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27 October 2006, 08:14 am
CIAN Grabs Early Lead In Group B
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Allianz Cup 2006
San Francisco, USA

World number two Paolo CIAN (ITA) leads the Group B round robin at the ISAF Grade WC Allianz Cup Presented by Oracle after four flights in San Francisco, USA. CIAN has a perfect 4-0 record at Stage 5 of the 2006-07 World Match Racing Tour.
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CIAN won Stage 3, the ISAF Grade WC St. Moritz Match Race, in August for his first World Tour victory. Yesteray he defeated Larry ELLISON (USA), Brian ANGEL (USA), Cameron DUNN (NZL) and Jesper BANK (DEN) in light winds for his undefeated record.

'We are pretty happy,' said CIAN, the 39 year old from Naples, Italy. 'It's too early to say anything, but today, light breeze, I think we had a couple of good starts and my team did an incredible job speedwise upwind and downwind. So we were able to get 4 points from four races. That is a good way to start. We look forward to get another point tomorrow because, as far as I see in the other group, you come through the first stage with 5 points.'

Group B is scheduled to resume its round this afternoon around 13:30. The racing will be broadcast live on the Internet at beginning around 20:30 UTC.

Tie For Second

After CIAN there is a tie for second, at 3-1, between old foes Ed BAIRD (USA) of Alinghi and Peter GILMOUR (AUS) of PST. GILMOUR staged a furious comeback against BAIRD two years' ago to win the 2004-05 Tour championship. They are scheduled to meet in flight 6. On Thursday it was BAIRD who came from behind in two races to snatch victory.

'We don't really enjoy being behind, but it was fun to get back in front,' said BAIRD. 'One of the key's in match racing is if you are behind just to stay very close and try to keep the pressure on the guys in front. We had two races we were basically overlapped after the hoist at the weather mark and it fell our way in the end. It was close.'

The wind conditions were light for day two of the $100,000 regatta. The wind blew from the northeast for most of the day around 6 knots. It would build to 8 knots at times, but also drop to 4 knots or less.

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Larry ELLISON had a tough start
on his first World Tour event
© Allianz Cup/Bob GRIESER
Like day one, the current played a major factor in the racing, on the runs in particular. In a largely ebb tide starboard jibe was the fast tack, going with the 2 knot current.

'Someone said yesterday that when you get your nose downwind into the current it's strange apparent wind angles,' said GILMOUR, 46, the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion. 'I was trying to imagine what they were saying but it's not until you get out there and actually do it and feel the boat downwind and the apparent breeze in the strong current, the sort of changes to those angles. It was quite challenging.'


BANK, skipper of United Internet Team Germany, and ISAF Nations Cup winner Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), the 30 year old skipper of Saba Sailing Team, are tied at 2-2. Cameron DUNN (NZL) of Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia is sixth at 1-3 and tied with Brian ANGEL (USA).

Larry ELLISON (USA), CEO of Oracle, the world's largest enterprise software company, and a member of the BMW ORACLE Racing afterguard, completes the round at 0-4. He is competing in his first World Tour event as a skipper. In the past three years he has won the Owner/Driver series at the Moët Cup and UBS Trophy, both America's Cup Class regattas. He is also a five-time maxi yacht champion.

According to tactician Gavin BRADY (NZL), ELLISON had trouble in the day's light winds.

'We've spent a couple weeks out there getting used to the conditions and of course the conditions when you're training never seem to be the same when you do the event,' said BRADY. 'I think the lightest breeze we had was 15 knots the last two weeks, so its' a bit of a shock to the system to sail in 6 or 7 knots.

'We made a couple little mistakes, in the start mostly, and paid the price for it,' BRADY continued. 'On the positive side I think we were only one mistake away from winning a couple of those races. It wasn't like we were out there making up the numbers. So I think Larry is happy with that and we know we can tighten it up a little more.'

Friday's schedule calls for a Pro-Am regatta in the morning, beginning at 10:00. Group B racing is scheduled to resume around 13:30 and, time permitting, the Race Committee would also like to start the repechage round on Friday afternoon.

Allianz Cup Results

Round Robin Standings

Group A
(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, 1-6

Group B
(After 4 of 7 flights)

1. Paolo CIAN (ITA), Team Viano Mercedes Benz - Shosholoza, 4-0
2. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), PST, 3-1
2. Ed BAIRD (USA), Alinghi, 3-1
4. Jesper BANK (DEN), United Internet Team Germany, 2-2
4. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), Saba Sailing Team, 2-2
6. Cameron DUNN (NZL), Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia, 1-3
6. Brian ANGEL (USA), King Harbour Match Race, 1-3
8. Larry ELLISON (USA), BMW ORACLE Racing, 0-4

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
(After Stage 4 of 15)
Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Team Pts
1 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 4 Williams Sail Racing 35
2 Mathieu RICHARD FRA 6 Saba Sailing Team 30

Sébastien COL

FRA 1 Areva Challenge 29
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 Ed BAIRD USA 22 Alinghi 20
8 Jesper BANK DEN 57 United Internet Team Germany 20
8 Magnus HOLMBERG SWE 42 Victory Challenge 20

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 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 - 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, Paolo CIAN leads Group B:© Allianz Cup/Bob GRIESER
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