In Hamilton, Bermuda, former Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) Champion, Adam Minoprio, went unbeaten on the day two of racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup, an event he finished second at in 2008 and 2009. Now he is hoping to finish with a clean sweep tomorrow to secure the first pick of Quarter Final opponents.
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Argo Group Gold Cup Bermuda Day 2: Qualifying rounds in Hamilton Harbour Group 2
Minoprio (NZL) Argo Group BlackMatch won the Tour in 2009, becoming the youngest ever skipper to do so, aged just 24. Having spent some time away from match racing, sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race, he returned to the premier international series at the recent Match Race France and now feels that he is starting to get back in tune with the standard needed to compete at the highest level. He said: 'We feel comfortable here but there’s still a bit of a way to come for us to get to the level it takes to win on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
'In the two years we’ve been out the game has changed and the level has built so last week at Match Race France with the conditions there, it was extremely tough. This week we’ve had some beautifully light air conditions and the IOD’s with their long keels put a lot on the match racing tactics.'
The Kiwi has led his team to the top of Qualifying Group 2 with one session remaining tomorrow before the knockout rounds of the event. Minoprio continued: 'The Argo Group Gold Cup is an event that me and Nick [Blackman], who I still have with me, have done well at previously. We took second twice before so we’ve had fun here in the past. It’s a great place, the location is fantastic, no one can’t enjoy being out there on the water.
'The way it looks after today, we’re likely to qualify for the Quarter Final. It’d be extremely beneficial to finish top now and we will aim for the 8-1 total so that we get the chance to take first pick of opponents after tomorrow.'
Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing continued his momentum on the other side of the draw, establishing a 6-0 record to leave him leading the event, and the chase for the historic King Edward VII Gold Cup. He said: 'We had no expectations coming into this and have felt great, match racing the best we can. We’ve just been doing what we know how to do and kept it simple, nothing too fancy.
'One of the biggest things out there has been staying nourished and hydrated in the heat. You have to keep your brain working. My crew Dan Morris, Mike Rehe and Josh McCaffrey are doing a great job, keeping me honest and keeping the boat running fast.
'We’re definitely thinking about progressing through Qualifying now and it’d be nice to do well tomorrow to give us a good pick of opposition. Obviously there are a few strong, experienced guys like [Ian] Williams in our group and [Bjorn] Hansen in the other as well as [Adam] Minoprio who’s won the Tour before. We’ll want to see the records when we start to think about that to see who’s had their head in the game this week.'
Elsewhere, a turnaround in results from Sergy Musikkin in group 2 has put the Russian skipper in contention to progress to the next round with 3-4, despite having ended his first day’s racing without a win in three. Explaining his change in fortunes, Musikkin, said: 'This is our first time on these boats and I think we are improving each day. We made some good decisions and are pleased with where we are now.
'We have some really hard matches tomorrow so it’s still going to be hard for us to go through the group. If everything goes our way tomorrow, there is still a chance we can make it.'
The Argo Group Gold Cup third Qualifying Session will take place tomorrow, Thursday 4 October from 0900AM local time (GMT-3).
Argo Group Gold Cup, Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda – Qualifying standings after session two:
Taylor Canfield (ISV) 6-0
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 5-1
Ian Williams (GBR) 4-3
Blythe Walker (BER) 4-3
Stratis Andreadis (GRE) 3-3
William Tiller (NZL) 3-3
David Chapman (AUS) 3-4
Marek Stanczyk (POL) 2-4
Peter Wickwire (CAN) 2-5
Magnus Sandberg (SWE) 0-6
Adam Minoprio (NZL) 5-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 5-2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 4-2
Eric Monnin (SUI) 4-2
Lance Fraser (BER) 4-3
Sally Barkow (USA) 3-3
Sergy Musikkin (RUS) 3-4
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) 2-4
Henrique Haddad (BRA) 2-5
Jurjen Feitsma (NED) 0-6
World Match Racing Tour website