'We got an opportunity at the first windward mark,' BAIRD said of his first race. 'He dialed us down hard on starboard. It was close whether we could cross behind him but were able to.'
'We had a much better jibe and that was the race,' said BAIRD.
'We were sailing nicely and fast,' said WILLIAMS. 'But we made a mistake and gave him a get out of jail card. We had two opportunities to jump on him, but didn't take advantage.'
The semi-finals were suspended late this evening with the setting sun. The wind shifted to the west for the semi-final races and blew around 10 knots. The conditions were much more suitable for racing than the light northerlies that the quarter-finals were sailed in and have dominated the regatta, but there were still pratfalls on the racecourse.
'The breeze was more solid at the end,' said WILLIAMS. 'We were sailing up and down with the current but it brings new challenges, like time and distance in the pre-start.'
BAIRDnoticed differences in the ebb current from the shore side to the middle of the bay.
'It was a little softer on the shore, we were surprised by that,' said BAIRD. 'The beats were short so you had to start to the right.'
The quarter-finals were held earlier in the day. BAIRD defeated Chris DICKSON (NZL)a, skipper and CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, 3-1. BANK needed five races to defeat Peter HOLMBERG (ISV), BAIRD's team mate at Alinghi.
WILLIAMS beat old nemesis and reigning World Champion Peter GILMOUR (AUS), 3-1, to knock a chip off his shoulder. WILLIAMS has beaten GILMOUR plenty in round robin racing on the tour, but has lost to him in three knockout rounds.
'It felt good to get that one,' said WILLIAMS. 'He seems to be our nemesis in final rounds. For the tour standings it's a big deal.'
AINSLIE defeated world number two Paolo CIAN (ITA) in the last quarter-final match, also by 3-1. AINSLIE won the first two, dropped the third and then won the fourth. CIAN aided AINSLIE by getting a penalty and being over the start line early. Despite all that CIAN led towards the finish line, but saddled with the penalty AINSLIE was able to steam past for the win.
In racing for fifth through eighth places on Saturday evening, CIAN defeated DICKSON and then GILMOUR to place fifth and GILMOUR sixth. DICKSON placed seventh when he passed HOLMBERG on the final run to the finish, relegating HOLMBERG to eighth.
Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning at 10:30 local time and will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.Sail.tv. The webcast is scheduled to begin at 18:30 UTC, weather permitting.
Allianz Cup Results
(First to 3 points wins)
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.