So... the final ruling: The three-way tie hinged on the jury’s decision that the countback should include all races sailed to date, not just those in the Play-Off. That means Ian Williams goes home, while Adam Minoprio and Ben Ainslie go through to the Quarter-Finals!! What a day!
After today’s frustrations, anger and confusion, it was back down to business in Stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour this afternoon where the top-placed skippers in each qualifying group chose their opponent for the knockout Quarter-Finals.
Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team had the privilege of choosing first, picking Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing. “All the skippers here are very strong, so it was a very tough choice but the rifle ended up pointing at Reuben.”
Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team was next to choose, plumping for the other young skipper left in the running, Taylor Canfield (USA). This left Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, winner of the third group in the Qualifiers, facing a giant dilemma to choose between Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team: “Johnie won this event two years ago, and Adam and Ben were in the finals last year but after discussing it at length we decided on Johnie.”
Minoprio must feel like Ainslie is his arch nemesis this week as he is once again pitched against the British team who have turned them over twice already in Bermuda. Commenting on the challenge ahead, Minoprio said: “We raced Ben in Group 2 of the Qualifiers and again in the Play-Off. Those matches didn’t go our way but we’ve improved as the event has progressed and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”
Quarter Final pairings:
Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team vs Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing
Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team vs Taylor Canfield (USA)
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team vs Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing