St. Moritz Match Race - Mirsky beats Morvan in the Final

Torvar Mirsky wins St. Moritz Match Race 2011
© Chris Davies/AWMRT
St. Moritz Match Race, the sixth stage of the World Match Racing Tour, held on Lake St Moritz in the Engadin Valley has concluded. Torvar Mirsky is the new ‘King of the Mountain’ after beating Pierre-Antoine Morvan in the final.

Ian Williams finished in third place to move up into first position in the overall Championship standings going into stage seven of the World Match Racing Tour.

In the end, a count back decided both the final and petit final on Lake St. Moritz. The Maloja breeze had arrived like clockwork all week however on the final day, heavy cloud cover and light rain created much lighter conditions and continual wind shifts that made racing impossible. After a series of race abandonments, the Race Committee decided to end racing with no races completed in either the final or petit final.

Mirsky’s win is his first since the Portimao Portugal Match Cup in 2009 and gives his 2011 Championship quest a timely boost. Now sitting in third place overall, Mirsky said: 'We’d have liked to race the final and win the proper way but we’re happy to take the win so life is pretty good!

'My career has been a bit of a rollercoaster this year so to get back out there and show people what we can do is the best thing. I’m so happy with our team and the way we performed this week, it really couldn’t have gone better. This is only our second win so we’re happy - it will give us a good boost moving forward to the rest of the Tour.'

For Pierre-Antoine Morvan, it was a frustrating conclusion to what has been an accomplished performance by the Extreme Team Morbihan all week. He came into the final on the back of six consecutive wins and would have been a tough force for Mirsky but he remains happy and has done his quest for a Tour Card next year no harm: 'We had nothing to lose heading out there today so we obviously would have preferred to race but the weather can really affect things and it’s not fair to race a final in those conditions so it was the right decision.

'We are very happy to finish second. If you said to me at the start of the week that we would finish second I wouldn’t have believed you. We are looking forward to racing in more Tour events and to racing Torvar in the future.'

New Championship leader Williams looked in imperious form all week only to fall to a 3-0 whitewash against Morvan in the semi-finals. The Brit though is happy to settle for a third place and the Championship lead: 'We came to win but we always said from the start that looking at the points we only needed to get to the podium to put ourselves in a good position on the Tour overall. Bruni not making the cut was really an added bonus and helped push us to the top. We’re pretty consistent having finished on the podium in the past three events that we’ve competed in and will try and do the same in Bermuda. The pressure is really on the likes of Hansen, Mirsky and Bruni now.'

For Hansen, the value of finishing fourth here and picking up 16 points is huge as he can scrap the 12th place and zero points he took from Match Race France from his current five best scores in the Championship, pushing him up into fifth place. At the start of the season his team singled out Mirsky and his team as the benchmark they wanted to reach: 'Before this season we said we wanted to match The Wave Muscat’s standard because they are probably the best team in the world on different boats. We believe we are getting closer and closer to them.' With just 11 points separating them now, they’re certainly realising that aim this season.'

The race for the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Championship continues at the Argo group Gold Cup which takes place in Bermuda from the 3 to 9 October. Last season the Championship was tightly poised at this stage and this year is no different, with only 17 points separating Williams in first and Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team in fifth.

Result from the Final:
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat beat Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan

Result from the Petit Final:
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar beat Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team

Overall Championship Standings – after 6 stages:
1 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – 90pts
2 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 89pts
3 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 84pts
4 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 74pts
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 73pts
6 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 67pts
7 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 63pts
8 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 61pts
9 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – 48pts
10 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 43pts

St. Moritz Match Race website
World Match Racing Tour website