WILLIAMS, the 29 year old skipper of Team Pindar, won the group with a 5-2 record. He topped a three-way tiebreaker with Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) of Alinghi and Ben AINSLIE (GBR) of Emirates Team New Zealand, two syndicates for the America's Cup, for the win.
WILLIAMS defeated both in head to head matches for the tiebreaker. HOLMBERG defeated AINSLIE in their flight 2 match to place second and AINSLIE third. Those three advance to Friday's quarter-final round, a knockout series with the first to 3 points advancing.
WILLIAMS came into the event having won his previous start at the ISAF Grade WC King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda last week, a win that moved him into the lead for the World Championship, pushed up to fourth in the latest release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings and garnered sponsorship from Pindar, the British print and electronic media company. He kept that momentum going today.
'We come in confident as Team Pindar, with the same tactician and trimmers we had in Bermuda,' said WILLIAMS, from Hamble, Great Britain. 'But it's a different field, different boats and different venue. It's a new challenge and we're really pleased to have got through this round and into the quarter-finals.'
Racing on day one of the Allianz Cup was tricky with the wind on San Francisco Bay blowing between the northeast and northwest. That direction afforded great spectator viewing at the St Francis Yacht Club, with the starting line just 50 yards off the club, it was perpendicular to the strong currents.
The current played a role in racing, especially in the ebb tide in the afternoon when the northerly died to 4 to 8 knots. On some runs the spinnakers on the boats were hanging limp, but they were swept down the course by the tide.
|Double Olympic gold
medallist Ben AINSLIE is back
on the World Tour in San
© Allianz Cup/Bob GRIESER
AINSLIE is competing in his first World Tour event since March. He felt his timing was off slightly in the pre-start.
'We were a bit rusty today,' said AINSLIE. 'Our starts were probably our weak point. I think through the whole thing our boat handling was good and teamwork in general was fantastic. So we need to work on [that] for the future and getting used to these boats as well.'
Chris DICKSON (NZL), skipper and CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, placed fourth in the round at 4-3, followed by Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), 4-3; Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), 2-5; Chris PERKINS (USA), 2-5; and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), 1-6. HANSEN, however, was penalized 1 point for causing damage in a collision and finished with 0 points.
DICKSON, BERNTSSON and LINDBERG advance to the repechage round, where they will join the fourth thought sixth place finishers from Group B in a round robin. The two top crews in that round advance to the quarterfinals.
Group B is scheduled to begin its round robin today at 10:00.
The Allianz Cup is sponsored by Allianz. The Presenting Sponsor is Oracle and the Main Partners are BMW, Fireman's Fund, Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, NetApp, Pindar Graphics and Alphagraphics.
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
|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.