[Source: Sunseeker Australia Cup] Just a few days before the start of the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu, Malaysia, the final round of the World Match Racing titles, where seven of the Monsoon Cup field are racing, Torvar Mirsky and Ben Ainslie are heading towards a show down in Perth in the finals of the 2009 Sunseeker Australia Cup.
Yesterday Perth local Keith Swinton knocked Ian Williams, the winner of the last two World Match Racing Championships, out of this event in the quarter finals. While some expressed surprise, it was not a new situation for Swinton, he beat Williams during the round robin stage of the 2008 Monsoon Cup.
At the same time World Match Racing number two, Perth sailor Torvar Mirsky accounted for Francesco Bruni, who just a week ago won the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice, France.
Young gun Torvar Mirsky beats fellow countryman Keith Swinton and advances to the finals. Perth, 29 November 2009. Photo copyright Sail World Australia
In the first match of the Australia Cup semi-finals, Torvar Mirsky on the left was faster than Keith Swinton, who crossed behind his rival on the CBD shoreline edge and headed left. But the right paid, there was a big gain for Mirsky on that side of the course and he had a 25 seconds lead at the top mark. Torvar went on to win.
But Swinton was still fighting, while the Race 2 start was won by Mirsky who lead to the top mark, down the first run on port gybe Swinton managed to get clear ahead.
Luffing hard, Swinton forced Mirsky away from the mark, then headed back to the mark and rounded two lengths ahead. Up at the top mark still the same gap and Swinton held on to win.
Race three was all Mirsky, he lead from the start and was untroubled. Now it was 2-1.
With match point against him, Swinton took another aggression pill and hounded Mirsky around the start box. Swinton was in a commanding position from the start line in Race 4, but at the top mark there was a penalty against Swinton and Mirsky sailed through him and sailed to victory.
Torvar Mirsky commented after racing ‘This is the first time in eight years this event has been sailed, it’s an honor to represent Australia in the final.’
Ben Ainslie and Team Origin beat Adam Minorio and BlackMatch Racing in the semifinals. Perth, 29 November 2009. Photo copyright Sail World Australia
Now to the other pairing; off the start line Adam Minoprio was at least two lengths ahead of Ben Ainslie but as the two boats came back from the right hand shore, Ainslie gained the upper hand.
At the bottom mark Ainslie was 10 seconds ahead and committed to the right, extended to 60 seconds at the top mark and sailed to a emphatic win.
Disaster for Ainslie in his second match with Minoprio, an unforced error as Ainslie was about two seconds early on the start. He had to swing back and restart but meanwhile Minoprio was six lengths up the course.
At the end of the first lap, Minoprio still had the same six lengths lead and went on to win. Now it was 1-1.
In Match 3 Ben Ainslie was penalized in the dial up. Minoprio headed hard left, looking up the course there was a left shift coming. Minoprio did well up the first beat and down the run.
On the second beat it appeared the right was favoured and Ainslie was gaining but Minoprio powered away down the left hand side of the course with more pressure to lead 2-1.
The winds were lifting towards 18 knots and the sails were switched from genoas to jibs.
Racing has been suspended as the fleet relocates to Perth Water course above the Narrows Bridge.
Race 4 was all Ainslie, he won the start and cleared away from Minoprio. Now the score was 2-2
So it was a winner takes all fifth match.
An even start but in a luffing duel Minoprio was penalised for failing to give room to tack, although he had luffing rights. Ainsie was ahead, then in the soft conditions at the top mark there was a dial down and Minoprio incurred another penalty. It was all over