Racing began in Calpe with wind speed of 22 knots greeting the twelve competitors gathered to contest this year's ISAF Match Racing World Championship. In the opening match, last year's third place man Philippe PRESTI (FRA) defeated LOPEZ-VAZQUEZ after winning the start and displaying better boat speed through the race.
Number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings and three time World Champion in the 1990s GILMOUR fell against CIAN, whilst in a tight third match the on form Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), winner of two recent ISAF Grade 1 events, overcame Björn HANSEN (SWE).
By the second flight the wind had died down to 18 knots and GILMOUR recovered from his opening defeat by beating LOPEZ-VAZQUEZ. CIAN overcame WILLIAMS, whilst HANSEN registered his first win with a victory over PRESTI.
had a tough first day in Calpe
© Nico Martinez
SPITHILL secured his second victory in the next flight against LINDBERG, whilst RICHARD won the first of the all French battles against COL. The third match of the flight produced the surprise of the day when NEUGODNIKOV, who has never won an ISAF Grade 1 event, defeated BAIRD, who has already won two this year and holds three World titles.
In the final flight of the day, LINDBERG and COL both scored their first wins with victories over RICHARD and NEUGODNIKOV respectively. The match between SPITHILL and BAIRD was postponed due to a suspected twisted keel on the Australian's boat.
At the end of the day's racing, top of the leaderboard CIAN, who has never finished higher than ninth at the ISAF Worlds, was keeping a cool head, 'We sailed just three matches and won the three, but we are just at the beginning,' he commented. 'The three matches have been really hard, there won't be any easy match here. We didn't expect such a good beginning, but we had a good feeling with the boat.'
The round robin continues today with the first races beginning at 1100 hours local time. On Thursday the top eight skippers will move forward to a quater final round robin before the best of five semi finals on Friday. The 2005 World Champion will then be decided on Saturday in a best of five final.
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Results
ISAF Match Racing World Championship Standings
1. Paolo CIAN (ITA), 3-0
2. Philippe PRESTI (FRA), 2-1
2. Björn HANSEN (SWE), 2-1
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), 2-1
2. James SPITHILL (AUS), 2-0
6. Peter GILMOUR (AUS), 1-2
6. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), 1-2
6. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), 1-2
6. Sébastian COL (FRA), 1-2
6. Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), 1-2
6. Ed BAIRD (USA), 1-1
12. Santiago LOPEZ-VAZQUEZ (ESP), 0-3