Thirty two matches were raced on Hamilton Harbour yesterday as action heated up at the ISAF Grade One Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, and the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship.
World Champion, American Ed BAIRD of Team XL Capital remained the only undefeated skipper in the unseeded men's competition of this match racing classic, while Bermudian Paula LEWIN of Team Ace Group maintained her spotless record and position atop the women's standings.
In Group 1 action, five skippers posted records of 2-1 on the day, including the three skippers, New Zealand's Cameron APPLETON of Team Triangle Rigging, fellow Kiwi Cameron DUNN and Italy's Paolo CIAN of the Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, currently tied for first place in the Group with overall records of 4-1.
The value and precision of the pre-start process was a familiar theme at this evening's press conference and seemed to be the key in the skippers' minds to their current and future success this week.
"We had the goal today to improve our starting, its pretty hard to execute a penalty turn in these boats and you want to give yourself the best chance possible entering the race,"
"One mistake in these conditions, in these boats, and a race can be gone,"
agreed Cian. <>"I'm very happy with the crew work, but our starting needs to get better,"
In this morning's action in Group 2, American Ed BAIRD of Team XL Capital remained undefeated after dismissing his opponents Sweden's Magnus HOLMBERG of Team Continental Airlines, fellow American Bill HARDESTY and Great Britain's Andy GREEN of Team Renaissance Reinsurance.
"We were quite lucky to have the puffs come through in the right order today,"
said Baird. "We very easily could be 1-4 right now, this is a tricky place to sail."
Three skippers are knotted on three wins including local favourite Peter BROMBY of Team Ace Group, who roared back from a disappointing first day to win all three of his matches this morning.
"My crew did a fantastic job today, I got my act together a little bit better than yesterday,"
said Bromby. "We're going to try and get both wins tomorrow, but we definitely need one if we want a chance to get through to the next round.
Joining Bromby on three wins is Scott DICKSON of the Dickson Racing Team and Hardesty. With only the top three finishers from each Group advancing to the main draw as well as the finalists from the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championships, the action on Monday will be furious as no doubt a countback situation will come into play to determine at least one of the skippers who will move on to join the seeded group later this week.
In the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship, Lewin was joined by the United States Deborah WILLITS at 2-0 on the day, while Sweden's Jenny AXHEDE of Team Panorama split her results today and is at 3-1 overall with Willits, enjoying the tie-breaker over her American competitor.
"We're very pleased with our results,"
said Lewin. "We had some tough matches and things went our way. Both races were really exciting today and I'm happy with our starts, we've been able to put the boat where we want it to be."
A second straight day of light and shifty conditions, with winds ranging from three to seven knots, fuelled the racing.
"It was a long day, but we got it in and I want to thank the Race Committee,"
said Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore P. Leslie Crane. "The wind got a little squirrelly this afternoon, but we're in good shape going into tomorrow."
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.