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26 July 2007, 11:13 am
No Surprises on Opening Day
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Troia Portugal Match Cup 2007
Troia, Portugal

At the end of the first day's racing in the ISAF Grade WC Troia Portugal Match Cup, only two of the twelve skippers have unbeaten records. Gavin BRADY (NZL) of the BMW Oracle Racing Team won all three of his matches in the round robin, as did Peter GILMOUR (AUS) of the Pizza-La Sailing Team.

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Five skippers, Sebastien COL (FRA), Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and Philippe PRESTI (FRA), won two of their three matches and Paolo CIAN (ITA) and Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) each had one win while Sally BARKOW (USA), Eugeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) and Alvaro MARINHO (POR) suffered three defeats apiece.

It was a day of mixed wind conditions; the early westerly breeze gave way to a shifting northerly at the end of the third flight, but the race officer waited until this had largely settled before resuming the racing. No flights suffered as a result of the change but there were many close matches with all the match racing gambits employed.

Gavin BRADY was made to fight hard for his third victory by NEUGODNIKOV. The Russian skipper had the better start and headed to the left in search of more pressure. He found it and led at the first mark, and held on grimly down the run. BRADY attacked, using every wind shift to his advantage, to scrape around the windward mark with the narrowest of leads, which he held on the run to the finish.

Ian WILLIAMS and his Pindar Racing Team was in the thick of it, imposing a penalty on MARINHO during a luffing match, from which he emerged with sufficient lead to win. He was back in it again in his third match, against Philippe PRESTI when he 'escorted' the Frenchman out to the right hand side of the final downwind leg, neither boat hoisting a spinnaker, and set about a gybing duel with luffs that kept on for most of the leg, at least until WILLIAMS judged that he was in the right position to offload a penalty. He did so and beat his opponent to the finish line.

Peter GILMOUR was also pushed to the limit of his experience, but also relied on a mistake by WILLIAMS in their match. At the windward mark, WILLIAMS dialled-down to try to penalise GILMOUR, who had rounded, but hit the mark and became the victim of a self-imposed penalty.

In his final match, against MARINHO, GILMOUR was penalised and as he tried to offload it, MARINHO compounded the issue by a blatant foul that led to a red flag penalty. GILMOUR sailed away as his opponent did his turn, and took his own penalty at the finish line.

There are still four flights of the round robin and the five flights of the repêcharge for the last three skippers in each of the two groups in the round robin, before the quarter-finals begin on Friday.

Results:

Group A:

  1. Gavin BRADY (USA) 3-0
  2. Sebastien COL (FRA) 2-1
  3. Mathieu RICHARD FRA) 2-1
  4. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) 2-1
  5. Sally BARKOW (USA) 0-3
  6. Eugeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) 0-3

Group B:

  1. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) 3-0
  2. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) 2-1
  3. Philippe PRESTI (FRA) 2-1
  4. Paolo CIAN (ITA) 1-2
  5. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) 1-2
  6. Alvaro MARINHO (POR) 0-3

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Standings
(After Stage 8)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World Match Race Ranking Team Pts
1 Mathieu RICHARD FRA 2 Saba Sailing Team 78
2 Paolo CIAN ITA 3 Team Viano Mercedes Benz 66
3 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 1 Team Pindar 62
4 Bjorn HANSEN SWE 9 Team Onico 49
5 Sébastien COL FRA 4 Areva Challenge 47
6 Jesper BANK DEN 15 United Internet Team Germany 45
7 Ed BAIRD USA 28 Alinghi 40
8 Magnus HOLMBERG SWE 99 Victory Challenge 40
World Match Racing Tour Schedule
(2006-2007 Season)
Stage Event Venue Date
Stage 1 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 18-23 July 2006
Stage 2 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 9-13 August 2006
Stage 3 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 15-20 August 2006
Stage 4 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 10-15 October 2006
Stage 5 Allianz Cup San Francisco, USA 24-29 October
Stage 6 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-3 December 2006
Stage 7 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany 23-28 May 2007
Stage 8 GKSS Match Race Marstrand, Sweden 2-8 July 2007
Stage 9 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 24-25 July 2007
Stage 10 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 8-12 August 2007
Stage 11 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 14-19 August 2007
Stage 12 Latium Match Cup Fiumicino, Italy 11-16 September 2007
Stage 13 Locman Cup - Elba Island Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 25-30 September 2007
Stage 14 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 9-14 October 2007
Stage 15 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 23-28 October 2007
Stage 16 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-2 December 2007

The World Match Racing Tour is an ISAF Special Event. Skippers earn points towards the World Championship at the nine events of the World Tour and the highest scoring skipper at the end of the season is the ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

The World Tour Partner and Official Car is BMW AG (Munich, Germany). World Tour sponsors include Sebago (Rockford, USA), the Official Footwear Supplier, Travel Places (West Sussex, Great Britain), the Official Travel Partner and Wedgwood (Cheshire, Great Britain) the Official Trophy Supplier.

For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, its competitors and events, visit the official World Tour website - www.WorldMatchRacingTour.com. World Match Racing Tour television programmes may be viewed on demand by clicking on the television icon on the home page of the website.

For all the news on the World Match Racing Tour CLICK HERE.

Bob FISHER (As Amended By ISAF), Day 1: © Joao Ferrand | Fotografia
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