Peter GILMOUR (AUS) took a step towards retaining his title at Match Race Germany yesterday when he won his first five races of the Quarter Final Round on Lake Constance in southwest Germany. With five flights still to sail, GILMOUR and BAIRD seem assured of advancing to the semifinals.
Gilmour, skipper of the Pizza-La Sailing Team, should be assured of advancing to the Semi Final Round. He has two races remaining in the quarterfinals, and his current 5-0 record is three wins better than any of the other three skippers who sailed five races today.
(USA), of Team Alinghi, also seems on his way to the semis. Baird won all three of his races before two of his three scheduled byes sent him shoreside for the final two flights of the day.
(FRA), of BMW Oracle Racing, Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) and Staffan LINDBERG
(FIN) also sailed five races yeasterday. Pacé and Williams each finished the day with a 2-3 record (Pacé holds the tiebreaker by virtue of his head-to-head win in Flight 1), and Lindberg is 1-4.
(GBR) sailed two races and stands at 1-1. He was over early in his first race against Pacé, which created a deficit he couldn't recover from. Ainslie rebounded with a solid win over Lindberg.
(DEN), making his return to competitive match-racing after a five-year hiatus, finished the day 1-2. He lost to Baird, defeated Pacé and then lost to Gilmour, who barely completed a 270-degree penalty turn on the finish line to win. The boats crossed the line overlapped, but Gilmour's bow was a half-length ahead. Gilmour had been penalized for hitting the windward mark on the first lap.
(DEN), the skipper of United Internet Team Germany, had a rough two races. Bank, who won all five of his round robin races, lost his first two races in the quarters. Gilmour beat him soundly when he won the pre-start to windward and ahead. Bank then lost to Williams on the finish line.
Bank carried a penalty and performed his 270-degree turn on the finish line, but came out on port tack while Williams bore down on starboard. Bank had to hold head-to-wind to avoid Williams, which allowed the Englishman to sail to victory.
Bank's penalty was a rarity in the world of match-racing. Sailing port tack upwind, he was penalized for fouling Gilmour, who was on starboard jibe racing Pacé in a tight match downwind.
'Gilmour had to bear away to avoid Bank,'
said John STANDLEY, chief umpire. 'Bank was penalized for port-starboard.'
'We've been racing together for a lot of years now,'
said Mike MOTTL, headsail trimmer for Gilmour. 'I've never seen that one before.'
For the third consecutive day Lake Constance showed its wide variety of weather. Day One was glorious with abundant sunshine and wind. Day Two had little wind.
Yesterday, there was wind in the morning that allowed two flights to be completed. Then the wind shut off during the third flight, which was abandoned with two matches in progress and the third counting down to its start. A four-hour postponement ensued. Then, in the span of 10 minutes, the wind built from 0 to 20 knots, accompanied by rain. When it blew, the wind was mostly from the west.
'From my experience, this whole week has been unusual for the weather here,'
said Baird, who last competed at Match Race Germany two years ago. 'I wonder what's going to happen tomorrow.'
Five flights (13 matches) are scheduled to complete the quarterfinals.