Australia Cup - Day 3

A downhearted Andy Beadsworth sums up a frustrating day for madforsailing's Peter Bentley

Friday March 23rd 2001, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: United Kingdom
Andy Beadsworth and the GBR Challenge crew found themselves at a low point in their campaign on the third day of the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup. Failing to win a single race from six starts, Beadsworth concluded: "We just could not get anything right today."
A number of the matches were very tight, none more so than the one with Australia's hot young gun, James Spithill. There was action at almost every turn with the British boat taking a total of seven penalties, one more than Spithill. "We had three coming-togethers which resulted in double penalties," said Beadsworth, "and as we went down the last run without spinnakers the incidents were coming so fast the umpires just couldn't keep up." At the end though, the British crew were ahead they failed to unload the outstanding penalty.

Somewhat dispirited by the day's events Beadsworth's first priority was "to go home and get some sleep. I feel that at the end we were just a bit punch-drunk." Further analysis revealed that the situation is far from out of control. "In the beginning we were sailing well but were a bit unlucky," said Beadsworth. "In the afternoon we just did not sail well. When the going gets tough we are not at all comfortable in the boats. Just sailing around we can do really well, but when the chips are down we are just not that flash in the boats. Any gaps in our sailing just become gaping holes when we are under pressure. We need a lot of time in these kind of boats and a lot of time to build ourselves up as a crew if we are going to be successful at this."

Meanwhile, Peter Gilmour, sailing with Ben Ainslie and his Pizza La crew continue to chalk up win after win. With 18 victories, and no losses on the scoreboard by the end of the day, they were assured their place in the semi-finals. Gilmour attributed some of their success to the fact that every member of his crew has won this event before. "Each of us has been here before and won with somebody. Ben (Ainslie) won with Chris Law, Mike Mottl won with Rod Davis and the other three of us have won together - that adds to the knowledge and understanding."

However he also pointed out that winning the round robin was no guarantee of taking the trophy, or even making the final. "Obviously we're looking pretty good to get into the semi-finals," he said in a minor understatement, "but it's a whole new regatta when that starts."

Magnus Holmberg and his EnsoStora team, who also represent Sweden's Victory America's Cup challenge, have gone through today with only one loss, and hold a three point margin over third-placed Gavin Brady.

Brady, who is on the Prada America's Cup team, has continued the recovery he started yesterday, after his disastrous first day. He is now looking strong for a semi-finals place, and will be keen to go one better than his second place in Auckland's Steinlager Line 7 regatta, last week.

The fight for the fourth place in the semi-finals is developing into a three-way fight between Ken Read of Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes challenge, Chris Dickson and his Oracle Sailing Team, and Frenchman Luc Pillot.

The day started with a gusty, shifty, south easterly breeze, that caused some gear breakages, before the Fremantle Doctor sea breeze established itself, making life easier for the race organisers.

Scores after day 3:

Peter Gilmour USA 18 - 0
Magnus Holmberg SWE 16 - 3
Gavin Brady ITA 13 - 5
Luc Pillot FRA 10 - 8
Ken Read USA 9 - 9
Chris Dickson USA 9 - 10
Jes-Gram Hansen DEN 6 - 12
Neville Wittey AUS 6 - 12
Jesper Radich DEN 6 - 11
James Spithill USA 5 - 13
Andy Beadsworth GBR 5 - 13
Nicola Celon ITA 4 - 13

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