BAIRD won all three of his matches on Friday and finished with a 6-1 record. BAIRD tied for the win with CIAN of Team Viano Mercedes Benz - Shosholoza. CIAN led on Thursday at 4-0, but his lone loss was to BAIRD in flight 5 which gave BAIRD the win.
'It was pretty light,' said BAIRD, the only skipper to finish in the Championship 8 every Tour season. 'There was some current. The current was changing, and each race was different. That was part of the difficulty, to be comfortable with that. Especially in the starting area, it seemed to be quite different than on the racecourse. My guys did a great job of reading that and timing to the line. It gave me a lot of confidence to be in right place in the starts. We got ahead and stayed there today.'
'They did an incredible job of time and distance to the line and were able to push us up and out of the line,' said CIAN. 'So the race was probably over at the beginning. I think we were pretty happy with six wins out of seven races. It's just the way you read it.'
They advance to Saturday's quarter-final round, which features some very intriguing matches. BAIRD will face Chris DICKSON (NZL), skipper and CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing. CIAN races Ben AINSLIE (GBR), a helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand. BANK takes on Peter HOLMBERG (ISV), another helmsman for Alinghi, and GILMOUR goes against Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), the current leader of the World Championship standings.
The winner of each match is the first to 3 points. The quarter-finals will be broadcast live on the Internet tomorrow at www.Sail.tv. The webcast is scheduled to begin at 10:30 local time, weather permitting.
The light winds from the north inhibited the completion of more racing on Friday. The wind blew mostly between 6 and 8 knots, but died away in the afternoon which forced racing to be abandoned after Group B finished its round robin.
The event moves on to the quarter-finals without arguably its biggest attraction, Larry ELLISON (USA). The CEO of Oracle and founder of the BMW ORACLE Racing team fell to 0-5 before closing out with two wins. He finished with a 2-5 record and in sixth place in the group.
'Actually, we're kind of pleased with sixth place,' ELLISON said to a packed press conference at the St Francis Yacht Club. 'Let's here it for sixth place!'
ELLISON said he had not raced in J/105s before but enjoyed the regatta. He said that Thursday was a very humbling experience sailing in a cross current.
'It is very difficult and tricky sailing in a cross current,' ELLISON said. 'And sailing against this calibre of skipper and these quality teams, it's quite astonishing how good they are at what they do. It was just an honour for me to be out amongst them.'
The Allianz Cup may not be ELLISON's last World Tour event. He received an impromptu invitation to stage 6, the ISAF Grade WC Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, from GILMOUR, the event's technical director.
'Just yesterday I got word that Russell COUTTS [(NZL)] is unavailable to come because he doesn't have a crew,' said GILMOUR. 'So Larry, there's an opening for you. It's known as the world's richest event in sailing with a one million ringet [$275,000] prize money.'
'Are you serious?' replied ELLISON.
'I guess that's a yes,' GILMOUR concluded.
Saturday's schedule calls for the quarter-finals to begin at 10:00. The Race Committee also hopes to sail the semi-finals in the afternoon.
Allianz Cup Results
Round Robin Standings
(After 7 of 7 flights)
1. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Team Pindar, 5-2
2. Peter HOLMBERG (ISV), Alinghi, 5-2
3. Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-2
4. Chris DICKSON (NZL), BMW ORACLE Racing, 4-3
5. Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team, 4-3
6. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team, 2-5
7. Chris PERKINS (USA), Team St Francis Yacht Club, 2-5
8. Björn HANSEN (SWE), Team Apport.net, 1-6
(After 7 of 7 flights)
1. Ed BAIRD (USA), Alinghi, 6-1
2. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Viano Mercedes Benz - Shosholoza, 6-1
3. Jesper BANK (DEN), United Internet Team Germany, 5-2
4. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), PST, 4-3
5. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), Saba Sailing Team, 2-5
6. Larry ELLISON (USA), BMW ORACLE Racing, 2-5
7. Brian ANGEL (USA), King Harbour Match Race, 2-5
8. Cameron DUNN (NZL), Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia, 1-6
|1||Ian WILLIAMS||GBR||4||Williams Sail Racing||35|
|2||Mathieu RICHARD||FRA||6||Saba Sailing Team||30|
|4||Jes GRAM-HANSEN||DEN||24||Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia||27|
|5||Paolo CIAN||ITA||2||Team Viano Mercedes Benz||25|
|5||Chris DICKSON||NZL||5||BMW ORACLE Racing||25|
|7||Staffan LINDBERG||FIN||9||Alandia Sailing Team||16|
|8||Jesper BANK||DEN||57||United Internet Team Germany||20|
|8||Magnus HOLMBERG||SWE||42||Victory Challenge||20|
World Match Racing Tour Schedule
|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||Portugal Match Cup||Cascais, Portugal||July 2007|
|Stage 9||Danish Open||Copenhagen, Denmark||August 2007|
|Stage 10||St Moritz Match Race||St. Moritz, Switzerland||August 2007|
|Stage 11||ACI Adris Match Race Cup||Rovinj, Croatia||September 2007|
|Stage 12||Locman Cup - Elba Island||Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy||September 2007|
|Stage 13||Brasil Sailing Cup||Angra dos Reis, Brazil||October 2007|
|Stage 14||Bermuda Gold Cup||Hamilton, Bermuda||October 2007|
|Stage 15||Monsoon Cup||Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia||20 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.