Tag Archive | "Adam Minoprio"

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Luna Rossa wins the first event of the GC32 European Tour

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Luna Rossa] Team Luna Rossa wins the GC32 Austria Cup, the first event of the GC32 European Tour and dedicates its victory to Valentin Mankin, one of the greatest representatives of the international sailing.

Very light and shifty winds characterized the GC32 Austria Cup; despite the weather, the teams flew on the water with only 8 knots of wind thanks to the latest changes made to the Class that introduced the L-foil in place of the previous daggerboards.

The eight competing teams alternated onboard of the four GC32 boats provided by the organizers of the event. Team Luna Rossa won the qualifying races of the first four days, after which the crews were divided into Gold and Silver fleets and the score was reset. Luna Rossa won the three races of the Gold fleet, thus winning the first event of the GC32 European Tour.

Luna Rossa finished in first place 10 of the 13 races sailed, beating, among the others, its direct opponent: AEZ Sailing Team with the Australian Tom Slingsby, strategist of Oracle Team USA during the 34th America’s Cup.

Luna Rossa wins the first ever GC32 event. Gmunden, 1 June 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch

Chris Draper, helmsman of Luna Rossa, commented: “We are very happy with the result, the average speed at which we sailed and the boat handling. The GC32s are very challenging full foiling catamarans, especially from a physical point of view. The speed is remarkable: with only 10 knots of breeze, we exceeded 30 knots of speed. This event was a great workout in view of the 35th America’s Cup; we have measure ourselves against competitive teams on short race courses, on catamarans that are similar, in some respects, to the America’s Cup Class boats. This victory is a confirmation of the good work that the team is doing in Cagliari.”

Francesco Bruni, tactician on Luna Rossa, added: “We want to dedicate this victory to Valentin Mankin, who in recent years has fought bravely against his desease. Valentin was one of the greatest representatives that the sport of sailing has ever known: three golds and one silver medal at the Olympics in different classes, as well as coach of the Italian Sailing Federation since 1991. A keen sailor and an exceptional man who was my coach for several years, from whom I learned a lot. An eternal embrace to a great man to whom I owe so much.”

In Austria team Luna Rossa consisted of: Chris Draper (helmsman), Francesco Bruni (tactician/mainsail trimmer), Adam Minoprio (tailer), Emanuele Marino (bowman) and Pietro Sibello (coach).

Luna Rossa will be back racing from June 5th to June 9th in Langenargen, Germany, for the Match Race Germany, the first stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2014.

Luna Rossa wins the first ever GC32 event. Gmunden, 1 June 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch

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Luna Rossa takes part in the first event of the GC32 European Tour

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Luna Rossa Challenge] The Luna Rossa team, consisting of Chris Draper (helmsman), Francesco Bruni (tactician/ mainsail trimmer), Adam Minoprio (tailer), Emanuele Marino (bowman) and Pietro Sibello (coach) will participate in the first stage of the GC32 European Tour in Gmunden on Lake Traunsee, in Austria.

For five days, starting from tomorrow May 28th through June 1st, the Luna Rossa team will race against 7 other teams with some of the best sailors in the world, including Australian Tom Slingsby, strategist on Oracle Team USA during the 34th America’s Cup.

The teams will alternate onboard of the four GC32 boats provided by the organizers of the event and will compete in the fleet races. On the final day (Sunday June 1st) the top four teams in the ranking will compete in a series of match races to determine the winner of the event.
Francesco Bruni said: “The GC32 catamarans, following the latest changes to the class, are now equipped with foils and can “fly” on the water in only 8 knots of wind. These boats are very interesting and, at present, are the ones that most resemble the America’s Cup class boats. To sail with one-design catamarans, full foiling and on a short race course is a great workout for us in view of the 35th America’s Cup.”

Team Luna Rossa has been training in Gmunden for a few days and, last weekend, participated in the Godspeed Sailing Festival. The event involved over 100 boats belonging to different classes; the GC32 sailed by team Luna Rossa was the fastest boat, reaching a speed of over 35 knots.

From left to right, the Luna Rossa crew in Austria. Emanuele Marino (bowman), Pietro Sibello (coach), Chris Draper (helmsman), Adam Minoprio (tailer) and Francesco Bruni (tactician/ mainsail trimmer). Photo copyright Sander van der Borch

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Luna Rossa participates in the 50th edition of the Congressional Cup

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Luna Rossa] Today at 11 AM local time (8 PM in Italy) will be the kick-off of the 50th edition of the Congressional Cup, the oldest and most prestigious match race event, second only to America’s Cup, where participation is by invitation only.

This year the event organizers invited Luna Rossa who decided to include the competition in the team’s preparation program for the 35th America’s Cup.

Francesco Bruni, winner of the Congressional Cup in 2010, will be the helmsman and will compete against nine crews counting some of the biggest names in the international match racing scene: Taylor Canfield, the skipper from the U.S. Virgin Islands currently number one in the international match race ranking list, British Ian Williams (second), New Zealander Phil Robertson (fourth), Australian Keith Swinton (fifth) and Frenchman Mathieu Richard (sixth). The team of Simone Ferrarese, defending champion and eighth in the world ranking list, is also participating in the event.

The Luna Rossa team consists of Francesco Bruni (helmsman), Adam Minoprio (tactician), Xabier Fernandez (mainsail trimmer), Simeon Tienpont (pitman), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Max Sirena (bowman)

“The Congressional Cup is one of the most prestigious and challenging match race events in the international sailing scene,” said Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa. “The match race will be the focal point of our preparation for the 35th America’s Cup and, given the high level of the crews, this event will be an important test after the winter break.”

The Congressional Cup, organized by the Long Beach Yacht Club, will run from Wednesday the 9th to Sunday the 13th of April. The crews sail with the Catalina 37 one-design monohulls that, following an initial draw, will be rotated on a daily base among the teams. The event format is a Round Robin, followed by semi-finals and final.

The Luna Rossa team consists of Francesco Bruni (helmsman), Adam Minoprio (tactician), Xabier Fernandez (mainsail trimmer), Simeon Tienpont (pitman), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Max Sirena (bowman).

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Monsoon Cup 2013 Preview – Can Taylor Canfield hang on to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour lead?

Posted on 23 November 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Monsoon Cup] Taylor Canfield (ISV) and his USone team currently lead the Tour rankings into the last event with a 10 point lead over defending Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) and his GAC Pindar team. Williams made a brave move at the penultimate Tour Stage in Bermuda choosing to race Canfield in the Quarter Final to mitigate the USone teams’ championship advantage going into the last event. However, it was not to be and Canfield beat Williams to finish 3rd in Bermuda and now tops the Alpari Tour leaderboard with 92 points, 10 points ahead of Williams.’

Although Williams has Francesco Bruni (ITA) of America’s Cup team Luna Rossa to thank for limiting the damage in Bermuda, Williams is now in a familiar place having been second on the leader board at this point last year, and he knows the Quarter Finals in Malaysia will be key. If Canfield makes it to the Semi Finals, but not the Finals next week, then Williams will have to win the event to claim a record breaking fifth Alpari World Match Racing Tour and ISAF World Championship. If Canfield makes the Finals then the Championship is his.

But both skippers will have their work cut out for them in Malaysia as just 26 points separate the top 6 skippers on the leaderboard , all of whom are in contention for the title.

Taylor Canfield (ISV) USOne. Ranking – 1 (92pts)
Crew: Hayden Goodrick, Rod Dawson, Mike Rehe, Dan Morris

Taylor Canfield is one of the brightest match racers on the Tour since joining the Tour in 2010. As the Sailing Director at the Chicago Match Race Center, he devotes his career to match racing full time. His participation within competitive sailing this year has ranked him 1st in the ISAF Match Race Rankings. His participation on the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour has been impressive, where he’s gained three-podium finishes. He finished second in Korea Match Cup, won the Chicago Match Cup on home ground and also finished third at the penultimate event, the Argo Group Gold Cup. Holding his position as the No1 on the leaderboard, his aim is to defend his Monsoon Cup crown and claim his first ISAF Match Racing World Championship title.

Taylor Canfield wins the 2012 Monsoon Cup. Kuala Terengganu, 8 December 2012. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Ian Willams (GBR) GAC Pindar. Ranking – 2 (82pts)
Crew: Gerard Mitchell, Mal Parker, Bill Hardesty, Matt Cassidy

Ian Williams is no new comer to this event having raced in every edition. The four time ISAF Match Racing World Champion has won back to back World titles in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 and won both awards – the Monsoon Cup and the World Championship in 2008 and 2011. Williams had a very encouraging start to 2013 winning Stage 1, Match Race Germany but with only one subsequent podium finish on the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour season, Williams needs to regain his form on the waters of Kuala Terengganu to end his season in style. With only a 10 point difference to first place, the World Championship title is within his grasp, which, if he was able to win, would make it a record breaking 5th time for Williams and the GAC Pindar crew.

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team. Ranking – 3 (81pts)
Crew: Gustav Tempelman, Phillip Kai Guhle, Sebastian Wedel, Mathias Bredin

Bjorn Hansen is considered to be one of the sailing legends of Scandinavia. He started match racing in 1994 and since then he has been a permanent fixture in the top 10 on the ISAF Rankings. Hansen is also a veteran on the Tour and known as a tenacious and tricky opponent, especially at his favorite venues, one of which is Kuala Terenggnau. After wining on home ground at Stena Match Cup Sweden this year, the third time since 2007 Hansen will be targeting the Monsoon Cup the Season Finale of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Hansen and his eWork Sailing Team have got their eyes on the prize and are bringing their A game to town.

Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX. Ranking – 4 (77pts)
Crew: Chris Main, Tom Powrie, David Swete, Nick Blackman

After a successful year with Camper on the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 season, Adam Minoprio is back into professional match racing on the Tour. He has a good history at the Monsoon Cup – winning the Asian Qualifying Series in 2007, a qualifier to the event and two years later winning the ISAF Match Racing World Championships at the age of 24 – the youngest ever to win the championship. Pulling back together 3 of his World Championship winning crew plus the experience of Chris Main, he brings back his style of aggressive match racing and cunning tactics. A style that has seen him advance to the Quarter Final stages and beyond throughout this season. Holding 4th on the Tour leaderboard he’s in a great position to leap frog the current leaders and take home the World Championship trophy for a second time.

Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing. Ranking – 5 (75pts)
Crew: Olof Lundgren, Ted Hackney, Jakob Gustafsson, Ricky McGarvie

After finishing 4th on the Tour last year, missing the podium by a whisker, Keith Swinton is back on Tour and ready to take a step up. His passion for sailing goes back to the age of eight and the list of competitions, classes and achievements under his belt belies his age. His performances this year have steadily improved over the season. As the frontman of Black Swan Racing he picked up his game at Stage 4, Chicago Match Cup finishing second behind Taylor Canfield in a thrilling 5 match final on Lake Michigan. Taking out the World Championship may be a big ask for Swinton but he knows the boats and as he has regularly showed he can still cause havoc amongst the other title contenders.

Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing. Ranking – 6 (66pts)
Crew: Garth Ellingham, James Williamson, Nick Catley, Adam Martin

Phil Robertson made his debut in 2011 as a Tour Card Holder on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. With a consistent team over three seasons, his WAKA Racing team has pulled off some tremendous results on the Tour this season. At Stena Match Cup Sweden, Stage 3 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour this year, he finished second, coming so close to taking out Swedish sailing legend, Bjorn Hansen. WAKA Racing put together an outstanding performance but lost to Hansen in the 5th,and last, match of the finals. With a great sense of humor and playful tactics on the water, he can be fun but never to be underestimated. The King of the Late Charge can deliver quite a sting to his opponents and is very capable of taking it all the way to the finals.

Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team. Ranking – 7 (53pts)
Crew: Greg Evrard, Thierry Briend, Olivier Herledant, François Verdier

Mathieu Richard is back on competitive form this season. Though not having a Tour Card for 2013, the team qualified to the Season Finale of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour by securing 7th place on the leaderboard after the penultimate event of the Tour. Richard had a flying start finishing third at the season opener, Match Race Germany and then came back to win the Korea Match Cup for the second time, but poor performances in Sweden and Bermuda will see him eyeing the podium and looking for a Monsoon Cup win. He currently holds seven event titles since he joined the tour in 2007 and finished in second place overall on the 2010 Tour.

Taylor Canfield wins the 2012 Monsoon Cup. Kuala Terengganu, 8 December 2012. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Johnie Bertsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team. Ranking – 8 (41pts)
Crew: Johan Barne, Oscar Angervall, Martin Berntsson, Bjorn Lundgren

2012 Swedish Sailor of the Year, Johnie Berntsson is one of the most respected sailors among the Tour Card Holders. His team came together in 1997 and have been amongst the top group on the match racing ladder ever since. The Stena Sailing Team had a great to their 2013 campaign but have endured a bumpy ride ever since with near misses at the Quarter Final stages in Korea and Sweden. In 2011 he finished second in the Monsoon Cup which bounced him up to a third place finish on the overall Tour standings. With lack of consistency in the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour season, the pressure will be off Berntsson and his Stena Sailing Team but the smiling assassin still carries the formula to win and will stir up the current leaders at the Monsoon Cup.

Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Angglo Sailing Team. Ranking – 9 (33pts)
Crew: Cédric Chateau, Steven Liorzou, Mathieu Renault, Pierre-Alexis Ponsot

Pierre Antoine Morvan discovered competitive match racing in 2003 while studying at the University of Rennes. As a first time Tour Card Holder in 2012, he finished sixth overall but is looking to better that this year and needs a finals result to do that. Known as the Cool Frenchman, Morvan and his Vannes Angglo Sailing Team also compete at a host of other graded match racing events around the world alongside their Tour commitments. A fierce competitor, Morvan will be looking to put in a big performance and turn the pecking order on its head during the Qualifying session at theMonsoon Cup.

Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa. Ranking – 10 (25pts)
Crew: Pierluigi de Felice, Max Sirena, Xabier Fernandez, Nick Hutton

Runner up on the 2011 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the name Franceso Bruni needs no further introduction. After taking on the role of tactician on-board Luna Rossa for the 34th America’s Cup this year, Bruni is back on the helm to throw all his match racing experience onto the waters of Kuala Terengganu. His comeback made the headlines when he out of his skin to win the Argo Group Gold Cup, the penultimate event of the Tour Series loosing only 3 matches throughout the competiton. This made him the first Italian to lift the King Edward VII Gold Cup one of the most prestigious trophies in competitive match racing. The Luna Rossa team are now gearing up again, to get their hands on the Monsoon Cup trophy and a share of the biggest prize purse in sailing.

David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour. Ranking – 13 (12pts)
Crew: William Mackenzie, Luke Payne, Peter Nicholas, 5th crew TBC

Wild Card David Gilmour is a rising star on the Match Racing scene having formed Team Gilmour in 2010 at the Warren Jones Youth Regatta he has seen a steady rise on the ISAF Match Race Rankings taking event wins at the 2012 Warren Jones, 2013 Korea Match Cup Qualifier, 2013 Detroit Cup along the way. A win at the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup has been the highlight of Team Gilmour’s year so far. The Monsoon Cup Wild Card is well earned as 7th place finishes in Korea this year and at the Monsoon Cup last year show that he has the skills and controlled aggression required to take on the best of the best. Team Gilmour are sure to add some spice to the Qualifying stage and beyond this year.

Jeremy Koo Wui Ken (MAL) Koo Racing Team. Liga Layar Champion (Malaysian Qualifier Event)
Crew: Sean Ong Khong Shing, Mohd Fauzi Mustaffa, Lool Sing Yew, Shahrizal Hashim

Jeremy Koo is considered one of the most experienced sailors in Malaysia. He started sailing at the age of 9, and throughout his sailing career he has won numerous dinghy regattas in Asia. He started match racing in year 2006 with Team China, competing in the 32nd America’s Cup and Elba Island Match Racing, and he went on to crew for his sister in the same year for The Monsoon Cup. After forming a team in 2009, he has been leading the sailing scene for Malaysia with participation in the China Cup Racing One Design 40’s, 2013 Korean Match Cup Qualifier finishing second, winning the Hong Kong Nautica Typhoon Series and finishing third in the China Coast Sea Race.

This year, his team proved they were unstoppable as they sailed their way through to win for the forth-consecutive time in the Malaysian Qualifying Series and book their ticket to the Monsoon Cup 2013. As the helmsman of Koo Racing Team, he is looking forward to do his best again for his own country the host of The Monsoon Cup.

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Adam Minoprio leads NZ Match Racing Championships on day 1

Posted on 14 November 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron] Four teams claimed three decisive victories each on Day One at the NZ Match Racing Championships, held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Ranked #21 in the ISAF World Rankings, and former World Match Racing Champion, Adam Minoprio and his Alpari FX Team had a good day on the water. Up against Royal Sydney’s David Chapman in Flight One, Minoprio prevailed to win by a slim 20seconds. However it was a different story in Flight Two when he was racing 2012 NZ Women’s Match Racing Champion Susannah Pyatt, Minoprio showed his tactical experience prevailing in very light and shifty conditions by 2min 58secs.

Gunwoo Park, representing the Korean Sailing Federation, had a superb first day on the water in Auckland. Park managed 29s, 40s & 42s wins over Liu (Singapore), Quere and Pirou from New Caledonia.

Andrew Murdoch has skippered his all-star crew, including fellow Olympian Peter Burling, to two race victories after a the start was delayed for 5 hours on Day One of the NZMRC at RNZYS. The combined Tauranga/Kerikeri Team were firstly up against young gun and #22 ISAF Ranked Chris Steele in the first flight of the competition, which didn’t get underway until 245pm (NZT). After leading for the majority of the race, Steele received a penalty, allowing Murdoch to sail around the YTP Team and take the win by 1minute & 17seconds “Steele went for the ‘Slam Dunk’ but got penalised, then it was just a case of keeping it close and holding onto the lead.” said Murdoch after the race.

Adam Minoprio and Team Alpari FX Trading

Murdoch, Burling, Farrand & Hammond then went on to show their class in Flight 2, beating Royal Sydney’s David Chapman by 1 minute 15 seconds. Chapman won’t be too disheartened after today though, finishing with 3 wins and 1 loss and finding himself amongst the top 4 skippers after day one.

Steele’s day went from bad to worse, suffering a heavy defeat in Flight Two to Murrays Bay Skipper Peter Waring, losing by 3min 11s. Peter Waring spoke to RNZYS after the race saying “Steele dominated the start but fell into a hole on the down wind, we managed to pull away and get the win. We are a new crew so taking away 2 wins & 2 losses today was great and we have plenty to work on tomorrow.”

The match of the day came in Flight 3 when Minoprio was pipped up against Murdoch and his gun crew. The two unbeaten skippers faced off in what could be a preview to the final, but Minoprio the Match Racing Master was at it again, going on to beat the team with two Olympians by 21s. “He had a really good start, we should have tacked with him but we didn’t and that was that” said Murdoch after the race.

It was also a great learning curve for some of the other international crews on the water today. Singapore Sailing Federation Skipper Justin Liu managed to claim his first ever win in the last flight of the day over Royal Akarana’s Chris Staub. “It was a great learning experience as this is my first international regatta. I am learning heaps from all the experienced sailors out there but it was great to get our first win today” – Justin Liu.

Racing will continue tomorrow at RNZYS from 1000hours, with Flight 6 being the first of the day and there are plenty of mouth-watering match ups in the pipeline heading into the weekend.

Rankings after Day One:
Adam Minoprio – won 3 lost 0
Gunwoo Park – won 3 lost 0
David Chapman – won 3 lost 1
Andrew Murdoch – won 3 lost 1
Tim Coltman – won 2 lost 1
David Hazard – won 2 lost 2
Peter Waring – won 2 lost 2
Alan Quere – won 2 lost 2
Chris Staub – won 2 lost 2
Chris Steele – won 1 lost 2
Justin Liu – won 1 lost 3
Tugdual Piriou – won 0 lost 2
Claudia Pierce – won 0 lost 3
Susannah Pyatt – won 0 lost 3

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Sir Ben Ainslie will race Adam Minoprio in Argo Group Gold Cup Semi Finals

Posted on 12 October 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Argo Group Gold Cup] As the top finisher in the Group 2 Stage 1 Qualifying round, Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) BART/Argo Group, who had defeated Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team earlier Friday to qualify for the Semi Finals, was first to pick his opponent for the Semi Finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup. Ainslie saying, “its not a nice lineup to pick from, but I choose to race Adam Minoprio.”

Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX replied, “We look forward to racing Ben. We sailed against him in the semis two years and missed. We hope to do better.”

The other two semi finalists are Argo Group Gold Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone sailing against Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa. Bruni said, “We are just happy to be in the semis.” Canfield added, “All the teams are tough.

This is certainly a star-studded semi final, one of the best in King Edward VII Gold Cup history. They are all reaching for the coveted ‘Golden Grail’ of match race sailing.

Sir Ben Ainslie from Lymington, England is fresh out of the 34th America’s Cup where he was the spirit of the now famous Oracle AC72 comeback from the brink of sudden death. He has won the Agro Group Gold Cup twice, in 2009 and 2010. Ainslie is the most successful sailor in Olympic history having won four gold and a silver medal. Sailing with Ainslie are Iain Percy, Matt Cornwell, and Christian Kamp.

Sir Ben Ainslie takes his semifinal berth. Hamilton, 11 October 2013. Photo copyright OnEdition / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Francesco Bruni, from Palermo, Sicily was the America’s Cup tactician for Luna Rossa and will play a key role in their next challenge. He is one of the most complete, eclectic and winning active Italian sailors in 30 years of the sport. He has won 7 world, 5 European and 15 Italian championships in different classes: from Laser to Offshore, from Star to 49er. He has also reached first place in ISAF’s Match Racing World ranking. He has raced with Team Luna Rossa in three America’s Cup campaigns (2003, 2007, 2013). Bruni’s crew is Pierluigi de Felice, Xabi Fernandez and Nick Hutton.

Taylor Canfield from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands blasted away the competition at last year’s Argo Group Gold Cup and is the defending champion. Having picked up an Alpari World Match Racing Tour card for 2013, he is currently tied for second on the Tour and is #1 in the ISAF Open rankings. He won the Tour’s Chicago Match Racing Regatta. Taylor and the USone team from the Chicago Match Race Center are defending the King Edward VII Gold Cup title. Sailing with Taylor are Rod Dawson, Dan Morris and Hayden Goodrick.

Adam Minoprio from Auckland, New Zealand is a former ISAF #1 Open ranked sailor. He was 2009 World Champion and is back as a Tour Card Holder for the 2013 season. He has had success this season finishing second in Germany, third in Korea and sixth in Sweden.

Minoprio returned to match racing after competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race where he finished second. In Argo Group Gold Cup competition, Minoprio and finished second in 2009, and fifth in 2010 and 2012. Maybe here in 2013, it is his turn to hoist the cup. Joining Minoprio on the boat are Dave Swete, Nick Blackman and Tom Powrie.

In Quarter Final action Friday, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa swept his first three races against Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing to be the first skipper to reach the Semi Finals. Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone defeated Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 3-1, Ainslie defeated Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team 3-1 and Minoprio went the full 5 match distance taking Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 3-2.

Taylor Canfield eliminates Ian Williams at the quarter finals and swings the WMRT wide open! Hamilton, 11 October 2013. Photo copyright OnEdition / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Quotes of the Day:

Francesco Bruni: “It is always very interesting out there on Hamilton Harbour as the race is never really finished until the very end – this is because in general – and especially today- it is a very shifty and puffy place to sail. What we have had is some very good boat speed and we have played it statistically very well. It is not always easy and in this kind of sailing it is never a one-way track. It makes match-racing here very interesting. Whenever you sail very close to shore with an offshore breeze, it becomes very hard to predict the shifts. The water is so clear here – however – you can see the shifts on the water sometimes. What you do have here is never really an issue of current – it is all driven by wind shifts.“We have been to the semi-finals here before, but did not win our match then against Johnnie Berntsson. This time we are hoping to make it all the way.”

Taylor Canfield: “During this race today we were always sailing with our head out of the boat. The toughest part was the wind direction and it was a lot like the finals last year. We really had to pick the best places to tack and at the same time we were trying very hard to extend our lead. With an IOD that is difficult … but at the top mark we were able to flop over Ian Williams and lead into the mark. We were able to hop back into a comfortable position once we got a little distance with him. Williams was carrying a penalty so that also gave us an edge.

“This was one of the hardest quarter finals because we were presented with going up against the defending world champion on our first meet-up. We were on the edge of being pushed out of the title but it looks better for us now.

“Granted we were a little bit out of phase on the first day of this event with two losses, but since then we started doing the things that work for us. When Williams picked us first – I believe they wanted to go all the way. We are feeling good about the win. We were able to hold him back.

“We are happy to get into the semi finals and everyone is on form so we just have to keep our cool. We have been managing to stay cool through it all. It is great so far.”

Ben Ainslie: “It was really difficult out there and the day was windy with a lot of tricky shifts. Obviously we are really happy to be through the semi-finals. We are juggling a lot here in and out of the boat so staying focused has been a bit of a challenge but we are enjoying the racing and doing well.”

Iain Percy, Ainslie’s main trimmer added: “We always enjoy racing against Bjorn Hansen because he is such a gentleman. It was light and tricky winds so anything can happen and it really always comes down to the last weekend here. We just have to stay on form and although we are a little bit out of phase with match racing, it really does all come down to the last weekend.”

Adam Minoprio: “Hamilton Harbor is a really special place to sail. The shifty conditions mean that you have to really know who is going to get the shifts but that is what makes it unique. The fifth and final race against Keith Swinton was three times around and the breeze was really shifty so our boat was going from 8 knots to 2 knots at times. It was really tricky.

“I can say by the final race it was all about the shifts and we prevailed to win the day. The last race came down to the shifts and we came into the top mark and Swinton tacked to find breeze and we kept our course. We got the shift and powered ahead and that is what gave us the race.”

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Ian Williams holds onto World #1 in the Open Match Race Rankings

Posted on 20 June 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] Ian Williams (GBR) makes it 19 months at the top of the ISAF Match Race Rankings, the World Champion picked up his first Tour win of 2013 at Match Race Germany and consolidates his position at the top with almost 400 points separating him from the #2 ranked skipper.

Returning to the fray is Mathieu Richard (FRA) who climbs 14 places back up to World #4. Richard, World #1 in 2008 and 2009, finished third at Match Race Germany and went on to claim the spoils from the Alpari World Match Tour Korea Match Cup earlier this month, dispatching Taylor Canfield (ISV) in the final.

He may have been runner up to Richard in Korea but this ranking sees a lifetime best for the 24 year old from St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, as he moves three places up the rankings to World #2.

The final podium place in Korea belonged to Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his ranking rise continues since he took time out to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race. At World #31 and only counting results from four events it seems just a matter of time before the 2009 Tour champion Minoprio returns to the top ten.

Japan’s Wataru Sakamoto breezed past Maximillian Soh (SIN) at the ISAF Nations Cup Asian Regional Final in Vladivostok, Russia to qualify for August’s Grand Final in Denmark. Sakamato is further rewarded by a 30 point climb up the rankings to World #48. Soh also moves up, to World #68.

One other ISAF Grade 2 took place since the last ranking, the Sails of White Nights EUROSAF Match Race Open Championship. Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) defeated Simone Ferrarese (ITA) in the final and moves up 19 places to #67.

Staffan Lindberg (FIN) won the GKSS Spring Cup and Stena Match Cup qualifier to move up to World #18 with Joachim Ashenbrenner (DEN) using his second place to to move from 17 to World #15.

Michele Ivaldi (ITA) returns to the ISAF World Match Race Rankings after competing at his first graded event since the ISAF Match Racing World Championnship in 2005, where he won a gold medal crewing for James Spithill (AUS). Second place at the GRADO3 in Ravenna Italy sees him re-enter at World #385. The win in Ravenna went to Jacopo Pasini which is his ninth consecutive graded event win and he climbs 20 places up to World #51.

The final word goes to Ryan Davidson (USA) who picked up his first graded event win at the CMRC Spring Invitational to climb 188 places up to World #194

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Comeback kid Adam Minoprio barnstorms into the Korea Match Cup Semis

Posted on 01 June 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Minoprio won against his fellow Kiwis, Phil Robertson and WAKA Racing. The third and concluding match was the most exciting and controversial. After a flurry of simultaneous gybes, luffing matches and counter moves, Robertson copped a penalty from the umpires, then another in quick succession. The rules say that when you’ve got two penalties you’re obliged to clear at least one of them immediately. But in trying to manoeuvre in order to clear the penalty, Robertson fouled Minoprio a third time and gave the umpires no choice but to raise the black flag, signalling instant disqualification for Robertson.

“I’ve always felt strong racing Phil,” said Minoprio. “But that last race was pretty exciting. The best races are when the crew has got heaps on, the boats are being thrown around and penalties are being flown. Fortunately for us everything went our way, which hasn’t been the case in this regatta so far. The mojo has just flown in our direction rather than someone else’s for once.”

Robertson was unhappy but philosophical about his harsh exit. “It’s a crap way to end, with a black flag. I don’t completely agree it was the right call, but that’s the way it is. So be it. There was a lot going on in a short amount of time, especially when you’re on board, powered up, overpowered actually, trying to throw in a gybe at the bottom mark. A lot going on. It was really tough conditions out there.”

Minoprio forces a black-flag penalty on Robertson at the Korea Match Cup quarter finals. Gyeonggi-do, 1 June 2013. Photo copyright Subzero Images / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

To lose to a rival Kiwi team added salt to the wound. “Yeah, it makes it a little bit harder. You always want to be No.1 in your own country, and to lose to Adam was, yeah, definitely disappointing. We felt pretty strong against him and we look forward to coming back in Sweden a lot stronger.”

Today’s Houdini escapologist was Mathieu Richard, skipper of GEFCO Match Racing Team, who went 0-2 down to Keith Swinton and Black Swan Racing. Then the French team hit their stride and won the next three matches to book their spot in the Semi Finals. “We felt we had not sailed so badly and we felt we could have won those two first matches,” said Richard. “So we decided not to change anything but to sail the best way we could and actually it worked. Getting 3-2 after 0-2, it’s a good feeling.” As winner of the Korea Match Cup in 2010, the experience seems to be helping the French. “Winning here in 2010 is good for the confidence,” said Richard. “We know we can sail well here, but that’s all. All the other teams are sailing well too.”

Keith Swinton felt his team had sailed well even if the result wasn’t what he wanted. “There was nothing in it, just very close racing. We sailed just as well in the Quarter Finals as we did in the Qualifying stages, even if the result was very different. We’ve raised our game but disappointed not to be able to go further.”

Taylor Canfield has been one of the most consistent performers thus far in the regatta and today the USone team dispatched Johnie Berntsson and Stena Sailing Team 3-1. “I’m just really pleased with our boathandling and the crew keeping the boat going fast,” said Canfield, who believes they can go all the way. “We have what it takes. We just missed out on the Semis in Germany, so having another chance to prove ourselves is nice.”

Having sneaked into the Quarter Finals, Berntsson was unable to move further in the competition. “Some bad sailing from our side,” said the Swede. “But Canfield did a good job of forcing us to make mistakes. When they sail as well as they did, it’s tough to beat them. Starts were really important here, and what this week showed is that we need to improve our timing for when we make our final approach to the start line.”

Reigning champion of the Alpari Match Racing World Tour, Ian Williams, beat the 22-year-old qualifier David Gilmour 3-0. But the Briton admitted: “The first two races could have gone either way, the score line’s a bit flattering but we’re just happy to make it to the Semis.” The young Australian was pleased with his week despite the 3-0 defeat. “On the score card it doesn’t look very close but we had our opportunities. We were ahead all the way to the finish of the first race but we couldn’t quite wipe off our penalty in time at the finish. Against such a well-polished team like Ian’s, it’s hard to win.”

Ian Williams picked Mathieu Richard as his Semi Finals opponent, saying: “Mathieu was the only one to beat us in the Qualifying this week and he beat us in the Final here three years ago, so we want revenge.”

Semi Finals got started late in the day, with the race committee looking to make best use of the strong wind. In each Semi Final, the first boat to 3 points will see it through to the Final tomorrow. Richard won the first match against Williams after pulling off the manoeuvre of the regatta, overtaking GAC Pindar at the leeward mark in a daring move that paid off handsomely. In the other flight, Minoprio crossed the start line slightly too early, being forced to return and leaving Canfield clear for a first-match victory.

Tomorrow is the final day, with the two winning teams from the Semi Finals set to contest the Final of the Korea Match Cup.

Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 1-0
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone Sailing Team vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 1-0

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-0
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 3-2
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone vs Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 3-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX vs Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-0

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