World Match Racing Tour.

ISAF Special Event

Flight-by-flight summary

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02.12.2010 - 04:19:03 (GMT)
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For a full run-down of the final between Torvar Mirsky and Ben Ainslie, as well as the Petit Final for third and fourth places, go to the live blog:


The semi finals were sailed as a best of three knock-out, however both victorious teams went through to the finals with a clean 2-0 scoreline.

Ainslie vs Hansen
First race:
Hansen misjudged the initial dial up in the pre-start, collecting a penalty, and was late for the start. But he was only a length behind Ainslie at the first mark, although the Briton extended his lead on the run. The second lap was a repeat of the first: Hansen was faster on the beat, rounding the last windward mark just 8 seconds behind Ainslie, but the Brit was quicker downwind, finishing with a a 33 second advantage.
Second race:
Ainslie escaped Hansen's early advantage in the pre-start to take a three-length lead off the line. Hansen was never able to get back at Ainslie, who held a lead of over one minutes at the finish.

Mirsky vs Radich
First race:
After an equal start, Mirsky pulled ahead to lead Radich round mark 1, holding his lead to the finish to go 1-0 up.
Second race:
Radich led off the line and for the early part of the race, but Mirsky got ahead to lead down the final run and finish with an 8 second advantage.

Knockout for places 5-8
Gilmour vs Williams:
Gilmour's first race ended abruptly with a black flag penalty on the startline, consigning him to the fight for 7th or 8th place.

Richard vs Bruni:
Bruni made a great start right on time at the boat, but Richard was late and in his dirty air. It's always tough to get the timing right in light air against the current. Bruni was six lengths ahead at the first mark, and held the lead to the finish, dashing Richard's hopes of winning the World Championship.

5th  Ian Williams
6th  Francesco Bruni
7th  Peter Gilmour
8th  Mathieu Richard



Quarter Final 1
Winner in Bold
Ian Williams vs Bjorn Hansen
Bjorn Hansen vs Ian Williams
Ian Williams vs Bjorn Hansen
Bjorn Hansen vs Ian Williams
Bjorn Hansen through to the semi-finals

Quarter Final 2
Winner in Bold
Ben Ainslie vs Mathieu Richard
Mathieu Richard vs Ben Ainslie
Ben Ainslie vs Mathieu Richard
Mathieu Richard vs Ben Ainslie
Ben Ainslie through to the semi-finals

Quarter Final 3
Winner in Bold
Jesper Radich vs Francesco Bruni
Francesco Bruni vs Jesper Radich
Jesper Radich vs Francesco Bruni
Francesco Bruni vs Jesper Radich
Jesper Radich vs Francesco Bruni
Jesper Radich through to the semi-finals

Quarter Final 4
Winner in Bold
Peter Gilmour vs Torvar Mirsky
Torvar Mirsky vs Peter Gilmour
Peter Gilmour vs Torvar Mirsky
Torvar Mirsky through to the Semi-Finals


Qualifying Sessions:

Flight 17

The match between the two British teams – Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – was close thoughout, with Williams holding a small advantage. Approaching the top mark for the final time, Ainslie's only chance of getting ahead was to luff Williams head to wind, but Williams protested he had turned too far and the umpires agreed. Williams rounded the mark 14 seconds ahead and held his lead to the finish.

Williams defeated Ainslie by 17 secs
Gilmour defeated Radich by 30 secs
Bruni defeated Hansen by 18 secs
Robertson defeated Swinton


Flight 16

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar got too close to Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing on the start line and was over early, handing a great start to the young Aussie who rounded the top mark a couple of lengths ahead of Williams. Swinton held his lead until Williams sailed him out to the layline approaching the second top mark. On the final run Swinton was close enough to attack hard, but never found a passing opportunity, leaving Williams to win by just 8 seconds.

Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra and Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing each picked up a penalty in their pre-start. Bruni slowly extended on Robertson up the first beat, but got ahead to a huge lead when Robertson had to tack around Koo on the approach to the mark.

Gilmour defeated Koo by 18 secs
Williams defeated Swinton by 8 secs
Bruni defeated Robertson by 1 min 40 secs


Flight 15

Update at 1930 (GMT+8) on 3 December 2010

The focus in this flight was on Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing vs Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team that would determine which of the world's top two seeds would fail to qualify for the Quarter Finals. It was sailed after a tantalizingly long postponement while sailors waited for a new wind to fill in.

Richard initially controlled the pre-start and led back towards the line, appearing to be comfortably ahead of Minoprio. But the Kiwi hoisted his spinnaker in a bold and daring move that paid off handsomely – he picked up a gust, established an overlap on Richard, then luffed him over the line and pinned a penalty on him at the same time.

But the Frenchman had no intention of caving under any amount of pressure – he quickly recovered a little ground, although Minoprio won the first cross, bouncing Richard back to the left. Earlier this had been the disadvantaged side, but the dynamic had changed and Richard led by 20 seconds at the first mark.

On the first run Minoprio closed the gap, but the Tour leader gave a superb display of his match racing skills to extend his lead just enough to pull into a band of stronger wind after rounding the bottom mark on the second of the three laps. Minoprio remained in the hole at the mark, powerless to stop Richard sailing away to an easy win.

Gilmour defeated Mirsky by 1 min 24 secs
Richard defeated Minoprio by 2 mins
Radich defeated Swinton


Flight 14

Update at 1610 (GMT+8) on 3 December 2010

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team had a slow start in his match against Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, with the young Kiwi skipper gaining an early advantage. However Richard showed a return to his usual form, passing Robertson downwind to take a slim lead that Robertson closed right up as they approached the finish - Richard threw in a dummy gybe, Robertson bought it, gybing away into a patch of more gently breeze, giving Richard a five length lead at the finish.

Similarly Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing defeated Jeremy Koo (MAS) Evernew, to gain a vital extra point.

In the next flight the battle between Richard and Minoprio - the number one and two seeds in the race for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship - will be crucial for both teams.

Ainslie defeated Hansen by 16 secs


Flight 13

Update at 1554 (GMT+8) on 3 December 2010

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing put up another disappointing performance, this time against Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team. After winning the first cross, Minoprio was faced with a choice between covering Hansen, or chasing a slightly stronger patch of stronger wind to the left, and choose the latter. However, any advantage he gained was short lived – the right hand side of the course remained favoured. Hansen won the next cross, tacking on Minoprio and forcing him back to the left. By the end of the first leg Hansen had a lead of 6-8 boat lengths, leaving Minoprio out of contention.

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team inexplicably went even further to the left on the first leg of his race against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team. That didn't work for Minoprio 10 minutes earlier, and it didn't work this time either - Mirsky was almost 40 seconds ahead at the first mark, and maintained that lead until the finish.

Williams defeated Bruni by 34 secs
Hansen defeated Minoprio by 1 min 30 secs
Ainslie defeated Koo by 1 min 15 secs
Mirsky defeated Richard by 37 secs


Flight 12

The second flight of the morning saw the consistent 15-knot northerly breeze that had graced the race course since the early hours of the morning evaporate, and a return to the super light and testing conditions of the previous day.

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing looked well placed in his start against Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra who was over the line at the gun and had to re-start. However, Bruni fought back strongly, rolling past Minoprio in a simultaneous gybe on the first run, and holding his lead in the increasingly fickle wind all the way to the finish.

It was another good race for Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team, who defeated Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – the Britian's first loss of the event. Initially Williams appeared to have the advantage on the favoured right hand side of the course, but Hansen benefitted from a little more wind and went on to win by a margin of more than one minute.

Gilmour beat Swinton by 24 secs
Bruni beat Minoprio by 18 secs
Hansen beat Williams by 1 min 3 secs
Ainslie beat Mirsky


Flight 11

This morning's first flight saw a change in fortune for Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing with a win against Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN. After the start both boats headed to the favoured right hand side of the course, with Ainslie a little ahead but to leeward.

100m from the first mark, with Ainslie on the starboard layline, Minoprio tacked under his leebow, then luffed head to wind. The Kiwi came out of the dial-up with great acceleration to lead around the mark by five boat lengths - Ainslie was never able to recover.

Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra showed masterful control in the pre-start against Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing. With 30 seconds to go Bruni pinned a penalty on the Swinton, then pinned him outside the start boat.

The next match saw two hugely experienced old hands - Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team and Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing - pitched against each other in the tightest of races. At the second windward mark Hansen rounded inside Gilmour, with the two boats overlapped. Hansen went for a dummy spinnaker hoist, waited for Gilmour's kite to fill, then dropped his and luffed hard.

Hansen protested, the umpires ruled there was no rule infrigement by Gilmour, but the manoeuvre gained Hansen a a useful couple of boat lengths. The two boats were neck and neck again as they approached the finish, but Hansen maintained his lead by the narrowest of margins - 1 second!

Radich beat Robertson by 20 secs
Bruni beat Swinton by 43 secs
Hansen beat Gilmour by 1 sec
Minoprio beat Ainslie by 30 secs


Flight 10

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team scored a much-needed third win, leading local skipper Jeremy Koo (MAS) Evernew around to course to win by 48 seconds.

Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing took an early lead in his match against Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, getting ahead at their second intersection in on the first beat. However, Ainslie got ahead at the end of the first run and held the lead to the finish.

Richard beat Koo by 48 secs
Radich beat Bruni by 1 min 25 secs
Hansen beat Robertson by 8 secs
Ainslie beat Swinton by 1 min 20 secs


Flight 9

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team picked up a much-need victory against Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, one of the lowest-ranked skippers at the Monsoon Cup, but only by 20 seconds.

The finish of the Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team vs Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team match saw intense action at the finish. Hansen crossed the line first, but was carrying a penalty. He took it by circling the pin buoy, but part way through the maneouvre he got in the way of Radich, picking up a second penalty and handing the win to his Danish rival.

Williams beat Mirsky by 20 secs
Robertson beat Koo by 1 min 17 secs
Richard beat Swinton by 20 secs
Radich beat Hansen by 1 min 14 secs


Flight 8

The bad news for both Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing continued. Both lost their matches in this flight, opening the door still wider for Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN to have a clear run at the ISAF Match Racing World Championship title. However, Minoprio has requested redress regarding course signalling on the committee boat at the pre-start entry time.

Although Richard was trailing Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team in their match, the Danes were carrying a penalty, making it difficult to call who had the advantage... until Richard fell into a hole in the wind. Radich was able to unwind his penalty and finish almost two minutes ahead, pummelling Richard into his fifth loss of the event.

Gilmour beat Minoprio by 43 secs (subject to hearing)
Williams beat Robertson by 2 mins 40 secs
Mirsky beat Koo by 1 min 42 secs
Radich beat Richard by 1 min 52 secs


Flight 7

This flight saw Richard gain his first victory, as well four titanic clashes:

Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN vs Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team vs Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team vs Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing

Gilmour picked up a penalty in the dial-up before the start, then quickly recovered to gain control of the pre-start. But in the last few moments before the gun Richard slipped out of his grasp to get a brilliant start. On the final run Gilmour started to roll Richard, but there was contact between the boats, with Gilmour collecting a second penalty, giving Richard a clear run to the finish.

Williams inflicted a third defeat on Minoprio, leaving the reigning World Champion smarting with three losses in five races. The Kiwi picked up a penalty in the pre-start and crossed the line prematurely, allowing Williams to get away with a good lead. Minoprio fought back strongly, closing what had at one stage appeared to be an invincible lead for Williams to just six seconds at the finish, but wasn't able to get ahead of the Brit.

Meanwhile, Ainslie ended Bruni's previously unbroken run of wins, having taken a big lead off the start line.

Ainslie beat Bruni by 25 secs
Mirsky beat Robertson by 1 min 47 secs
Richard beat Gilmour by 42 secs
Williams beat Minoprio by 6 secs


Flight 6

The wind was very light for the start of the Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN vs Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team match. Ainslie got away first and extended his lead up the first beat. On the final run the two boats split to opposite sides of the course – Richard closed the gap, but not enough to prevent Ainslie taking a decisive victory and leave the French team languishing without a win after four races.

Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing led off the line and made big gains on the first leg against Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing. But on the first run Robertson let Minoprio gybe out to the opposite side of the course. It was a bad call - when they next crossed Robertson only just held his lead, and Minoprio rolled past him at the left-hand gate mark. On the next run the reigning World Champion picked up a big favorable wind shift, allowing him to point almost at the finish and win by a huge margin.

Swinton beat Hansen by 31 secs
Bruni beat Mirsky by 1 min 24 secs
Ainslie beat Richard by 1 min 55 secs
Minoprio beat Robertson by 5 mins 14 secs


Flight 5

Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team appeared to be back on form, winning his start against Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzurra, however, the Italian got ahead on the first beat. Richard elected to split directions on the first run, where he picked up an extra puff of wind to gain control and hold Bruni out past the leeward gate.

On the next beat, Richard tacked away from Bruni, breaking his cover on the Italian and allowing him to take the favoured right hand side of the course. It was an unbelievable move that handed the lead to Bruni and leaves Richard floundering with a 0-3 scoreline.

Bruni beat Richard by 20 secs
Radich beat Koo by 1 min 51 secs
Minoprio beat Swinton by 2 mins
Mirsky beat Hansen by 31 secs


Flight 4

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing suffered his second defeat of the event at the hands of Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team. It was all over for the Kiwi in the pre-start – with Radich firmly in control, he first held the Kiwi out at the start boat, then luffed hard. Minoprio misjudged he response and collected a red flag (immediate) penalty, allowing the Danish crew to get a lead of over 30 seconds, that they held to the finish.Action in the Qualifying Session of the Monsoon Cup. Photo - Subzero, WMRT.

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar won his start against Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, but Gilmour then got ahead. However, the two boats then sailed around different marks at end of the second windward leg. Gilmour led to the finish, but the result is subject to protest, with Williams alleging the Australian sailed the wrong course.

Gilmour and Williams subject to protest - Gilmour disqualified

Bruni defeated Koo by 1 min 52 secs

Radich defeated Minoprio by 40 secs

Mirsky defeated Swinton by 50secs