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World Match Racing Tour: Points mean prizes

'Onboard the new Blu26 at St Moritz Match Race'    Loris von Siebenthal

At 1850m the St Moritz match race is the highest match race in the world and this year saw a new boat arrive on the scene. The Blu26, a narrow, low freeboard rocket ship that turned out to be a bit of handful for the four man crew.

Adam Minoprio and Sebastien Col were fastest out of the blocks in the round robin groups securing their quarter final places first and with it their prospects of climbing the Tour leader board. Ian Williams and Mathieu Richard coasted into the quarters and were joined by local hero Eric Monnin and Denmark's Jes Gram Hansen. The rest were left to fight it out in the repechage for the final two places in the quarter finals. Peter Wibroe and Philippe Presti did just that and escaped the early ride home.

Lying in third place on the Tour standings and 25 points adrift of the lead Mathieu Richard needed the maximum he could gain in Switzerland and did just that to leapfrog Sebastien Col into second place. Col faltered at the quarter final stage but salvaged a 5th place to secure 3rd place on the Tour.

Eager Kiwi Adam Minoprio was on a roll in St Moritz but could only secure 4th after losing to Tour leader Ian Williams in the semi's and a charging Philippe Presti in the petit final. The result does push Minoprio up the board where he now stands =7th with Paolo Cian who finished a disappointing 11th in St Moritz.

After excellent performances in Sweden and Denmark Torvar Mirsky hit the wall, staggering home in 10th and scoring no points in Switzerland. He remains 4th on the Tour leader board but needs a top 3 result in Portugal if he is to challenge the leaders. Bjorn Hansen also struggled in St Moritz and left the event 9th and his points on the Tour remain unchanged.

Ian Williams remains atop of the Tour standings with 92 points, 20 points clear of Richard and 25 clear of Col. The top three are all counting 5 results so from here on their points gains will be smaller as they can now only replace existing scores.

With only three events to go the battle for the Tour championship continues, securing points in Portugal and Bermuda is critical for those who have their eyes on the prize.

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard (Top 8) (After Stage 6 of 9)
1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 92
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 72
3. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 67
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team , 45
5. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team, 40
6. Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 34
7=. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 33
7=. Adam Minoprio (NZL), ETNZ/BlackMatch, 33

www.worldmatchracingtour.com




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8:15 AM Fri 12 Sep 2008 GMT






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