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27 May 2006, 06:11 pm
CIAN And GILMOUR Facing Elimination
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ACI Adris Match Race Cup 2006

Johnie BERNTSSON of Sweden and Frenchman Mathieu RICHARD have been the hottest sailors for the past two days at the 20th anniversary ISAF Grade 1 ACI Adris Match Race Cup, and tonight they stand on match point in the Semifinal Round at Stage 6 of the 2005-'06 World Match Racing Tour.
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BERNTSSON leads Italy's Paolo CIAN 2-1, the same score by which RICHARD leads reigning event champion Peter GILMOUR of Australia. The winners will be the first to 3 points in the series that will resume tomorrow morning.

BERNTSSON rolled into the semis as the winner of the double round robin with an 18-2 record. He's been regarded by fellow competitors as the fastest on the racecourse, and showed it with an 11-race winning streak. Even if BERNTSSON doesn't advance from here, he said he'll be very satisfied.

'We're very surprised. It's the first regatta where we've done so well and gone so far,' BERNTSSON said. 'In the past we've done a few good races, but never altogether. We've proved to ourselves we could win.'

RICHARD got to the semis in similarly impressive style to BERNTSSON. RICHARD went 9-1 in Round 2 and finished with a 14-6 record. He was placed sixth at the beginning of the day with a 10-6 record and needed to win all four matches today to advance. Mission accomplished.

'I felt we sailed good the past two days but we missed some points, sometimes due to the umpires, sometimes due to mistakes,' said RICHARD. 'If we get one more point I'll be the happiest man in Croatia.'

The wind blew from the southeast today between 12 and 14 knots and was very steady. With the direction different from the past two days the race committee shifted the racecourse to the south of Rovinj and in site of the regatta village. The competitors felt the conditions were ideal for match-racing.

'Today the wind was a bit stronger and not too shifty. We like those conditions. With good starts it's easier to keep the lead,' said RICHARD.

RICHARD had good starts against GILMOUR. Or, in GILMOUR's opinion, he gave them away, particularly the second and third races. In the second race he hit the pin end resulting in a penalty, and in the third he was on the course side before the start gun. That gave RICHARD leads he wouldn't give up.

'At this level you must start well,' said GILMOUR. 'I made a meal of the third one. The boys are sailing well. I need to start better.'

GILMOUR thought RICHARD took proper advantage of his opportunities.

'He sails smooth,' GILMOUR said. 'He's quite a smooth operator. When he's in the groove he doesn't make mistakes.'

CIAN might've been up 2-1 on BERNTSSON instead of down if not for two penalties in the first flight. CIAN was penalized on the first run for jibing too close to BERNTSSON, which he didn't understand since he thought BERNTSSON's boom grazed his spinnaker in the jibe.

CIAN opened a healthy lead over the next two legs and seemed to have enough in hand to complete the penalty turn on the finish line and win the match. But he came out of his turn on port while BERNTSSON approached on starboard. BERNTSSON had to alter course to avoid hitting CIAN, and CIAN received a second penalty.

'The call at the finish was correct,' said CIAN. 'But I was surprised at the penalty on the first run. His boom hit our spinnaker and we got a penalty. I was surprised by that.'

Racing is scheduled to resume on Sunday at 1100 hours.

ACI Adris Match Race Cup Results
Round Robin Standings
(After 22 of 22 scheduled flights, including byes)

1. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE) Team Semcon, 18-2
2. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) PST, 15-5
3. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) Saba Sailing Team, 14-6
4. Paolo CIAN (ITA) Team Viano Mercedes Benz, 13-7
5. Björn HANSEN (SWE) Team, 13-7
6. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Williams Sail Racing, 11-9
7. Philippe PRESTI (FRA) Luna Rossa, 9-11
8. Dario KLIBA (CRO) Croatia One, 6-14
9. Evgeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) Lord of the Sail, 6-14
10. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 4-16
11. Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan, 1-19

For all the news on the ACI Adris Match Race Cup CLICK HERE.

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
(After 5 of 8 Stages)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Team Pts
1 Peter GILMOUR AUS 1 PST 48
2 Ben AINSLIE GBR 32 Emirates Team New Zealand 45
3 Staffan LINDBERG FIN 13 Alandia Sailing Team 37
4. Ed BAIRD USA 3 Alinghi 32
4. Gavin BRADY
NZL 14 Beau Geste Sailing Team 32
6 Peter HOLMBERG ISV 24 Alinghi 29
7. James SPITHILL AUS 2 Luna Rossa 25
7. Jesper BANK DEN 65 United Internet Team Germany 25
7. Dean BARKER NZL 12 Emirates Team New Zealand 25

World Match Racing Tour Schedule
(2005-2006 Season)

Stage Event Venue Date
Stage 1 PTPortugal Match Cup* Cascais, Portugal 19-24 July 2005
Stage 2 Danish Open* Copenhagen, Denmark 10-14 August 2005
Stage 3 St. Moritz Match Race* St. Moritz, Switzerland 16-21 August 2005
Stage 4 Monsoon Cup* Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 29 November-4 December 2005
Stage 5 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 14-19 March 2006
Stage 6 ACI Adris Match Race Cup Rovinj, Croatia 23-28 May 2006
Stage 7 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany 1-5 June 2006
Stage 8 Toscana Elba Cup Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 11-16 July 2006

* Originally contested as part of the Swedish Match Tour

The World Match Racing Tour is an ISAF Special Event. BMW is a Partner of the World Tour and the Official Car. World Tour sponsors include Sebago, the Official Footwear Supplier, Musto, the Official Clothing Supplier, and Travel Places, the Official Travel Partner.

For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, its competitors and events, visit the official World Tour website - 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.

Sean MCNEILL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Racing action:© World Match Racing Tour
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