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20 August 2007, 06:00 am
CIAN And MENDELBLATT In Control Of Quarter-Finals
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Action from Lake St Moritz

St Moritz Match Race 2007
St Moritz, Switzerland

Mattias RENKER was the Swiss hero at the ISAF Grade WC St Moritz Match Race on Thursday, after winning his last two races in the repechage round to sneak into the quarter-finals.
But in early quarter-final racing, it's defending champion Paolo CIAN (ITA) and two-time St Moritz winner Mark MENDELBLATT (USA) who are in control of their match-ups.

Following the repechage, the Race Committee elected to start two of the quarter-final match-ups. But with just two and half flights completed, the weather finally turned in St Moritz, with clouds rolling in and the rain that had been threatening most of the afternoon, becoming a damp reality. More importantly, what had already been a shifty breeze, began to die, forcing the conclusion of racing for the day.

In the early quarter-final matches (which feature the top four ranked sailors on the World Match Racing Tour), defending champion CIAN made an incredible comeback through a fortuitous windshift on the final leg of his first race against Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), to steal a point. RICHARD then made no mistake in the second match, simply sailing away from CIAN. But the plucky Italian wasn't finished; he won the very shifty third match to sit on a 2-1 lead.

'It's a strange lake, and anything can happen,'

CIAN said, relieved to be one win away from the semi-finals. But he cautioned, 'In races like this, you can only say it's finished once its finished.'

Meanwhile, MENDELBLATT didn't miss a beat. The American had to rely on his crewmate Cameron DUNN (NZL) to qualify him for the quarter-finals. But after arriving in the mountains late on Wednesday night, MENDELBLATT sailed strongly against Sebastien COL (FRA), jumping directly into the boat and out to a 2-0 lead in his quarter-final.

'Ed

[SMYTH] and Cameron are pretty switched on and made it easy for me to get around the race course,' MENDELBLATT said. 'It's not an easy place to sail. Sometimes the breeze is more straightforward than others. Today our first race was straightforward and the second was pretty wacky, but we got a bit of luck and that's all it took.'

Racing in all four of the quarter-final match ups will resume on Friday.

But the local buzz was about the Swiss sailor RENKER and his last gasp grasp of a quarter-final berth, Needing to win his last match over Michael HESTBEK (GER) to qualify over the German, he put a penalty on HESTBEK in the pre-start, and went on to beat him around the race course to become the second Swiss sailor to advance to the quarter-finals.

'We're very happy. We just missed making the quarter-finals yesterday, in a very close final race,' RENKER said, smiling, following the match. 'Today was very close again, but we made it.'

RICHARD sailed a very aggressive repechage, winning four of his five matches and at times appearing to toy with his opponents. He put three penalties on RENKER during their match for example, including two in the pre-start. It was a great turn around for RICHARD who won but a single match in Wednesday's group round robin. Now he needs to find some of that magic again and win two in a row if he is to turn around his quarter-final against CIAN.

Results

Quarter Final

Paolo CIAN (ITA) vs. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 2-1
Mark MENDELBLATT (USA) vs. Sebastien COL (FRA), 2-0
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) vs. Matthias RENKER (SUI)
Eric MONNIN (SUI) vs. Jochen SCHUEMANN (GER)

Repechage

1. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 4-1
2. Matthias RENKER (SUI), 3-2
3. Michael HESTBEK (GER), 3-2
4. Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA), 2-3
5. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), 2-3
6. Evgeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), 1-4

Group A

1. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), 5-0
2. Sebastien COL (FRA), 4-1
3. Jochen SCHUEMANN (GER), 3-2
4. Evgeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), 2-3
5. Michael HESTBEK (GER), 1-4
6. Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA), 0-5

Group B

1. Paolo CIAN (ITA), 4-1
2. Eric MONNIN (SUI), 3-2
3. Mark MENDELBLATT (USA), 3-2
4. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), 2-3
5. Matthias RENKER (SUI), 2-3
6. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 1-4

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Standings

Pos

Skipper

Nation

ISAF World Match
Race Ranking

Team

Pts

1

Ian WILLIAMS

GBR

1

Team Pindar

97

2

Mathieu RICHARD

FRA

2

Saba Sailing Team

88

3

Paolo CIAN

ITA

3

Team Viano Mercedes Benz

74

4

Sébastien COL

FRA

4

Areva Challenge

71

5

Peter GILMOUR

AUS

40

PST

60

6

Bjorn HANSEN

SWE

5

Team Apport.net

59

7

Jesper BANK

DEN

15

United Internet Team Germany

53

8

Ed BAIRD

USA

27

Alinghi

40

World Match Racing Tour Schedule

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.

'It's a strange lake, and anything can happen,'

Kirsten Bollinger (As Amended By ISAF)
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