Number one in the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings, twice ISAF World Match Racing Champion and member of America's Cup holder, Team Alinghi, Ed BAIRD (USA) confirmed his supremacy by winning the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International Match Race, his first regatta wearing the Alinghi colours.
, as winner of the second stage round robin, got to choose his adversary for the semi-finals. It was a difficult call to make, since, in his own words, 'you choose your competitor on the basis of a week's sailing conditions - and the next day the weather changes!'
His choice was Philippe PRESTI
(FRA), who he had beaten twice during the week.
With ten knots during the semi-finals and almost 15 for the final, the racing yesterday was fantastic.
|Champion Ed BAIRD (USA)
© Gilles Martin-Raget
In the semi-finals ISAF World Match Racing Rankings number four, Mathieu RICHARD
(FRA) beat former ISAF World Match Racing World Champion, Chris DICKSON (NZL) 2 - 0. A surprising results given the two sailors form over the previous races. It had been DICKSON who looked like BAIRD
's biggest challenger, and in fact the Kiwi had already beaten BAIRD
once in the opening round-robin.
BAIRD beat Frenchman, Philippe PRESTI 2 - 0 as well to setup a final between the two top ranked sailors in the competition.
Fifth place in the competition was decided at the same time as the semi-finals, and saw the only Italian competitor in the competition, Paolo CIAN beat Sébastien COL (FRA) 2 - 1.
In the third place match DICKSON took the spoils edging out PRESTI 2 - 1. In the final BAIRD reigned supreme once again sweeping to victory against RICHARD 2 - 0 to finish the only sailor without a single loss in the knock out stages.
1. Ed BAIRD (USA)
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA)
3. Chris DICKSON (NZL)
4. Philippe PRESTI (FRA)
5. Paolo CIAN (ITA)
6. Sébastien COL (FRA)
7. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR)
8. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN)
9. Iain PERCY (GBR)
10. Dimitri DERUELLE (FRA)