Adam Minoprio’s BlackMatch team from New Zealand defeated Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing from Australia, 3-2, in the final of the 67th annual Argo Group Gold Cup.
“I’m ecstatic. It’s amazing. I’ve been trying to win this event for a long time and to do so feels wonderful,” said the 30-year-old Minoprio from Auckland, New Zealand, who was competing for the sixth time.
Minoprio and crew of Nick Blackmon, Andrew Burgess and Tom Powrie won $35,000 of the $100,000 prize purse. Swinton and crew Ted Hackney, Henry Kernot and Björn Lundgren won $16,000.
Minoprio has previously finished runner-up twice (2008, ’09) and he had to work hard for the victory.
No lead was safe coming out of the windward mark and there were frequent lead changes, including the fourth race when it appeared Minoprio would seal the victory. He led by about four boat lengths beginning the run to the finish line but Swinton overcame his rival with a series of gybes and a final luff to force the final, winner-take-all race.
In the fifth and final race Minoprio forced Swinton into a poor start that saw the Aussie put in a gybe at the committee boat end as the start gun sounded while Minoprio sailed onto the course with speed.
Swinton trailed all the way around and although it appeared he might have one final chance after rounding the windward mark for the final time, it never materialised.
The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate event on the World Match Racing Tour. The final event is the Monsoon Cup Malaysia, scheduled for late January 2016. Based on the final results Hansen, Canfield and Ian Williams, the overall tour leader who placed seventh in the Argo Group Gold Cup, will have the best shot at winning the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. The three skippers are separated by just 5 points.
2015 World Match Racing Tour World Championship Event – Argo Group Gold Cup
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch
2. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
3. Björn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing
4. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
5. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
6. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox
7. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
8. Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing
9. Dean Barker (JPN) SoftBank Team Japan
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
11. Francesco Bruni (SWE) Artemis Racing
12. Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing
13. Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenRe
14. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing
15. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing
16. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
2015/16 World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard Standings
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 90pts
2 Björn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 88pts
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 85pts
4 Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 75pts
5 Phil Robertson (NZL) Team TREFOR 73pts
6 Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 59pts
7 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 59pts
8 Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 58pts
9 Matthew Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing 53pts
10 Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing 52pts