Sunseeker Cup starts on Perth waters

History was made today with the first keel boat event on the Perth CBD Waters course on Swan River since the Royal Perth Yacht Club moved to its present downstream location on Matilda Bay prior to the opening of the Narrow Bridge in 1959.

The days racing started at 1230 off the Royal Perth Yacht Club in Matilda Bay. Winds were more southerly than usual, 210 rather than the standard 225.

With Francesco Bruni and his Italian Azzurra team having just taken the inaugural 2009 Louis Vuitton Trophy event in Nice, there was a lot of interest in his performance against tsome of the top guns from the World Match Racing Tour.

Perhaps struggling with jetlag, it seemed that Bruni may have wished he had stayed in bed, after his first three matches.

Sailors on the match racing circuit are used to switching boats from event to event, but for Bruni the contrast was significant. A huge adjustment – big boats, cool conditions racing early in the morning in Nice, versus lightweight 36 footers and glorious sunshine on the Swan River.

In the first match against local favourite and World Match Racing Tour number two Torvar Mirsky, Bruni did not enter the box correctly, attracted a penalty and then was over the line at the start.

Against World Match Racing Tour defending champion Ian Williams, there was another timing issue for the Italian with Bruni over early. He had to duck back and could not overcome the disadvantage.

Then against the current World Match Racing Tour leader New Zealander Adam Minoprio, Bruni was over again. Minoprio did a slow tack on the committee boat to keep a vice like tight cover on Bruni and did not let it slip for the duration of the race.

Minoprio, Mirsky and Williams remained unbeaten after their first three matches.

Ian Williams defeated Evan Walker
Torvar Mirsky defeated Francesco Bruni
Adam Minoprio defeated Seve Jarvin

Ian Williams defeated Francesci Bruni
Adam Minoprio defeated Evan Walker
Torvar Mirsky defeated Seve Jarvin

Torvar Mirsky defeated Evan Walker
Adam Minoprio defeated Francesco Bruni
Ian Williams defeated Seve Jarvin

Racing in the afternoon was moved to the Perth Waters course right in front of the CBD, with the boats having dropped and lifted their masts after coming under the Narrows Bridge. By now the breeze was a steady 12-15 knots and perfectly angled.

For Bruni the nightmare start continued. He was beaten by Australia's Seve Jarvin.

Ian Williams defeated Phil Robertson, Mathieu Richard defeated Evan Walker and Phil Robertson. Keith Swinton defeated Evan Walker and Ben Ainslie defeated Seve Jarvin.

Overall Day One results are listed below.

Swan River Sailing CEO Skip Lissiman was very happy as he came off the water this afternoon. 'It was a sensational day of racing, both on Matilda Bay and on Perth Waters.

'We are really delighted with how well the Perth Waters location worked; it's a natural amphitheatre where the crowd can almost reach out and touch the racing yachts. It provides superb sailing conditions, when the Fremantle Doctor * comes in.

'This is a field of great sailors, at the top of their game and today it really showed.

'We are looking forward to more spectacular racing over the next three days.'

At close of racing on day one at the 2009 Sunseeker Australia Cup, defending World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams from Great Britain is the round robin leader, after winning a solid set of four matches.

Also with 'clean sheets' are current World Match Racing Tour leader Adam Minoprio (New Zealand) and number two Torvar Mirsky (Australia), both with three wins from three starts.

Dockside a tired smile from Francesco Bruni. 'Not the best day we've ever had, 0-4… we are tired from travelling and we don't know the boats well. But it is a good venue and a very high level of sailing. We will get stronger.'

Here are the results after the first day of racing.

Skipper and Country represented
Match wins From number of matches

Ian Williams (Great Britain) 4 4

Torvar Mirsky (Australia) 3 3

Adam Minoprio (New Zealand) 3 3

Seve Jarvin (Australia) 1 4

Mathieu Richard (France) 1 1

Keith Swinton (Australia) 1 1

Ben Ainslie (Great Britain) 1 1

Francesco Bruni (Italy) 0 4

Evan Walker (Australian) 0 5

* The Fremantle Doctor is the local name given to the south-westerly sea breeze.

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