Having stormed his way through all the elimination rounds, Britain’s Ben Ainslie went down three-nil to Adam Minoprio of New Zealand in the final of the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia.
The triple gold and silver Olympic medallist, skipper of Britain’s Team Origin America’s Cup challenger, was hit by a series of minor errors which allowed Minoprio, who also secured the World Match Race Tour 2009 championship, to end on the highest note a year which had started with his place on the world tour hanging in the balance.
“We just scraped into the quarter finals but it went pretty well after that,” said Minoprio. “We were always keen to meet Ben and his great crew in the final. We beat them to win the final of the Bermuda Gold Cup in 2008 and they beat us in the same event in 2009.”
Said Ainslie: “It was a pretty disappointing day. Everything we did was wrong and the spinnaker coming down on the last run really capped it off. We are pleased for Adam and his boys, they gave us a lesson today. We have more work to do as a team.”
Two Britons are among the five appointed by International Sailing Federation to sort out disputed both on and off the water at the upcoming America’s Cup, which is still scheduled for February, though there is an outstanding judgment on the venue expected imminently from the New York Appellate division court.
Chairman of the jury will be David Tillett, an Australian who recently also chaired a specially convened three-man panel to advise Justice Shirley Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court. The two Britons are Bryan Willias, another member of the three wise men and a four-times member of an America’s Cup jury, including last time as chairman, and John Doerr, also a former AC juryman.
They are joined by the one woman, Josje Hofland of The Netherlands, and the third member of the Kornreich panel, who was nominated by the Swiss defence team, Alinghi, Graham McKenzie of New Zealand.