In one of the last matches in the qualifying rounds of the Monsoon Cup 2011, the final event of the 2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour being sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, Western Australian Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat, the number one sailor on the ISAF Match Race rankings list, sensationally missed the cut.
Mirsky's demise paved the way for a possible third place on the 2011 World Match Racing Tour for Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing crew.
Amongst the teams to reach the quarter-finals of this year's Monsoon Cup are 2011 World Match Racing Tour leader Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, twice the World Match Racing Tour World Champion (106 points), Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing Team second (100 points) and YANMAR Racing’s Peter Gilmour, five times the ISAF Match Racing World Champion and twice Monsoon Cup winner, who is currently fourth (79 points).
Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing crew started the crucial last matches of yesterday's qualifying series in good form.
Their first match was against William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing. Gilmour won the start, led at the top mark and successfully protected that lead.
Francesco Bruni was a tougher match. Gilmour was trailing at the top mark for the second time but rolled him on the second run for a narrow victory.
The final match for Gilmour was against fellow Western Australian Torvar Mirsky. Gilmour was penalised for an incident near the top mark, then hit the rounding buoy with this boom incurring a second penalty and to top it off, broached while trying to do his penalty turns.
The quarter-finals are all set for a Championship showdown, as they will decide the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion with Ian Williams to face his only challenger for the title, Francesco Bruni.
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing will sail against Phil Robertson (NZL) Team China powered by WAKA Racing.
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team will face Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners.
Commenting on the fact that Phil Robertson had chosen to do battle with YANMAR Racing Gilmour said ‘ Phil’s been sailing quite well. We did a little bit of practicing on the practice day and he was all over us and he beat us in the round robin, so I guess that is why he chose us.
‘Going into the quarter-finals is a different stage of the regatta. Everything starts again and you simply have to work from that and go forward. We are pretty comfortable with the way we have been sailing and we certainly started better yesterday and I am looking forward to the quarter-finals.'
Simon Shaw YANMAR Racing’s tactician said ‘I have done this regatta six times, each time fighting tooth and nail to the death at the end of the round robin.
‘Yesterday afternoon all of us, Peter, myself, Yasuhiro Yaji (JPN) our Pitman, Kazuhiko Sofuku (JPN) our Bowman and Thierry Douillard (FRA) our Head Sail Trimmer, were up on the balcony and with six wins we knew we were into the quarters so we could sit and watch the drama unfold.
‘I think that was quite positive because we were sitting there learning about which way other crews were going and you could see the huge amount of pressure everyone was under and then the release of that pressure.
‘That emotional roller coaster does take its toll on people. Maybe it is good for us to have dodged that situation. Knowing we were safe fairly early on in the day, we were already thinking about the next round.’ Results after Qualifying Session 3:
Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing 8-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) Team China powered by WAKA Racing 8-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 7-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 6-5
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 6-5
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 6-5
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 6-5
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 5.5-5
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 5-6
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-7
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-7
Jeremy Koo (MAS) Abdullah Chan/KRT 0-11 Overall Championship Standings – after seven stages:
1 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – 106pts
2 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 100pts
3 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 99.8pts
4 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 78.8pts
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 75pts
6 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 74pts
7 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – 73.2pts
8 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 71.2pts
9 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 69.6pts
10 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 64.4pts
World Match Racing Tour website www.wmrt.com
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