Ian Williams pitched into battle Francesco Bruni


It could all be decided long before the finals. After scrapping every inch of the way to secure a place in the quarter finals of the Monsoon Cup, Britain’s Ian Williams and his team GAC Pindar were immediately pitched into a fiery battle which could decide the 2011 World Match Racing Series.

He meets Italy’s Francesco Bruni in a first to three wins in the knockout stage of what is the  finale of the eight-regatta grand prix. If he wins, no-one can score enough points, even if Williams were then knocked out in the semi-final. Bruni would at least have to win the third place play off to be sure of overtaking Williams.

Bruni kept his hopes alive when they seemed to be ebbing away when knocking out the man lying third overall, Australia’s Torvar Mirsky, by a margin of four seconds. Earlier Bruni, who is moving on to be tactician on Italy’s Prada challenge for the America’s Cup, had beaten the veteran Peter Gilmour by just one second.

This would be Williams’ third world championship and he, like Bruni, was quick to commiserate with Mirsky, who also suffered the disappointment earlier in the season of seeing the Venezia Challenge America’s Cup team have its entry turned down by the Golden Gate Yacht Club on behalf of the San Francisco-based holder, Oracle. 

Mirsky’s contribution to the series over the years was acknowledged, but he was distraught, having led Bruni to within yards of the finish line. He may yet be back, but indicated strongly he would not be on the circuit next year. “Our team’s just shattered right now,” he said. “We know we have a competitive team but this has left a real sour taste in our mouths. We’re in a real mess right now.”

Outstanding performances by two young Kiwi teams, both of which have come through the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron academy scheme, skippered by William Tiller and Phil Robertson, topped the original 12-boat entry, but only two points covered first to eighth when they had all raced each other.

There could yet be upsets and Williams needs to be in killer mood in the quarter finals. As the top three chose their opponents, he said: “No-one will pick us or Bruni.” He was right.

Motoring towards Tristan da Cunha, the crew of the dismasted, American-flagged Puma, the third from six starters to retire from the first leg of the Volvo round the world race from Alicante to Cape Town, is worried it will be picked up in time to reach South Africa for repairs which will allow them to start the second leg, to Abu Dhabi, in time.

Counting down through the 500 miles to go marker, Spain’s Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez, was still leading from the second Spanish boat, Camper by 130 miles, and France’s Groupama third, nearly 500 miles behind Telefonica.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam