The 21 year old Auckland University mechanical engineering student and his Black Match team of David SWETE (NZL) and Nick BLACKMAN (NZL) from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron go into tomorrow's second stage after two days of convincing match racing wins.
Their only loss was today, going down to the teenage champion from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Evan WALKER (AUS) and his crew of Robert GIBBS (AUS) and Kinley FOWLER (AUS).
Typical Sydney Conditions
Sydney Harbour again turned on its traditional 10-15 knot northeasterly sea breeze, enabling the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Race Committee to take full advantage of daylight saving and continue competition until 18:00 this evening.
MINOPRIO, competing in his first Hardy Cup, the prestigious regatta created by Australia's most eminent yachtsman Sir James HARDY, heads the top six teams going into stage two with ten wins from 11 flights.
Fellow New Zealander Laurie JURY's Kiwi Match team, also from the RNZYS, finished the round robin with eight wins after some excellent racing tactics today.
Other four finalists, decided after some complicated calculations by the Race Committee, are: WALKER and Stuart POLLARD (AUS) each finishing with seven wins, Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) and Katie SPITHILL (AUS) who finished with five wins each.
Tight Fight For Final Spot
Then, the Race Committee had to decide between three teams, MIRSKY, from Royal Perth Yacht Club, SPITHILL from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the RSYS's Mark DORLING (AUS) for the two last remaining spots in the top six, each having completed the round robin series with five wins.
The tie proved difficult to break because each team had had a win and a loss.
The tie had to be broken according to rule C 11.1 (c) where a tie is decided in favour of the competitor(s) who has the most points against the competitor placed highest in the round robin series or, if necessary, second highest, and so on until the tie is broken.
None of them won against MINOPRIO, nor against JURY, with the tie finally being resolved after comparing their performances again the third placed overall competitor, WALKER. DORLING, the runner-up in last year's Hardy Cup, was the loser.
MIRSKY and SPITHILL went through to the top six while DORLING dropped out on place seventh. The tie between MIRSKY and SPITHILL, Australia's top ranked woman match racing skipper, was then broken in the direct match between the two of them, in which MIRSKY, winner of last week's Warren Jones Memorial Youth Regatta in Perth, had dominated.
Regatta organizers then found they also had a tie in the bottom six, between American Payson INFELISE, Keith SWINTON (AUS), Nicole SOUTER (AUS) and New Zealander Graeme SUTHERLAND with four wins each.
This tie proved easier to resolve, DORLINGplacing seventh, INFELISE eighth, SUTHERLAND ninth, SOUTER tenth and SWINTON eleventh, with twelfth place going to Japan's Yuki NAGAHORI's Team Bambino from the Hayama Marina Yacht Club in Tokyo.