
(SUI) Swiss Match Race Team, 2
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 5 of 10)
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 68 points
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch, 61 points
3. Peter Gilmour (AUS), YANMAR Racing, 56 points
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team, 54 points
5. Ian Williams (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar, 49 points
6. Damien Iehl (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 44 points
7. Ben Ainslie (GBR), Team Origin, 40 points
8. Sébastien Col (FRA), French Match Racing Team / K-Challenge, 33 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.