Great Britain's Ben Ainslie and his Team Origin finished on a perfect 7-0 record as they led the way through to the quarter-final stage at the Argo Group Gold Cup, penultimate event for 2009 World Match Racing Tour.
(GBR) has won a lot of gold, but never the King Edward VII Gold Cup. Today he moved into the quarter finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup with a perfect 7-0 record thus far. That's the first step toward the cup but Ainslie needs to learn a lesson from Ian Williams
(GBR) who was also 7-0 at this stage in 2008 and didn't make it into the finals.
On Thursday, Ainslie defeated Seb Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team and K-Challenge, Adam Minoprio
(NZL) ETNZ and BlackMatch and Bjorn Hansen
(SWE) Alandia Sailing Team on another flawless day of sailing for the multi medal Olympian. Ainslie and his Team Origin crew of Iain Percy
(GBR), Christian Kamp
(DEN) and Matt Cornwell
(GBR) have not been able to do as much match racing this as they would have liked however the talented team appear to do it well when they get the opportunity.
All of the top two teams in each group automatically moved up to the quarter-final stage. Joining Ainslie in the quarter finals in second place at 4-3 is Minoprio. Group one is represented by Eric Monnin
(SUI) Search.ch in first at 6-1 and Williams' Team Pindar presented by Argo Group also 6-1. The top two in group three were last year's Gold cup winner Johnie Berntsson
(SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team at 6-1 and 2007 Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard
(FRA) and his French Match Racing Team.
The remaining slots in the quarter finals will go to the top two in the repechage round robin which is yet to be completed. The third and fourth finishers in each group made into the six-team round robin that will finish Friday morning.
And the black flags just keep coming
Organizers had hoped to get all of the round robin racing completed today but a frontal passage with possible lightning and a departing cruise ship in Hamilton Harbour delayed the start. Once racing began around 10:30 local time, the committee banged of start after start in short order. Winds were fresh out of the northwest at about 18-20 knots most of the day.
As usual, the competition was fierce. Umpires handed out multiple penalties. Peter Gilmour
(AUS) and Paula Lewin Crews
(BER) each got flagged today, and Damien Iehl
(FRA) got his second black flag of the event. This brings the total to eight black flags for the regatta and it is only about half way through.
Racing continues Friday at 09:00 with the last flights of the repercharge followed by quarter final action.
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 1-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 0-1
Blythe Walker (BER) 1-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) 1-1
Dave Perry (USA) 0-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 2-0
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 6-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-3
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-6
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-6
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 7-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand and BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Dave Perry (USA) 4-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 4-3
Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team and K Challenge 4-3
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 3-4
Álvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-5
Paula Lewin Crews (BER) 0-7
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-1
Blythe Walker (BER) 4-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 4-3
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Charlie Enright (USA) 1-6
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-6
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 7 of 9)
1. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 88 Points
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, 86 Points
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team, 72 Points
4. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, 71 Points
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 70 Points
6. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 48 Points
7. Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 41 Points
8. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, 40 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.