Frenchman Bertrand PACÉ remains the overall leader at the ISAF Grade 1ACI HTmobile Cup, but three other crews are hot on his transom, just one victory behind.
Pacé won the only match he sailed yesterday to move to 11-2 overall. But the crews led by skippers Jes GRAM-HANSEN (DEN), Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE) and Peter GILMOUR (AUS) all trail by one victory. And Gavin BRADY (NZL) is just two wins in arrears.
With two victories yesterday, Gram-Hansen moved into second overall. His 10-3 record is one loss better than Holmberg's and Gilmour's 10-4 marks. Gram-Hansen had his second round bye in Flight 12, while Holmberg and Gilmour haven't had theirs yet.
Gram-Hansen, who has two fifths and an eighth in the last three years of this event, opened this year's account with two losses, but since has gone 10-1. Today he defeated Kelvin HARRAP and Mattias RAHM in two wire-to-wire wins.
"We're sailing very well,"
said Gram-Hansen of his Team Denmark crew. "We had two good starts and were able to pick the correct side of the race track.
"It's always important to have a good start in match racing, especially on a day like today with light winds it's nice to get the side of the course you want,"
Light winds hampered the efficient race committee work that has been a staple of the first two days of the 18th annual regatta. The winds were from the west/southwest, and blowing 3 to 6 knots.
The race committee issued a shoreside postponement yesterday morning instead of the scheduled 10:50 a.m. warning signal. The postponement lasted until 2:15 p.m., when they finally took to the water and the first attention signal was made at 2:45 p.m.
"They were very marginal conditions for racing,"
said Gilmour, the overall leader of the Swedish Match Tour Championship Leaderboard. "The breeze hadn't filled on one side of the course, and the courses were probably too short. Races were affected by the other matches."
Gilmour was the recipient of an umpire call at the leeward mark of his match against Croatian Mate ARAPOV that affected the outcome, and gave the local sailor and his fans a moment of cheer.
According to chief umpire Bo SAMUELSSON, who was umpiring the match, Gilmour "barged into the two boathlength circle"
and took the inside overlap.
The umpires gave him a red flag penalty for this action, which meant he had to perform his 270-degree turn as soon as reasonably possible after clearing the two-boatlength zone of the leeward mark.
Gilmour rounded just ahead of Arapov, sailed "three or four lengths" in his estimation, and then began his 270-degree penalty turn.
He bore away on starboard and jibed to port. As he came out of the jibe he had to sail low to avoid Arapov. This put him back in the two-boatlength circle of the leeward mark.
Due to his close proximity to the mark, the umpires deemed he didn't complete his turn properly, and kept blowing their whistle and holding his flag up, signaling he still had to perform his penalty.
Gilmour did a second 270-degree turn, and by the time he was finished Arapov was 10 boatlengths ahead in light winds on a race track with no passing lanes.
"It's up to us to sail smarter and cleaner,"
said Gilmour. "We should have rounded well and truly behind. You can't let the umpires decide the match."
Pace also was the recipient of a penalty, but he was able to perform his turn without incident.
In the pre-start against countryman Mathieu RICHARD and with less than 30 seconds to go, both boats were on port tack and Pace was to windward. Richard luffed slowly and Pace was responding, but then his leeward quarter hit Richard's windward quarter as both began to tack to starboard to start and avoid the committee boat.
Pace was penalized but it was a delayed penalty, meaning he could perform the 270-degree turn at any point during the race. He extended to a big lead and performed his turn on the second beat.
The move helped keep his position atop the rankings in tact.
1. Bertrand Pacé/FRA, Team France 11-2
Crew Benoit Briand, Tanguy Caidou, Fabrice Levet, Romain Troublé
2. Jes Gram-Hansen/DEN, Team Denmark 10-3
Crew Michael Arnhild, Christian Kamp, Rasmus Kostner, Chresten Plinius
3. Magnus Holmberg/SWE, SeaLife Rangers 10-4
Crew Peter Anderson, Martin Krite, Lars Linger, Stefan Rahm
4. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team 10-4
Crew Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku, Yasuhiro Yaji
5. Gavin Brady/NZL, Oracle BMW Racing 9-5
Crew John Kostecki, Craig Monk, Robbie Naismith, Brad Webb
6. Mathieu Richard/FRA 7-6
Crew Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Alexis Ponsot Pierre, Yannick Simon
7. Mattias Rahm/SWE, Team Stena Bulk 5-8
Crew Johan Barne, Claes Dahlberg, Pontus Meijer, Henrik Valderyd
8. Kelvin Harrap/NZL, Team New Zealand 5-9
Crew Andy Hemmings, Jeremy Lomas, Grant Lorentz, Chris Ward
9. Staffan Lindberg/SWE 3-11
Crew Johan Karlsson, Daniel Mattsson, Johan Mossberg, Daniel Wallberg
10. Mate Arapov/CRO 3-11
Crew Ivan Bulaja, Luka Radelić Ognjen Uljević, Stjepan Vitaljić
11. Frano Brate/CRO 2-12
Crew Boris Bakotić, Zvonko Jelačić, Denis Stanojević, Mirko Ukas