Ian Williams (GBR), Francesco Bruni (ITA) and Mathieu Richard (FRA) all recorded 6-0 score sheets on the opening day of the 47th Congressional Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club, USA.
With perfect records on the opening day they all stayed away from harm as 23 penalties were inflicted by on-water umpires throughout the day.
Based on the average, the number suggests that twice as many 'Y' flag protests were not allowed, but those allowed included one black flag, the ultimate blow calling for immediate disqualification, usually for failing to execute a penalty turn promptly enough to satisfy the umps.
That one caught Dave Perry (USA) near the end of his match against Williams at day's end. Perry is generally regarded as the foremost racing rules authority in the country, as well as a match racing veteran and winner of back-to-back Congressional Cups in 1983 and 1984, a resume noted by another former winner, Sweden's Johnie Berntsson, one of his rivals here.
"I should take him to a rules seminar,"
Berntsson said, smiling.
On his part, Berntsson (3-3) was tied for fourth place with Perry. They are scheduled to meet today when the fleet completes the first of two round-robins leading to the weekend's sailoffs.
The racing conditions were ideal, starting before noon at five knots from the south but quickly shifting to 12 and ultimately a chilling 15 from the southwest source of Long Beach's notorious sea breeze funneling down the San Pedro Channel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland.
Richard said, "We had to fight hard for some of [the wins], but it was a very good day.
And Bruni, also with a perfect score sheet added, "My crew did a very good job, especially when my starts weren't so good."
Racing is expected to start today after 11:30 local time.
1. Francesco Bruni
(ITA), Ian Williams
(GBR) and Mathieu Richard
(FRA) - 6-0
4. Johnie Berntsson
(SWE) and Dave Perry
(USA) - 3-3
6. Eugeniy Neugodnikov
(RUS) and Simone Ferrarese
(ITA) - 2-4
8. Staffan Lindberg
(FIN) and Philip Robertson
(NZL) - 1-5
10. Taylor Canfield
(US Virgin Islands) - 0-6