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27 March 2011, 01:20 pm
Ian Williams Wins The 47th Congressional Cup
2011 Congressional Cup
Wiliams Goes Against Bruni In The Final

Congressional Cup 2011
Long Beach Yacht Club, USA

Great Britain's Ian Williams dedicated his victory to his mum in the Long Beach Yacht Club's 47th Congressional Cup
Leukemia claimed Williams' mother Karen in midweek, but he left his grief on the dock in driving his team to 17 wins, including a 2-0 sweep of defending champion Francesco Bruni of Italy for the championship.

"It's a time to keep focused - part of the job," Williams said. "She was a keen sailor. It's what she would have wanted me to do."

Ian Williams, 33, parked a barrister's career to pursue match race sailing several years ago. The move has paid off with two world championship events and a tour card for automatic entry into World Match Racing Tour regattas. He currently is ranked #5 in the world with updated ISAF rankings late this month.

If Williams hadn't been here, Bruni might have gone undefeated. His only losses in 22 races were one to Williams by one second in the double round robin and the two in the title match by seven and 17 seconds. Williams' final count was 17-5.

After sweeping former champion Mathieu Richard of France by one and 20 seconds in the semifinals, as Bruni blitzed Finland's Staffan Lindberg by 43 and six seconds, he never trailed against Bruni.

"It all depends on getting a good start," Williams said. "Today we called [sailing to] the right [side of the course], and we got the right in all four matches. Long Beach has a particular look to it. You can see the pressure on the water."

His tactician was Bill Hardesty, a San Diego native who sailed as skipper for a fourth-place finish a year ago and knows these waters well.

"It's all about having the right outlook on the team,"
Hardesty said. "The outlook on the boat in the last race was the same as in the first race. When you lose that you make bad decisions."

Williams' team collected a cheque for $10,000 of the $41,500 total purse, which included a $1,000 bonus to New Zealand's Phil Robertson for winning the fleet race for the six boats that didn't reach the semi-finals.
Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF)
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