The 2008 World Match Racing Tour will wind up with the Monsoon Cup in a couple of weeks and many eyes will be on the future of the sport – ‘young gun’ skippers from down under.
Australia’s 22-year-old Torvar Mirsky and New Zealand’s 23-year-old Adam Minoprio will be heading to the cup, to be held from the 3rd to 7th December in Terengganu, Malaysia, as two serious challengers on the World Tour.
They are currently tied for fourth place on the 2008 ISAF Match Racing World Championship standings and they both are positioned to beat out any of the other teams as they vie for both the Monsoon Cup and overall championship titles.
Mirsky started sailing when we was 10 and was introduced to Match Racing at the tender age of 15. Ironically, he was coached by Peter Gilmour and Skip Lissiman, both of whom are involved in the Monsoon Cup.
By 2006 Mirsky was competing internationally and his dream of becoming the best match racer in the world was launched.
‘I came out of school and went to the University of Western Australia to study Mechanical Engineering and Physics, which was quite a handful. I was quite fixated on sailing and so I was concentrating more on sailing than studying. It showed in my studies so I decided to just focus on sailing and really gave it a go.
‘I thought if I missed an opportunity with sailing I would really regret it, but if I missed an opportunity with studying, I could go back and do it. I went flat out with sailing just to see what would happen. I paused my studying and went overseas and did it. And here I am now and it’s been the best call of my life.’
Since 2006 Mirsky has achieved podium finishes in key international match racing events. His first time competing at the Monsoon Cup in 2007 saw him finish fifth ahead of Minoprio.
Minoprio started sailing when he was seven and competed in his first world championship at 12 years old.
‘This year we were a little off the pace compared to Torvar at the start, but after half the year we raced Torvar in the final of the Blurimini Match Cup and we won 3-0. So after that we felt like we were starting to get on top of our own game more and up to Torvar’s team’s level, and with recent progress we are feeling like we are pulling ahead.’
Since 2006 Minoprio has also achieved podium finishes in international match racing events. His best results have been first in the 2007 and 2006 Asian Match Racing Championships, and first in the 2006 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
Mirsky’s style is very different. ‘I feel our boat handling and our team is really solid now. I’m confident in all the situations that we’ve experienced. I feel I can pull of a lot of different things and intimidate and push the other boat.’
But with Mirsky and Minoprio fourth on the overall leader board, these two skippers are the ones Tour leader Ian Williams will be watching the closest. .
‘We are certainly very wary of both those teams. They have sailed at times very, very well. Like everyone on the World Match Racing Tour, the key is consistency. I think that’s what comes with experience; more consistent results.
‘They are putting a lot of time in, and they are training really hard. Both teams have been pretty much full time match racing this year. They’ve each done 20 or 25 events and it’s made them very strong. They’ve got a consistent team. They are young, hungry, strong teams.
‘In any individual race you’ve got to go out and obviously sail better than them to beat them. That’s the beauty of the World Match Racing Tour events. Because it’s in supplied boats, on any day you actually have to out-perform your opponents. You don’t go into any race having an inherent advantage of having better equipment; you have to go out and beat them. That’s hard to do sometimes.’
Minoprio thinks Mirsky has the jump on his team, but believes they are closing the gap. ‘We will hopefully (close it further) with this last regatta so we can drive ahead,’ Minoprio said.
Williams believes there is quite a bit of rivalry between Minoprio and Mirsky. ‘Whoever comes out on top between them will make a big difference for them.’
More at http://www.mirskyracingteam.com/
First Published http://whitepearl.com.au/