Saturday, 20 September 2008

Mirsky Racing Team Report from the ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia

by Kinley Fowler

Once again the competitors of the ACI Match Race Cup were left becalmed, only this time the race committee just managed to get away one flight in the fickle winds. We managed to win our race against local Frane Barbieri, taking our total score to 11 wins and 2 losses, putting us in 2nd place just behind Sebastien Col.

Tomorrow is forecast for 30+ knots, and with 5 more flights left in the round robin as well as a full final series, the race committee has a lot of work to do in order to get through the full format. Although we are sitting in 2nd place, we are very eager to improve our result as the season is coming to a close, so hopefully the Bura won’t come in so strong.

In the lengthy time ashore today, we were able to check the new ISAF rankings out yesterday and were greeted with great news, as we jumped from 7th to 4th place. Our win in France and the 4th place at the Danish Open added some extra points to our already strengthening list of achievements. Now with the top 3 teams of Paolo Cian, Ian Williams and world number one Matthiu Richard so close in reach, every race is becoming more and more of a fight for the top spot.

A special thanks to Line7, Harken and the Royal Perth Yacht Club for their support.

Mirsky Racing Team

Interviews with Adam Minoprio and Bertrand Pacé in Croatia

by Irena Bistričić

Adam Minoprio

Q: Is this your first time that you are in Split?

A: It's our first time here in Split and we are really impressed. The size and the quality of the onshore activities and the atmosphere here, is amazing as well as the history. We’ve really enjoyed it so far. We’ve enjoyed the sailing however we didn’t have the results we’d like but we’ve learned and hopefully we’ll be back next year and improve.

Q: Could you tell us, what are your speculations about the winner?

A: No, we are trying to make the semifinals but we need some results to go our way. As for the winner, we still have a chance to win, but if we don’t win there are other great guys that are racing, and we like all of them.

Bertrand Pacé

Bertrand is a legend of the French and World match racing and the winner of the ACI Match Race 2004 edition.

Q: You have more experience here in Split than any other contestant this year?

A: Yes, but I didn't have many races for a while, because of the America’s Cup, so I’m just back on the track for this event. This year we have new sails and better sailing conditions. We don’t have any expectations, we only want to give our best and we will see what happens.

Q: What do you think about the organization?

A: The organization is perfect this year and we appreciate everything very much. There are a lot of improvements and you’ve done a good job with the boats. They are much better than the last year. The new sails are very important because all boats are at the same speed. Unfortunately there is no wind today, but these things happen sometimes.

Q: So far you are the only one who has won the dual with Sébastien Col?

A: Yes, but that was just one race. We won yesterday but there are more races waiting for us tomorrow. I don’t know which decision will Race Committee make for tomorrow. At this stage we are in the semifinals and that was our objective, but we’ll see what happens.

ACI Match Race Cup

No Wind in Split - Bring out the Soparnik!

Soparnik, a traditional Croatian dish. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

On Friday, the third day of the ACI Match Race Cup, there was no wind. The crews prepared in vain for racing today. In the meantime, the ACI Press Cup race, with seven media representatives, was held.

Around noon the Press Race finished. The winners were the crew of the nautical portal guided by Goran Martinović. Second placed is the crew of Slobodna Dalmacija with Lovre Perhat, and in third place there is Jutarnji list with Leo Lemešić. They are followed by Nautica with Sergije Dvornik, Vjesnik with Damir Herceg, HRT with Mate Arapov, and the last crew is Radio Riva with Marko Marinović.


Soparnik on the traditional board. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

This year’s entertainment programme at the 22nd ACI Match Race Cup had two interesting events Thursday night. First of all, a traditional meal called Soparnik was presented. Soparnik is originally made on round wooden boards and is baked in the fireplace. The inviting smell of the food could be sensed immediately.

Soparnik is for sharing. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Afterwards a band called Libar performed within the Livingstone magazine programme. The doors of the tent village were opened for the fans of good music as well as for all those interested. Numerous visitors came to enjoy the rock ballads in traditional style. After the performance the audience rewarded the band asking for more, but regrettably, not receiving any further performances.

Liquid refreshment helps the convivial atmosphere over the Soparnik board. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

ACI Match Race Cup

Friday, 19 September 2008

BlackMatch Racing action on Day Two in Croatia

Day Two was better for BlackMatch, sailing off Split, Croatia. They are one of two unbeaten teams so far in Round Robin Two. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by David Swete

With another stunning day here in Split, racing was delayed for two hours before the sea breeze slowly filled in. When racing finally went ahead conditions were absolutely perfect for match racing, however, this was short lived and the race committee could only get away the remaining match of the first round robin and 3 matches of the second round robin before the wind faded away to nothing.

BlackMatch enjoying close racing in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

We faltered early in the day with a loss against Torvar Mirsky in a fierce race, but we remain in the hunt for that elusive top 4 spot to proceed through to the semi-finals after we found our straps and won the next 3 races in a row.

One of our wins today came against match racing legend Betrand Pacé who is showing excellent form here. This was a very big scalp and a comprehensive victory after Adam nailed the start and we lead the entire race while the French team threw everything at us.

BlackMatch Racing ahead of the opposition on Day Two in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

We feel we are starting to find some form here in Croatia and hope that a couple of hiccups early on will not come back to haunt us. Tomorrow we will be finishing off the second round robin and we are all looking forward to the challenge of taking a few more big scalps and hopefully progressing through.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors: FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

ACI Match Race Cup - Day Two

Bertrand Pacé beat countryman and series leader Sébastien Col on Day Two in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

On the second day of the competition at the ACI Match Race Cup, the sailors did not have so much luck as they did the day before. First of all there wasn't any wind for a long time, then the north-westerly wind rose up to 8 – 10 knots, and then around 16.30 it completely dropped.

Only four flights took place; the last from the first series of duels and the third from the second series. That means that six series of play-offs are still neccesary for the finals.

There have been a few surprises today. The first defeat of the calm Frenchman Col who was defeated by the more skilful Pacé, a sailor full of temperament. However, Pacé immediately afterwords lost to the skipper from New Zealand, Adam Minoprio.

As far as it regards Croatian sailors, it is important to mention the victory of Dario Kliba over the last year’s winner in Split – the Italian Paolo Cian.

After 12 flights, Col is still in the lead with 11 victories (only one loss). On the second place there is superb Mirsky with 10 victories, while Cian and Pacé are the closest to the play-offs with 9 victories. Only Minoprio could mess up their plans, because he is only two victories behind.

On the lower part of the ranking list Dario Kliba is the closest to the top with 5 victories. Tomislav Basic has only 4.5 points because of the accident he had with Kliba’s boat. Since it was his fault, he was penalized with half a point less. Frane Barbieri is eigth with two victories.

Six more flights have to be completed before the semifinals and the finals with three victories. A hard job is ahead of the race committee especially because of the weather forecast that does not predict enough wind. However, strong northern wind is expected for Saturday, so the wind won’t be lacking.

Interviews with those involved with the 2008 ACI Match Race Cup, prior to racing on Day Two:

Sergey Musikhin (competitor):

Q: This is your first time at the ACI Match Race Cup. What are your impressions about this regatta, about the organization, the town of Split?

A: Yes, this our first time here in Split and at the ACI Match Race Cup. The city is really great, we love it. The opening ceremony and the entire organization was great. The music was really great as well.

Unfortunately we didn't do very well at the first two races. As I said, this is our first time, we are not used to these kind of boats, they are rather big. It will take few more races to gain a little experience and sail better next time.

Q: How did you cope with our “bura”?

A: The wind was not too strong we are accustomed to much stronger winds in Russia. In this time of the year it is much colder than here, so because of the high air pressure the winds are rougher.

Q: Are you satisfied with your results today?

A: Not good! Because these boats are new for us, and the others have been sailing on these boats before. It will take us a couple of years to get used to them.

Przemek Tarnacki (competitor):

Q: What can you tell us about today’s race?

A: Unfortunately we didn’t have too much wind. We are not so excited about today’s race, but yesterday we had a bigger disaster. I don’t know what improvements can we make for tomorrow.

Q: You organized a Match Racing centre in Poland, what do you think about the organization of this event, about the boat equipment?

A: Yes, we organized an event like this one in Poland 4 years ago. It was more or less similar, but here you have a longer sailing tradition. Your organization is at a much higher level and we can look up to you and do the same in Poland. This is our first time here and we were very happy to receive the invitations.

Q: What are your speculations about the winner?

A: Well, the Frenchman Sebastiene Col is definitely my favourite. I think that he’s doing a good job here.

Peter Shrubb – Chief Umpire:

Q: As the chief umpire, how difficult is your job?

A: Well you know all the umpires here have a lot of practice of the years. They’ve been doing this probably for ten years. So when you get to this kind of level you know the rules well enough so you can make the right call and the right decision 99 % of the time.

Q: Were there any difficulties on yesterday’s race?

A: Yes, yesterday’s racing started off in the morning, it was blowing pretty hard so it was almost full of survival conditions. We didn’t have a lot of umpire calls because the boats were keeping clear of each other because of the high winds. Than at the afternoon we’ve had some great match racing, we’ve had some interesting calls I think we got them all right and things happen on the race course and the sailors push the rules as far as they can to try and win the race so our job is to make sure that they don’t step over the boundaries of the rules and I think we did a good job.

Q: What are your expectations for today?

A: Well it looks pretty light out there today, and at light air anything can happen and hopefully the umpires won’t have to make too many calls. We don’t like to determine the outcome of a race. We like the sailors to win on the water so we’re hoping that despite the light air we’ll have some good fair racing and the umpires won’t have to make any calls

Alen Kustić, Race Committee:

Q: Do you have any comments or impressions about the first day of the competition?

A: The general impression is very positive, especially as far as it regards the first day. We are always satisfied when everything goes as planned. The weather conditions were great. We’ve sailed eight flights and almost completed the first round robin. Because of the favorable wind the races were very interesting.

Q: Can you tell us a few words about this year’s contestants?

A: Some crews showed more skill than others; two or three teams excelled. We can point out Sebastien Col and Paolo Cian, but we can also expect a lot from the “old fox” Bertrand Pace, who is, in my opinion, a latent favourite. Regarding the Croatian crews, Tomislav Bašić’s absence from previous match race sailing is noticeable. His adjustment is not going as planned, he will need some more time to warm up in order to keep up with the others who practice regularly.

Q: What do you expect from the second day of the event?

A: Generally, today the weather is warming up, which makes things a bit more difficult for the regatta committee. We have a situation where we’ll have to wait for some north-western wind, “maestral” to pick up. I expect fewer regattas today, because we simply won’t have the same number of sailing hours as yesterday. The program is huge, 18 flights just in the opening part before the semifinals and finals, so we’ll need some luck with the weather conditions.

Q: Could you tell us a few words about the organization and compare it with last year?

A: A great progress is noticeable. The ACI and everyone else included in this organization are surely giving their best to celebrate worthily the ACI’s 25th anniversary. It is very convenient that the anniversary coincides with the ACI Match Race Cup. The boats are equipped better than previous years for sure, and the entire organization is at the higher level, although the previous years were well organized, too. Grading the event itself at scale from 1 to 10, we are very close to a clean 10. That was especially evident yesterday when wind picked up to 25 knots and everything still functioned perfectly. Concerning the entertainment, everything is more grandeur, there are more tents, more interesting manifestations. Besides, some events are kept as a surprise even from me. All in all, I think that everything will be at the highest possible level.

ACI Match Race Cup

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Juerg Kaufmann's Images from Day One of the ACI Match Race Cup, Croatia

Sébastien Col leads at the end of Day One in Croatia. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Mirsky Racing Team lead upwind on Day One off Split. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Paolo Cian and Team Shosholoza lie second after Day One in Croatia. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

BlackMatch Racing competing in Croatia. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Paolo Cian and Team Shosholoza in Croatia. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Adam Minoprio match racing on Day One of the ACI Match Race Cup. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Competitors and race officials made the most of conditions, giving a long day on the water. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

ACI Match Race Cup 2008, Croatia. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image


Shosholoza to race in Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland 2009

Team Shosholoza racing in Italy earlier this year. Image copyright Peter Goldman.

by Di Meek

Team Shosholoza is among the first of the 2007 America's Cup challengers to accept an invitation to compete in a new international match racing regatta, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, to be held in Auckland, New Zealand early next year.

The South African's have also mooted the idea of a similar follow-up event to be held in home waters off Durban.

"I was informed directly about the Auckland series by Bruno Troublé of Louis Vuitton when I was in Paris recently. Of course I accepted their invitation. It is very exciting news and I have expressed my satisfaction to Bruno for the magnificent idea. In fact it is the best news we've had since the end of the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia last year," said Captain Salvatore Sarno, Shosholoza founding managing director.

"I have also suggested to Bruno that he start to think about a Louis Vuitton Indian Ocean Cup to be raced here in Durban in May-June 2009," said Capt Sarno.

Sarno said a high-profile event like this would present another "very good opportunity for Shosholoza to continue to showcase South Africa ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup."

In the meantime Team Shosholoza will plan to be in New Zealand from 22 January for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series which will be held from January 31 to February 14.

"There are still a lot of logistics to be worked out. If the proposed 33rd America's Cup had gone ahead as planned for 2009 we would already have been racing. But this is good for bringing the team together again and especially that we be racing against other America's Cup teams. We look forward to it," said Captain Sarno.

Sailing websites and news agencies are buzzing with news of the Louis Vuitton announcement which was made at a press conference in Auckland on Monday evening. The regatta will be held in association with the New Zealand Government, Auckland Agencies, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, SKYCITY Entertainment Group and Emirates Team New Zealand.

Emirates Team New Zealand were the winners of the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup - the challenger series which decided which of the 11 challenging teams from 10 countries around the world would square up against America's Cup defending champions Team Alinghi for the 2007 title in Valencia, Spain. Alinghi were ultimately the victors in July last year in what was described as the one of the closest America's Cup matches in history.

Alinghi was immediately challenged to a 33rd America's Cup by the Spanish Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV) and a protocol drawn up for an America's Cup in 2009. However San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club represented by BMW Oracle Racing contested the validity of the protocol as well as that of the Spanish Club as Challenger of Record for the 33rd Cup.

The dispute eventually went to the Supreme Court of New York and an outcome is still to be decided as subsequent court rulings have been appealed and counter-appealed by both Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing.

An article posted on the Emirates Team New Zealand website says all sailing teams that have participated in Louis Vuitton Cup regattas in the past have been invited to compete in the Auckland regatta. Organisers expect six teams will compete and Louis Vuitton will accept competing syndicates on a "first come, first served" basis.

The Emirates Team New Zealand website quotes Bruno Troublé as saying: "The Auckland event is neither competing with the America's Cup, nor part of the next America’s Cup process. The Louis Vuitton Cup, won by the top challenging syndicate since 1983 will not be at stake. A Louis Vuitton trophy will be created especially for the regatta (LV Pacific Series).

"We still have a lot of work to do before the racing format is finalised and the infrastructure is in place."

Team Shosholoza

BlackMatch report on Day One at the ACI Match Race Cup, Croatia

BlackMatch Racing competing in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by David Swete

Wednesday was the opening day of racing at the ACI Grade 1 Match Racing Event, held in the picturesque town of Split.

This is a very prestigious event and the calibre of the teams competing here is very high, with a field that includes world #3 Paulo Cian, former world #1 Sébastien Col and veteran match racer Bertrand Pacé who is a former helmsman for Team New Zealand.

Although the sun was shining, conditions today were extremely gusty with big wind shifts and the race committee had us racing the Jeanneau 36 yachts with a reef in the main and small #3 jibs for the majority of the day.

We had a mediocre start to the event and finished the day with 4 wins and 4 losses. With 10 teams competing, we only have one more team to race tomorrow morning to complete the first round robin and it will be a very important match against our Australasian counterparts from the Mirsky Racing Team.

The event format here is a double round robin followed by semi-finals and finals, so although we haven't had the best of starts to the regatta, the second round robin will be the telling factor.

The in-form teams so far are predictably the highest ranked teams in the ISAF rankings, along with the wily Frenchman, Bertrand Pacé. Col is leading with 0 losses followed by Mirsky and Cian each with 2 losses and Pacé with 3 losses.

BlackMatch are nipping at the heels of the leaders and a win against the Australians tomorrow will put us in good stead for the second round robin as we look to steadily improve here in Croatia and proceed to the semi-finals.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors: FedEx Express and Ross Munro from Line 7, their ongoing support is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. To the RNZYS and everyone else, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing

Mirsky Racing Team report on Day One in Split, Croatia

Mirsky Racing Team in action in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Kinley Fowler

After experiencing a different side to match racing in Trieste, it is refreshing to step back into the more familiar 5 man boats. This time we find ourselves once again in Split, Croatia at one of the longest running match racing events (which is celebrating its 25th year) the ACI Match Cup.

Today saw an unexpected 20 knot Bora mountain wind reign supreme through to dusk, and with 10 teams in 10 boats meaning no breaks, it was a case of separating the boys from the men. We stepped it up from the start and despite some close matches, only lost to the two French teams of Bertrand Pacé and Sébastien Col putting us in 4th place.

We came so close to winning this event last year, going down 3-2 to Paolo Cian in the finals, so we are as hungry as ever to get a another shot at the title. Although we motored through the racing today, it is far from over, with another whole round robin to be completed over the next two days. We are in a good position to build on our performance tomorrow which is steadily moving in the right direction.

A special thanks to Line 7, Harken and the Royal Perth Yacht Club for their support.

Mirsky Racing Team

ACI Match Race Cup, Croatia - Day One

Sébastien Col leads the way on Day One of the ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

An ideal northerly wind, that was sometimes stronger than 22 knots (18-25 knots), made for interesting duels in the race area below Sustipan on day one of the 22nd ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia.

Excellent coordination between the regatta committee and the sailors meant that eight flights were held from the first round robin, which was more than planned. The boats used are Jeanneau Sunrise 35s.

A breezy first day at the ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Sébastien Col, representing France, managed to endorse speculations about him as a favourite from day one. He was unmerciful in his racing, collecting eight victories. Paolo Cian, last year's winner, has had only one victory less, and that loss was to Col.

There are two skippers who each have six points, Torvar Mirsky and Bertrand Pacé. The top four crews, after the round robins, go through to the semi-finals.

Bow action on day one off Split. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Croatia's Tomislav Bašić had four victories, as did Adam Minoprio from New Zealand. Dario Kliba is in seventh place with three victories, while Barbieri and Tarnacki won only one race and are ahead of Musikhin from Russia who did not succeed in winning a single race.

On how attention-grabbing and uncertain the racing was today: in the last flight, Col finished only two seconds ahead and took the race from the talented young skipper Mirsky from Australia.

Bertrand Pacé wipes out downwind. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

The competition will continue tomorrow although the wind that won’t be as strong as it was today, but will be favorable as the weather-forecast predicts a northwest wind with a velocity of 16 knots. Two round robins are scheduled to be held, followed by semi-finals and finals.

Bertrand Pacé chases his opponent downwind. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

Results of Round Robin One (nearly completed), win-loss record:

1. Sébastien Col (FRA) 8-0
2. Paolo Cian (ITA) 7-1
3. Bertrand Pacé (FRA) 6-2
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 6-2
5. Tomislav Bašić (CRO) 4-4
6. Adam Minoprio (NZL) 4-4
7. Dario Kliba (CRO) 3-5
8. Przemek Tarnacki (POL) 1-7
9. Frane Barbieri (CRO) 1-7
10. Sergey Musikhin (RUS) 0-8

ACI Match Race Cup

Mascalzone Latino at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

by Mascalzone Latino media

"Mascalzone Latino will go back to Auckland to sail the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series" Vincenzo Onorato has confirmed accepting with great enthusiasm the invitation to participate in the new event presented on Monday 15th September.

"Since 1983 Louis Vuitton has done a lot for sailing, maintaining the spirit of sport in the America's Cup" - has declared Onorato - "the America's Cup wouldn't become what it's today without the Parisian maison... Unfortunately, as we all know, at this time there are many shadows on this Cup and the chance for the teams to return racing soon is still very remote. Therefore we have to thanks Louis Vuitton for continuing to be committed for our sport, and organize this new event. We are willing to sail and we are putting together all technical aspects for the trip to Auckland. One thing is sure: we will be there!"

The new international match racing event by invitation will take place in Auckland from January 31st to February 14th 2009. The deadline for registration is October 24th, 2008.

The regattas will take place with boats made available by Team New Zealand which will be modified to guarantee identical performances.

To the organization of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series collaborate the New Zealand government, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Auckland Town.

Mascalzone Latino

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Torvar Mirsky and Paolo Cian preview the 2008 ACI Match Race Cup

Opening ceremony of the ACI Match Race Cup 2008, Split, Croatia. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

Last year's finalists – Torvar Mirsky and Paolo Cian - give their perspectives on the ACI Match Race Cup in Croatia:

Torvar Mirsky, the skipper of the Australian racing team, last year reached the finals as a pleasant surprise by winning all of the flights of the first round robin, but unfortunately he lost by a hair's breadth in the finals to the Italian Paolo Cian.

This year, Mirsky is here again, at the 22nd ACI Match Race, more familiar with the place, atmosphere and weather conditions. "We are very happy to be here again. We really liked it in Split."

As far as the training is concerned, Mirsky said that they had had very good weather conditions. "We were looking the other teams as well, and it seems it's going to be a tough competiton."

Mirsky's finals rival of last year, and the winner of the 21st ACI Match Race Cup, Paolo Cian agrees. "Winning is never easy, but winning again will be very difficult since the competition is very tough", stated Cian.

Cian also added that he is extremely happy to be here again: "I like the city very much. Every year I come here, I would like to prolong my stay, but unfortunately I can't because of the other races. Organization of the ACI event is always very good, and each year it is moving forward, so I am very glad to be here..."

ACI Match Race Cup 2008

ACI Match Race Cup 2008, Split, Croatia

Racing last year at the ACI Match Race Cup in Split. Image copyright Ante Verzotti.

by Irena Bistričić

This year, again, the race area beneath Sustipan will host the traditional ACI Match Race Cup. The 22nd edition of the event will take place from 16th to 20th September. Match race fans will have the opportunity to enjoy first-rate sailing by some already well known names, along with a few newcomers eager to prove themselves.

Ten crews will compete for the title, among which Croatia, with three teams led by Tomislav Bašić, Dario Kliba and Frane Barbieri, will try to attain the best score. As far as other competitors are concerned, four of them are ranked among the ISAF top ten – the Italian Paolo Cian as third, the French Sebastien Col as fourth, Australian Torvar Mirsky seventh, and New Zealand’s Adam Minoprio number eight. This year's newcomers are young Sergey Musikhin who represents Russia, and Prezmek Tarnacki from Poland. Of course, the legend of match racing Bertrand Pacé will also take part in the competition.

New sails, renovated boats, top grade sailors as well as favourable weather conditions promise a spectacular sea struggle.

The first skippers’ meeting has been held, and the teams have set out to the sea for their first practice training. In the meanwhile, everything is getting ready for the opening ceremony of the ACI Match Race Cup, which will be held at 8.30 pm on Split's Riva.

The programme will begin with the procession of drums starting from Marmont street trough Riva heading to the main stage which is located at Saint Nikola’s dock. The ceremony is imagined as a combination of tradition and sports which is common for the city of Split.

The plot of the show is based on specific stories that are familiar in the city and reflect its history as well as the future. The story itself is provoked by the strong emotions intertwined trough happiness and sorrow. In the opening ceremony, along with the singers, dance groups, and other entertainers, the skippers themselves will also have a special role.

ACI Match Race Cup 2008

BMW ORACLE Racing Tri: Images from Days 5 to 7 in Anacortes

All images copyright protected Gilles Martin-Raget.

Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven