New Zealand's latest match racing star Adam Minoprio will take on British Olympic legend Ben Ainslie in the final of the Argo Group Gold Cup for the 2009 King Edward VII Gold Cup.
In the Argo Group Gold Cup semi final match racing on Saturday afternoon, ETNZ and BlackMatch Racing skipper Adam Minoprio
(NZL) and his team of Tom Powrie
(NZL), David Swete
(NZL) and Nick Blackman
(NZL) took the first slot in the finals with a 3-0 win over Eric Monnin
(SUI) Swiss Match Race Team with crewmen Simon Brugger
, Marc Monnin
(SUI), Jean-Claude Monnin
and Loris Von Siebenthal
. Minoprio is the top skipper in the ISAF World Rankings and was second in the World Match Racing Tour going into the Argo Group Gold Cup.
(GBR) sailing for Team Origin with his crew of Matt Cornwell
(GBR), Iain Percy
(GBR), and Christian Kamp
(DEN) took the other semifinal match 3-1. Ainslie moves into the finals after defeating reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams
(GBR) of Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group. Williams, with his crew of Mark Nicholls, Richard Sydenham, and Gerry Mitchell, goes into the petite final on Sunday. Ainslie, holder of four Olympic medals, three of them gold, had a perfect 7-0 score going into the quarter finals but lost two matches in that stage and only one more in today's semi final.
Ainslie said that in the quarter finals he missed the shifts in the two races he lost. "In the last race, we got into the shifts," he said. "We just got ahead and stayed ahead." About his match with Williams, he said, "We just got the shifts better. We are happy with the way the day turned out and we are looking forward to racing Adam Minoprio tomorrow. The Argo Group Gold Cup is a special event, both the boats and the sailing conditions suit our style of racing."
Minoprio will move up to the top of the World Tour rankings. "We really want to win the Gold Cup tomorrow," Minoprio said. "We would like to go into the Monsoon Cup with a healthy lead to have a good chance to win the World Match Racing Tour." The Tour winner is crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
Tomorrow, Minoprio and Ainslie will race for the gold, each doing his utmost to put his own name on the famous King Edward VII Gold Cup trophy and take home the first place prize purse of $50,000. Second place takes $20,000, third place $10,000 and fourth place $7,000. The total purse is $100,000.
Williams and Monnin will match up in the Petite Finals to decide third and fourth place.
Racing had been delayed Saturday morning until 10:00 waiting for the breeze to fill in sufficiently for racing to start. In their first match of the morning, Flight three of the quarter-final, Ainslie and Team Origin took their first two losses. Ainslie came back in the fifth race to defeat Torvar Mirsky
(AUS) 3-2 as Argo Group Gold Cup quarter-final racing concluded Saturday morning. Mirsky, the current World Tour leader, was relegated to the consolation matches to decide places fifth to eighth.
In the consolation matches, Bermudian Blythe Walker
and his Max Re team lost their first match to Mathieu Richard
(FRA) representing the French Match Racing Team. Last year's King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson
(SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team won their first match against Mirsky.
The second matches of the consolations saw Berntsson defeat Richard for fifth place, so Richard took sixth place. Walker had a win against Mirsky for seventh place pushing Mirsky into eighth.
Fifth place takes home $ 5,500. Sixth place gets $ 4,000. Seventh place earns $2,500 Eighth place $ 1,000
(GBR) d. Ian Williams
(NZL) d. Eric Monnin
(SUI) d. Blythe Walker
(GBR) d. Torvar Mirsky
d. Johnie Berntsson
(NZL) d. Mathieu Richard
5. Johnie Berntsson
(SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
6. Mathieu Richard
(FRA) French Match Racing Team
7. Blythe Walker
(BDA) Max Re Team
8. Torvar Mirsky
(AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 5-0
Blythe Walker (BER)3-2
Damien Iehl (FRA) 2-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 2-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2-3
Dave Perry (USA) 1-4
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.