Two semifinalists from Group B were determined with Great Britain's Chris Law clinching a spot and American Ed Baird and his Team Musto advancing in a countback scenario over OneWorld Challenge's James Spithill, with one flight still to be raced.
Action heated up on yesterday's third day of round robin racing at the Swedish Match Tour's UBS Challenge in Newport, RI.
"It was a very challenging day out there today," stated Baird. "In all four of the races we won we came from behind. It was a tough day and I'm really happy we came through it like we did."
In a reversal of fortune, Oneworld Challenge's James Spithill, leading Group B to start the day, dropped his first five matches before defeating amateur Andy Lovell to finish 1-5 and fall into third place.
GBR Challenge's Andy Green, who rattled off six straight wins today to get himself back into the thick of things, momentarily placed himself in a tie with Spithill. Unfortunately for Green he was deducted one-third of a point for a collision during his match with fellow Brit Chris Law.
"I've got mixed emotions with the way things went today," said Green. "We battled back from a disappointing start to the regatta but to lose out on a chance to advance because of a point deduction is disappointing, but the event has to protect the boats and that's that."
Now atop Group B is Great Britain's Chris Law, a match racing veteran who has recently returned to the Swedish Match Tour after a two-year "retirement." Law guided his Team Outlaws to a 4-2 record on the day to establish control of the group.
"It was one of those special days, a combination of great boats, great conditions and a great venue," said Law. "I'm only in the position I'm in because of my crew, they've sailed great all week and I'm very happy with our results."
In Group A, three flights were completed with OneWorld Challenge skipper Peter Gilmour and his Pizza La team continuing to lead the way. Gilmour went 3-0 on the day to improve his overall record to 9-1. In the morning's racing Gilmour dispatched amateurs Ben Cesare and Mason Woodworth as well as Alinghi Team's Jean-Claude Monnin.
"Anything can happen in this game. (Yashuhiro) Yagi, Tatsuya (Wakinaga) and Morgan (Larson) are all doing an excellent job, we're sailing really smoothly and we're looking forward to more racing," said Gilmour.
Registering two wins on the day, and now sitting on seven points, were Paolo Cian of the Mascalzone Latino Challenge and Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen and his Team Victory Lane.
"Tomorrow will be a big day and as is so often the case it will come down to the final matches of the round robin to determine who will advance," said Gram-Hansen.
Also notching two wins was local skipper Ken Read, helmsman for Team Dennis Conner. Read brought his point total to six and needs a strong showing in his remaining matches to be one of the two teams to advance to the semifinals.
"We're still not sailing crisp yet, but we have a tam of veterans," allowed Read. "The pressure is on us tomorrow and we need to step up."
The UBS Challenge is being contested in J-105s with an owner or owner's representative aboard in the tradition of the America's Cup "Seventeenth Man."
The boats took to the waters off Goat Island at 9am for a full day of racing. Light winds gave way to a southwesterly in the afternoon allowing the event to complete nine flights on the day.
Action resumes on Saturday with the conclusion of Round Robin 2 and the semifinals
Group A Round Robin Standings
1. Peter Gilmour-AUS/Team Pizza La-9-1-9
2. Jes Gram-Hansen-DEN/Team Victory Lane-7-3-7
3. Paolo Cian-Mascalzone Latino-7-3-7
4. Ken Read-Team Dennis Conner-6-4-6
5. Luc Pillot-Le Defi Areva-3-4-3
6. Mason Woodworth-USA-2-8-2
7. Jean-Claude Monnin-Alinghi Team-2-8-2
8. Ben Cesare-USA-1-9-1
Group B Round Robin Standings
1. Chris Law-Great Britain/Team Outlaws-9-4-9
2. Ed Baird-USA/Team Musto-8-5-8
3. James Spithill-OneWorld Challenge-8-5-7"
4. Andy Green-GBR Challenge-7-6-6
5. Andy Lovell-USA-6-7-6
6. Jesper Radich-Denmark-6-7-6
7. Gavin Brady-Prada Challenge-5-8-5
8. Dawn Riley-K-Challenge-3-10-3
"Spithill was charged a point for a collision earlier in the competition
Complete results from today's racing are as follows:
Group A Round Robin 2 Results
Pillot def. Cian
Gram-Hansen def. Monnin
Gilmour def. Cesare
Read def. Woodworth
Cian def. Gram-Hansen
Gilmour def. Woodworth
Pillot def. Monnin
Read def. Cesare
Gilmour def. Monnin
Pillot def. Woodworth
Cian def. Read
Gram-Hansen def. Cesare
Group B Round Robin 1 Results
Law def. Spithill
Riley def. Radich
Green def. Baird
Lovell def. Brady
Radich def. Spithill
Lovell def. Baird
Law def. Riley
Green def. Brady
Baird def. Riley
Law def. Lovell
Brady def. Spithill
Green def. Radich
Brady def. Riley
Green def. Law
Radich def. Lovell
Baird def. Spithill
Radich def. Brady
Green def. Spithill
Riley def. Lovell
Baird def. Law
Green def. Riley
Spithill def. Lovell
Baird def. Radich
Law def. Brady