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30 November 2009, 11:36 am
Mirsky Beats Ainslie In Sunseeker Australia Cup
Ainslie and Mirsky - racing Foundation 36's in the Final of the Sunseeker Australia Cup
Ben Ainslie trails Torvar Mirsky in the final of the Sunseeker Australia Cup

Sunseeker Australia Cup 2009
Perth, Australia

On the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia this afternoon 23 year old Perth sailor Torvar Mirsky and his MRT team out sailed triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, and his Team Origin crew to take the title at the 2009 Sunseeker Australia Cup.
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and his team took the title with victory in the final over Ben Ainslie (GBR) by a scoreline of 2-0.

There was another great win for the hosts in the sudden death petiti final, as another Perth sailor Keith Swinton defeated World Match Racing Tour leader, New Zealand's Adam Minoprio and his Emirates Team New Zealand BlackMatch Team.

The final was the best of three races with Mirsky powering past the British America's Cup crew.

Mirsky was on fire in the first match and sailed away from Ainslie, a three-time ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year winner, keeping control on the right and sailing to a clean win.

The final race was nearly over for Ainslie and his Team Origin before it began.

As the two Bakewell-White 36s spun around the Media-Broadcast boat at anchor, abeam of the start boat, Ainslie came too close to the bow, hooked on the chain and spun the big powerboat; as the angle widened the chain slid free of the keel and they were free. A rare grin from the focused British skipper.

Mirsky lead across the start line but Ainslie was on the right and controlled the beat, but Mirsky was bow to stern at the top mark.

Then the race cracked open as Ainslie was penalised for failing to keep clear.

Game, Set and Match!

Dockside Torvar Mirsky said, "There are some really famous guys here today that we've knocked off and we are really pinching ourselves. We will go into the Monsoon Cup with a lot of confidence."

"Kinley [Fowler] is an integral part of our team and to lose him for the finals, with a forearm strain, was a challenge. But we sailed in a much disciplined way, with roles very well defined. We had a short training session with Pierluigi De Felice [PJ] from the Azzurra team and he is such a great sailor he slotted in perfectly.

"If we have the same result in the Monsoon Cup that we had here with us winning and Adam and his BlackMatch team coming fourth, we will win the 2009 World Championship.

"So we will be working very hard to do just that."

Ainslie commented, "It's been a great regatta, we've really enjoyed sailing up here in Perth Water, a good course.

"We did not get it right in the final, Torvar and his boys were on the hot lines and we were not and that was it.

"Fantastic conditions, much better than we'd be getting in the UK right now, of course that applies most of the time, not all of the time, and we plan to be back here again next year."

There was a titanic struggle in the sudden death single match petit final. A pre-start penalty for Swinton and a 17 second lead for 2009 World Match Racing Tour leader Minoprio at the top mark, had many calling a victory for the New Zealand crew. But on the second beat Swinton erased his penalty, held his lead then forced Minoprio off the course at the bottom mark and went to win the three lap match.

Swinton said, "We will take that win. Yesterday we stuck to our guns and it all came off, it's great to beat Adam Minoprio in the petit finals.

"This is a great event and if we can continue to see fields like this in the future, it's an exciting opportunity for young match racers."

More information at
Al Constable & Rob Kothe
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