When the America’s Cup switched its format from match-racing in monohulls in favour of the more extreme catamaran event, sailors who had spent years developing core skills for the Cup were caught in a bit of no-man’s land. Skippers like Ian Williams, Torvar Mirsky and to a lesser extent, Ben Ainslie have used the World Match Racing Tour to hone their skills in a kind of unnofficial apprenticeship for later Cup chances.
When the catamaran decision was made, names like Glen Ashby and Loick Peyron moved to the top of the America’s Cup teams’ recruitment lists over the skippers on the tour, which might be part of the reason that in 2011, both Mirsky and Williams decided to have a foot in both camps, competing in both the World Match Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series. The former focusses on match-racing while the latter is probably the best place to get to grips with sailing multihulls against opposition at close quarters.
After just 3 outings in the Extreme 40 for The Wave Muscat, one of the Oman Sail entries in the Extreme Sailing Series, Torvar Mirsky has done a deal to helm Venezia Challenge in the next chapter of the America’s Cup.
Cesare Pasotti, Venezia Challenge’s team manager says:
“It’s the best choice we could do. Torvar is young, motivated and extremely skilled, so I asked to Carlo Magna and Emanuela Pulcino to bring him on board”.
From the 14th of June, Torvar Mirsky will train in Palermo at the Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria – Venezia Challenge’s official sailing club. In July he will move to Cascais to train on the AC45. The timing means that Torvar will not take part in the next round of the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston. His place on the Wave Muscat will be taken by Leigh McMillan.
McMillan is a British two time Olympian and has been acting in a coaching role to Muscat the Wave team in 2011, but is not new to the Extreme Sailing Series. He helmed Ecover to a third place finish in 2010 and in 2009 he took the helm on Oman Sail Masirah in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia, winning the Series.
A statement by Oman Sail said:
Oman Sail have enjoyed working with Torvar who has shown himself as such a bright star in the sport and wish him good luck in what is a great opportunity with the Venezia Challenge Team.
Mirsky is currently in Korea for the latest round of the World Match Racing Tour and it is believed he will continue to race in the WMRT for the rest of the 2011 season where it doesn’t compete with sailing the AC45. It is also believed that Muscat the Wave will continue to provide support to the Match Racing campaign.
The signing of Mirsky is a bit of a media coup for Venezia. While most of the other teams are helmed by the same old men who have campaigned for the cup over the last couple of decades, Torvar is a 20-something, blonde, Australian who has wide appeal – both for traditional sailing audiences, but also the strange, as yet unseen, animal that is the Facebook generation extreme sailing fan. In recent years on the World Match Racing Tour, Torvar has shown that he can also attract both male and female fans.
Expect to see Torvar Mirsky on an America’s Cup promo video near you shortly.
More America’s Cup news…