Saturday, 6 September 2008

Adam Minoprio joins Tour Leader Ian Williams in Semifinals of World Tour Event in St Moritz, Switzerland

World Tour match racing in the Blu26 at the St Moritz Match Race 2008. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by SailRaceWin

Saturday morning in St Moritz, in the Swiss Engadine mountains, BlackMatch Racing won through to their second semifinal of a World Tour match race event this year (the other being in Korea), defeating Denmark's Peter Wibroe by 2 races to 1 in the quarterfinal.

This is a great achievement by the team of Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, David Swete, and Nick Blackman, and a good example for the present Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth training scheme members, of which the BlackMatch boys are graduates.

In the semifinals with Minoprio are Ian Williams and his British Team Pindar - World Tour Leaders and reigning King of the Mountain champions from the 2007 St Moritz Match Race event. Williams defeated Swiss sailor Eric Monnin 2-1 to get through to the semis.

The remaining quartfinal matches, an all-French affair between Sebastien Col and Philippe Presti, and a half-French best-of-three sail-off between Mathieu Richard and Jes Gram Hansen of Denmark, will be sailed this afternoon to decide the last two semifinal places in the St Moritz Match Race 2008.

Quarterfinal results to date
(Winners in bold)

M1 Peter Wibroe v Adam Minoprio
M2 Adam Minoprio v Peter Wibroe
M3 Peter Wibroe v Adam Minoprio

M1 Ian Williams v Eric Monnin
M2 Eric Monnin v Ian Williams
M3 Ian Williams v Eric Monnin

St Moritz Match Race
World Match Racing Tour

BlackMatch Report on their continuing Success in St Moritz

Minoprio rolls Wibroe in their first quarterfinal race. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by David Swete

Day 3 of racing in St Moritz saw us again involved in very little of the action on the water. Having already qualified for the quarterfinals we waited in anticipation for the repechage series to draw to an end and find out who we were to face in the next stage of the event.

The repechage series produced some exciting racing with some big names of match racing failing to qualify for the final 8. The 2 teams to go through were Peter Wibroe and French America's Cup Helmsman Philippe Presti, with names like Bjorn Hansen, Paolo Cian and Torvar Mirsky missing out.

Peter qualified top of the repecharge so it was decided that we would race him in the best of 3 quarterfinal. During the interlude between the repechage and quarterfinal we were involved in several VIP fleet races amongst all of the competing teams.

Although these VIP races did not count towards the match racing, we won both of ours convincingly which not only meant we each won a new pair of Kaenon sunglasses, but it also put us in good readiness for our upcoming showdown with the talented Danish team.

The quarterfinals didn't get underway until late in the evening and there was only time to complete one race which we won in a very tight battle to put us only one win away from making the semi-finals.

We started with a split tack against Peter and we lead out to the right hand side of the course which we thought was favoured. Our first cross saw us in front, but the Danes had now won the right hand side and when we came back together they held a slim lead going into the first downwind.

We stayed in touch with them and were hot on their tail going into the run to the finish, an excellent spinnaker set and superior crew work saw us regain our lead and roll them to windward. Peter luffed us hard in a defensive move but we responded and were able to hold our lead to take a narrow victory.

Only one win away from making the semi final and we are feeling confident we can bring it home tomorrow, but we remain very cautious as we are racing a very respectable competitor.

We would again like to acknowledge our long term sponsors FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is making it possible for us to be over here in our long-term quest to win the World Match Racing Tour. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

BlackMatch and the Swiss 1-0 up in Quarterfinals at St Moritz

Wibroe leads down the run. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by Kirsten Bollinger

On day three at St Moritz Match Race the big black rain clouds were slowly beginning to clear to make way for some great racing. With no races of the repechage round robin completed Thursday, organisers were starting to feel the pressure to get some races away.

The course was quickly moved to the northern end of the lake, where 5-7 knots of wind was enough to get the sailors off the start line. With racing starting an hour earlier than the previous two days, the race committee were hoping to start the quarterfinals mid-afternoon.

Presti gybes behind Mirsky. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

Spectators braved the freezing temperatures to watch flight one of the repechage and see Philippe Presti take an important win over Peter Wibroe. Bjorn Hansen beat Michael Hestbaek, while Torvar Mirsky reminded spectators not to count him out just yet as he beat Paolo Cian.

After a short postponement, while the course was moved back in front of the grandstand the racing continued in shifty conditions. By the end of the 5th flight Wibroe had managed four wins to finish the repechage series on top. Philippe Presti and Bjorn Hansen were tied on three points, but Presti took the countback and qualified for the final spot in the quarterfinals.

The eight quarterfinalists are Ian Williams (GBR), Jes Gram Hansen (DEN), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Eric Monnin (SUI), Mathieu Richard (FRA) and Sebastien Col (FRA), Peter Wibroe (DEN) and Philippe Presti (FRA).

The Corviglia Challenge saw sponsors and guests take to the water in a fleet race which was taken out by Adam Minoprio’s ETNZ/BlackMatch, with Team Pindar coming second.

With sponsors back on dry land the quarterfinals could begin. In the first race Eric Monnin led Ian Williams off the start and rounded the top mark with a comfortable lead. Unfortunately the fickle conditions led to the race being abandoned.

Ian Williams takes on Eric Monnin in the quarterfinals. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

After the breeze settled and the course moved the racing was restarted. Eric Monnin led Ian Williams across the start line for a second time, but this time Williams had managed to get a penalty on Monnin. By the top mark Monnin had extended his lead enough to be able to do the penalty before rounding the mark. Still in the lead, Monnin was able to extend to win the race comfortably.

Wibroe and Minoprio approach the top mark in the quarterfinals. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

In the second quarterfinal Peter Wibroe and Adam Minoprio were even off the start and after a split tack, the first cross saw Minoprio cross just in front of Wibroe who was forced to dip to keep clear. Wibroe led down the run and rounded the second top mark in front but was rolled by Minoprio only to roll back in front.

Wibroe leads Minoprio downwind in the first quarterfinal. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

Approaching the finishing line Minoprio’s ETNZ/BlackMatch team managed to get into the overtaking lane, and Wibroe was powerless to stop the Kiwi charge. Minoprio crossed the line a boat length ahead.

At this stage, Eric Monnin and Adam Minoprio are halfway to a semi-final place with only one more race to win, while Ian Williams and Peter Wibroe will be feeling the pressure of a must-win race to stay in the competition.

Quarterfinals - Flight 1
(Winners in bold)

M1 Peter Wibroe v Adam Minoprio
M2 Ian Williams v Eric Monnin

Match Race St Moritz
World Match Racing Tour

Trying out the 90 Foot BMW ORACLE Racing Tri: Images from Launch to Day 3

All images copyright protected Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing


Wibroe and Presti Complete Quarterfinal Line-up in St Moritz

Philippe Presti joined the quarterfinalists at St Moritz after the repechage. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by SailRaceWin

Friday morning's repechage round robin resulted in Peter Wibroe (DEN) and Philippe Presti (FRA) joining Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Mathieu Richard (FRA), Sebastien Col (FRA), Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) and Eric Monnin (SUI) in the quarterfinals of St Moritz Match Race 2008.

The count-back between Bjorn Hansen and Philippe Presti, to decide the last place was made on the basis of the repechage fleet race results.

The Corviglia Challenge, with guests on the Blu26 boats, takes place Friday afternoon before commencement of the quarterfinals, wind permitting.

Repechage Results (wins-losses)

1st Peter Wibroe (DEN) 4-1
2nd Philippe Presti (FRA) 3-2
3rd Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 3-2
4th Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 2-3
5th Paolo Cian (ITA) 2-3
6th Michael Hestbaek (DEN) 1-4

(Winners in bold)

Flight 1
M1 Philippe Presti v Peter Wibroe
M2 Michael Hestbaek v Bjorn Hansen
M3 Paolo Cian v Torvar Mirsky

Flight 2
M1 Philippe Presti v Michael Hestbaek
M2 Peter Wibroe v Paolo Cian
M3 Bjorn Hansen v Torvar Mirsky

Flight 3
M1 Michael Hestbaek v Paolo Cian
M2 Torvar Mirsky v Peter Wibroe
M3 Bjorn Hansen v Philippe Presti

Flight 4
M1 Torvar Mirsky v Michael Hestbaek
M2 Philippe Presti v Paolo Cian
M3 Peter Wibroe v Bjorn Hansen

Flight 5
M1 Torvar Mirsky v Philippe Presti
M2 Peter Wibroe v Michael Hestbaek
M3 Paolo Cian v Bjorn Hansen

(Quarterfinals are best of three races)

Sebastien Col (FRA)
Philippe Presti (FRA)

Ian Williams (GBR)
Eric Monnin (SUI)

Jes Gram Hansen (DEN)
Mathieu Richard (FRA)

Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Peter Wibroe (DEN)

World Match Racing Tour

Friday, 5 September 2008

BlackMatch Report on their Top Position on Day Two in St Moritz

Minoprio pushes Mirsky in the pre-start. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by David Swete

Day two of racing here in St Moritz saw a very limited amount of sailing with only two races completed due to a lack of breeze, however these races were very important and decided the teams to qualify directly for the quarterfinals from our group.

With Sebastian Col, Mathieu Richard and Eric Monnin already qualifying from 'Group A' yesterday, the final two races of 'Group B' were completed today and we came out on top with 4 wins from our 5 races. Ian Williams and Jes Gram-Hansen also qualified from our pool each on 3 wins, but there is still hope for the remaining teams who will race in a repechage series to decide the remaining 2 places in the quarterfinals.

Although the wind shut out this afternoon and it was not possible to race the repechage series, Thursday morning's conditions were very similar to Wednesday's and saw us racing our final round robin matches in a shifty 8 knot breeze.

Our first race against the reigning World Tour Champion did not go according to plan. Ian came out fighting in a must-win match for him and held a slim lead off the start line. He sailed a very good tactical race and although we showed promise, he held on for a well deserved victory.

Having only won a single match during the round robin, Torvar Mirsky and his team were looking to get some consolation from their race against us. We were, however, extremely keen to qualify top of our group and after a very aggressive pre-start we had the advantage off the start-line.

We sailed very fast around the course and held a good lead going into the final run, but when we got tangled up in the match ahead of us, we were forced to gybe away from the finish line. Upon gybing back we had killed all of our speed allowing the crafty Australians to attack and sail us out to the other side of the course to gain control.

The umpires, however, deemed that Mirsky Racing Team had sailed us past our proper course and Torvar was handed a penalty. Whilst approaching the finish line they attempted to sail us into a position were they could complete their penalty turn and maintain the lead, but they did so in our water and although they completed their turn, they were given a second penalty that handed us the win.

On Friday we look forward to seeing who we will race in the quarterfinals when we take on the winner of the repechage series.

We would again like to acknowledge our long term sponsors FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is making it possible for us to be over here in our long term quest to win the World Match Racing Tour. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

St Moritz Match Race Day Two: Images and News Update

St Moritz Match Race action. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by Kirsten Bollinger

A southwesterly breeze of eight to twelve knots provided for some very close match racing on Thursday morning to decide the quarterfinal qualifiers from Group B.

With the repechage for the final two places in the quarterfinals scheduled to start Thursday afternoon, the wind decided it didn’t want to play ball and slowly died away.

The fleet race was completed and after waiting for an hour for breeze the teams were brought back to shore to wait in the shelter of the hospitality tents. After waiting another couple of hours it was apparent the breeze was not coming back today, so racing will commence Friday morning with organizers hoping to complete the repechage series and begin the quarterfinals.


Sebastien Col
Eric Monnin
Mathieu Richard
Adam Minoprio
Jes Gram Hansen
Ian Williams
plus 2 from repechage round robin

IMAGES FROM DAY 2 all copyright protected by Loris von Siebenthal/

Ian Williams (Team Pindar) chases Paolo Cian (Team Shosholoza) at St Moritz.

Torvar Mirsky tries to contain Jes Gram Hansen in their match.

Adam Minoprio plays catch-up against Ian Williams.

Dark clouds over the lake remind competitors of the torrential overnight rain between days one and two of racing. Badrutts Palace Hotel has a commanding view of the racing, as Peter Wibroe leads Paolo Cian.

Torvar Mirsky feature (3 images).

Waiting for wind in St Moritz.

World Match Racing Tour