WMRT Korea Match Cup 2012 first qualifying session was held in Gyeonggi, South Korea today, 30th May 2012. As the world’s top sailors were welcomed by capacity crowds on the first day of competition, Williams, Hansen and Mirsky took the early advantage on the water and finished the day unbeaten in the second event of the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Three Ahead After Korea Qualifying Session 1 - WMRT Korea Cup 2012
As a Tour Card Holder, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Team Korea White Tiger Challenge finished fourth in the final Tour standings last season and comes to the Korea Match Cup as skipper of hosts Team Korea. Racking up three victories in the first day’s sailing, Mirsky showed that he hasn’t lost his ability amongst the top international match racing field, 'I was feeling a bit rusty this morning, it’s been a few months since I’ve been out match racing and we knew there was going to be a bit of pressure on us sailing in the team’s home country.'
'We had a bit of a crash with Peter [Gilmour] but it went our way and I think that the team will get better and better as the event goes on.'
Reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar carried his impressive form from last season in his first event of the 2012 Tour season, joining Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen and Torvar Mirsky on three wins from three on the first day of qualifying.
Williams, said: 'It was a tricky session for us today as we hadn’t had a morning practice with the boat and the conditions were a bit shifty but we settled into it after the first one against Johnie [Berntsson]. They were all close races but I feel we controlled them.
'The local team Gyeonggi and their skipper [Tae-Jung] Kim beat us last year so he was the one we were actually looking out for most. We’ve had a bit of a crew change but all the guys have done a great job today and we’ll look to keep getting stronger as the event progresses.'
Bjorn Hansen also made the most of changeable wind conditions to come through his first three matches undefeated, in the process beating Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match who was hot off the back of a second place finish at last week’s Match Race Germany. Hansen, said: 'We’re looking to make our mark on the Tour this year. We know it’s going to be hard but we should be able to achieve a top three finish.'
'We had a frustrating time in Germany but Korea is a completely different feeling. We’ve always done well here, whereas we’ve never done well in Germany!'
'We won Korea Match Cup last year and finished third the year before so we are confident and to get off to such a good start is great for confidence.'
The second Qualifying Session takes place on Thursday 31 May at 1000 local time (KST). Live coverage and highlights packages will be available online throughout the event, to watch go to the event website.
For live updates and Twitter feeds click here.
Results after the First Qualifying Session:
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) – Berntsson Sailing Team 1-2
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) – Ferrarese Racing Team 0-3
Peter Gilmour (AUS) – Yanmar Racing 1-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) – Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-0
Tae-Jung Kim (KOR) – Gyeonggi 0-3
Laurie Jury (NZ) - Kiwi Match 2-1
Byeong-Ki Park (KOR) – Geoje City 0-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) – Team Korea 3-0
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) – Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 2-1
Phil Robertson (NZ) – Waka Racing 2-1
William Tiller (NZ) – Full Metal Jacket Racing 1-2
Ian Williams (GBR) – GAC Pindar 3-0
World Match Racing Tour website