Gusts of over 30 knots and lively sea conditions forced organizers at the Brasil Sailing Cup to postpone racing on the opening day after finishing just the first match of the fourth flight in the Round Robin Series.
A total of 12 teams are on hand to compete in equally-matched SM 40s in this second edition of the event, stage 14 on the 2006-07 World Match Racing Tour.
In Group A, Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) and his Apport.net Team
revelled in the conditions, winning all three of their first flight races. HANSEN defeated Daniel GLOMB
(POR), Alvaro MARINHO
(POR), and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Claire LEROY
(FRA), the only women's team competing this week after they qualified in the Brasil Women's Sailing Cup last week. Winner of the women's event, Sally BARKOW
(USA), was unable to stay in Brazil due to other commitments, allowing second-placed LEROY to fill the slot.
HANSEN's fellow Swede and Victory Challenge helmsman Magnus HOLMBERG
also went 3-0, defeating current Tour leader Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) in their third match. WILLIAMS led HOLMBERG around the last windward mark of their race but twisted their spinnaker causing a late hoist, allowing HOLMBERG to sail past and into the lead. WILLIAMS won his other two matches against MARINHO and LEROY.
"It's obviously disappointing not to win a race, particularly when were reasonably comfortably ahead,"
commented WILLIAMS. "We managed to clean Magnus out at the start, and I felt we had a slight edge. We just need to get on top of our boat handling, particularly in these breezy conditions."
Just one match was completed for Group B before the postponement was announced. In this match America's Cup Team Shosholosa
helmsman Paolo CIAN
wasted no time in defeating French skipper Pierre-Antoine MORVAN
The city of Vitoria, Capital of the Espirito Santo state, is no stranger to its windy conditions. The city is often referred to as 'Vintoria' derived from the Portugese translation for wind (vento) and the City's name. On Wednesday the city lived up to its reputation, however more favourable conditions are forecast for Thursday.
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard (Top 8)
(After Stage 13 of 15)
1. Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) Team Pindar, 130 points
2. Mathieu RICHARD
(FRA) Saba Sailing Team, 123 points
3. Paolo CIAN
(ITA) Team Shosholoza, 106 points
4. Sebastien COL
(FRA) Areva Challenge, 93 points
5. Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) Team Apport.net, 79 points
6. Peter GILMOUR
(AUS) PST, 66 points
7. Ed BAIRD
(USA) Alinghi, 55 points
8. Jesper BANK
(DEN) United Internet Team Germany, 53 points
World Match Racing Tour - www.worldmatchracingtour.com
Brasil Sailing Cup - www.brasilsailingcup.com