Adam MINOPRIO's ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing regained the lead of the World Match Racing Tour Championship following his fifth place finish at the Korea Match Cup.
The top team at the end of the ten-stage 2009 World Tour team will be crowned 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champions and Adam MINOPRIO
's (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing are back in pole position. They won the first stage of this year's World Tour in Marseille and now returns to the top of the Tour Standings after the recent stage three, the Korea Match Cup.
After a stunning round robin performance, MINOPRIO's run in Korea was ended by eventual event winner Paolo CIAN
(ITA) who has now leapt up the leaderboard to sixth place. CIAN's late charge in Korea, taking eight wins from nine starts, brought him the top prize of 70 million Korean Won.
For the second year in a row Ian WILLIAMS
' (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, the reigning World Champions, took second place in Korea after a long wait for the wind to fill in and a shortened, first to two points, final competition. WILLIAMS took a much needed 20 points away with him and now lies in fourth place on the Tour with a total of 34 points.
Following victory at Match Race Germany, Ben AINSLIE
(GBR) and Team Origin had high hopes in Korea and the plan was coming together until they met CIAN in the semi-finals where AINSLIE was dispatched to the petit-final 3-0. AINSLIE beat Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) 2-1 securing third place and 15 Championship points to add to the 25 from Germany, taking him up to second place on the Tour and within a point of the lead.
Still hanging in there in third place with 36 points on the Tour despite a disappointing Korea Match Cup is the French Match Racing Team of Mathieu RICHARD
(FRA). As joint leader following Germany, RICHARD was looking to cement his lead but a few tough breaks dashed his hopes of holding on to the top spot.
Also grabbing points in Korea were the Perth pair of Peter GILMOUR
(AUS) and Torvar MIRSKY
(AUS) who now fill out the Tour top 8 in seventh and eighth respectively. For GILMOUR, a four-time World Champion, a third place performance in Germany and sixth in Korea have lifted the YANMAR Racing team above the chasing pack and put them in a solid position to attack the championship in the next few events. MIRSKY must also be looking forward to the next few events and the chance to pull back some points on his Tour leading rival MINOPRIO.
The Tour now moves on to Troia for the Portugal Match Cup raced in SM40's off the beach in the newly developed resort at the top of the Troia peninsular. Last years winner, Sebastien COL
(FRA), will be looking to regain some of last years form that saw him finish runner up in the Tour but has so far this year eluded him.
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.