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1 July 2005, 09:38 am
SPITHILL And WILLIAMS On Top
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Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini 2005
Marina di Ravenna, Italy

Perfect conditions met the competitors for day one of the ISAF Grade 1 Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini in Marina di Ravenna, Italy. Defending champion, James SPITHILL (AUS) and Britain's Ian WILLIAMS both got off to flying starts and lie joint top of the leaderboard.
Ten knots of wind and flat water provided the backdrop for a spectacular day of racing with tight finishes, penalties and the occasional collision.

Number four in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, SPITHILL lived up to his pre-race billing as favourite sweeping to wins in all seven of his matches. WILLIAMS matched the Australian win for win meaning the match between the two today looks likely to decide the winner of the round robin.

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Paolo CIAN is off to a good start
© Event Media
Winner of the ISAF Grade 1 Albaria Cento Cup, home favourite Paolo CIAN also had a good day with six wins, losing only to two time Olympic gold medallist, Ben AINSLIE (GBR).

Today the round robin will come to a conclusion eliminating four of the skippers, with the other eight moving on to the quarter finals. Behind the top three the battle for a quarter final spot is intense with AINSLIE and Sebastien COL (FRA) and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) on four wins and Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA), Sten MOHR (DEN) and Flavio FAVINI (ITA) on three. For COL, SIMONCELLI and HANSEN the tension is heightened as they know a place in the quarter finals will go a long way to securing a spot in the top eleven of the Rankings when they are next released on 13 July, and therefore an invite to the ISAF Match Racing World Championship in Calpe, Spain from 12-17 September.

Of these six sailors HANSEN holds the advantage for now, with two byes against the others' one. The quarter finals could yet see all four Italian sailors competing with Roberto FERRARESE (ITA) not out of the running on two wins.

Standings
(After 8 flights)

1. James SPITHILL (AUS), 7-0
1. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), 7-0
3. Paolo CIAN (ITA), 6-1
3. Ben AINSLIE (GBR), 4-3
3. Sebastien COL (FRA), 4-3
3. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), 4-2
7. Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA), 3-4
7. Sten MOHR (DEN), 3-4
7. Flavio FAVINI (ITA), 3-4
10. Roberto FERRARESE (ITA), 2-5
11. Luc PILLOT (FRA), 0-6
12. Santiago LOPEZ VAZQUEZ (ESP), 0-7

Fabio Colivicchi (As Amended By ISAF). Image, James SPITHILL is looking good after day one in Ravenna:© Event Media
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