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21 June 2010, 08:44 am
Neugodnikov Celebrated Victory, Minoprio His Birthday
Slovenia Match Race Cup
Eugeny Neugodnikov wins Slovenia Match Race Cup

2010 Slovenia Match Race Cup
Koper, Slovenia

The fourth edition of Slovenia Match Race Cup in Koper ended a day before schedule due to bad weather forecasts
At the prize giving ceremony it was Eugeny Neugodnikov who proudly lifted the biggest cup, but he wasn't the only one to celebrate.

Thanks to great wind conditions since the beginning of the ISAF graded regatta, organizers managed to carry through the whole program in just three days instead of four as foreseen. Principle race officer Bojan Gale decided to speed through the matches since bad weather was predicted for the last day. In accordance with the competitors, he pulled off the semi-final and final duels a day before schedule and completed the mission successfully only an hour before the cold front reached the host town of Koper.

In the first round robin, Philip Robertson (NZL) seemed invincible, and after defeating Michele Perris (MON) in the semifinals 3:0, many thought he would be the one to lift the cup. But the pressure for the Kiwis was too much in the end and probably the concentration dropped at the least convenient time. In the final performance they inflicted two penalties on their opponent Russian team, but Neugodnikov still managed to win all three matches decisively.

"This is my third visit to Koper. I've sailed here before, I know the local conditions as well as the boats. Therefore I tried to take advantage from previous experiences and made it," said Neugodnikov, who doesn't believe this victory will be enough to enter the top ten on ISAF Match Race rankings.

Despite being placed fourth, world match racing champion Adam Minoprio had a double reason for celebrating. He just turned 25 and organizers surprised him with a bottle of the mayor's wine and extra virgin olive oil. "I promised Michele Perris to join his team and this was the right occasion. I enjoyed being a tactician very much even though the conditions were pretty tricky. Hopefully I'll be back next year, but this time as a skipper," said Minoprio, who already left for Portugal match cup. Third place went to last year's winner Ian Ainslie.
Jana Pines (as amended by ISAF)
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