Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team showed just why he is earmarked for future glory in world match racing by storming to an unbeaten run of five match races after Qualifying Session 2 at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda.
If reigning World Champion Adam Minoprio
(NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Mathieu Richard
(FRA) French Match Racing stole the lion's share of the early headlines, it's the calm and collected young Australian who is now stamping his authority all over the penultimate event of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour.
(USA), Álvaro Marinho
(POR) Seth Sailing Team and Johnie Berntsson
(SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team all succumbed to Mirsky's tactical nous today. However, it was far from plain sailing for the Australian team with their match against Perry notably tight, forcing the umpires to work overtime to deal with a deluge of protests.This was toe-to-toe action with Perry collecting the first penalty in the pre-start and then Mirsky taking one back during a series of rapid gybes on the first run. A further penalty for Mirsky seemed to shake the Australian team into focus as they then stuck three penalties on Perry in quick succession as they approached the leeward mark. It was textbook match racing which Perry simply had no answer to.
Looking ahead, Mirsky is far from complacent: "We haven't won the competition yet, so our results so far don't count for anything. Like everyone else we're still getting used to these -boats, our starts aren't great and our decisions are too rushed. That said, we're confident that we will continue to sail well
The World Match Racing Tour is famed for bringing through emerging talent and today in Bermuda one of those prodigies came to the fore. Taylor Canfield
(ISV) defied his age to peg back the current leader in the Tour standings, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, in emphatic fashion. The French skipper trailed the 21 year-old around the course however with a penalty holding him back, the young skipper's only option was to slow down in an attempt to pin one on Richard. This marked the start of three incredible minutes of tactical jostling. Richard took a risk to take control of the race, but misjudged it and collected a red flag penalty, leaving both boats with a penalty to take after crossing the finish line. Canfield got back onto the course side and completed his first, but Richard fouled his young opponent a second time while taking his turn, a move for which he eventually paid the ultimate price in a black flag disqualification.
Both skippers went on to win their next races however Richard has lost his chance of proceeding straight to the Quarter-Finals and now faces a must-win match against Jesper Radich
(DEN) Gaastra Racing Team if he is to make the Qualifying play-off. It will be a tough ask though as Radich holds a cast-iron record at the Argo Group Gold Cup, including a victory in 2002, and continued that form, winning all his matches of the day.
In the tightly-fought battles two skippers - Williams and Richard - collected half-point penalties for boat damage. Both requested a jury hearing, but only Williams was successful, in convincing the judges that he hadn't broken the boat contact rules in his match against against Marinho resulting in him getting the half point back again.
Thursday will see more intense action on the waters of Hamilton Harbour in the final fights for the Quarter-Final places.
See the gripping footage of Taylor and Richard at the end of their match at and big Ben Ainslie
big dial-down against Iehl at http://www.wmrt.com/multimedia/video-gallery.html
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 105
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing - 88
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team - 76
4. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar - 72
5. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN - 63
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra - 53
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing - 51
8. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team - 40
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