Murray Jones of the Swiss America's Cup challenge claims the top rung of the ladder at the end of the first day of the Fremantle International Match Racing Regatta.
Jones ended the day with six wins from seven races in the round robin, his only defeat coming at the hands of fellow expatriate Kiwi Chris Dickson He claimed first place after a tie-break with Frenchman resident in Perth, Sebastien Destremau, who also only lost one race, that being to Murray Jones.
Local skipper Simon Sutherland had a good day, with five wins on the scoreboard, and claiming third place, ahead of international "rock stars" Chris Dickson and Gavin Brady. The day started with a fickle easterly breeze, that even the best found hard to read at times, with Murray Jones describing it as "scary", particularly in the transition to the seabreeze. The famous "Fremantle Doctor" seabreeze did establish itself late in the morning, and by mid afternoon was in the 12 to 15 knot range, which in the shallow water off South Beach, produced some steep waves.
For Gavin Brady, who is now on the Prada America's Cup team, this was a return to match racing after a break since the end of the last America's Cup in February. As always, he was tactically aggressive, and possibly because he is a little rusty, he received the largest number of penalties for the day, including a half point deduction for causing damage to another boat.
The event progresses to a seeded round on Saturday, with Jones due to face Italy's eighth placed Luca Antonini, in a best of three series, while Sebastien Destremau meets local lad Ben Dunstan. Third placed Simon Sutherland sails against Xavier Destremau, with the match of the day certainly fourth and fifth placed Chris Dickson against Gavin Brady.
1 Murray Jones Switzerland
2 Sebastien Destremau Australia
3 Simon Sutherland Australia
4 Chris Dickson USA
5 Gavin Brady Italy
6 Xavier Destremau Denmark
7 Ben Dunstan Australia
8 Luca Antonini Italy