Round robin wrap

Shawn McBride watched the group two racing at the Bermuda Gold Cup

Thursday October 17th 2002, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: United States
With the completion of Round 1 racing this morning, the field of competitors at the Swedish Match Tour’s Bermuda Gold Cup has been halved, with six of the eight seeded skippers and two local upstarts advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals action.

An early morning on Hamilton Harbor ended abruptly, as all four of the skippers and crews in must-win situations failed to rise to the challenge, resulting in Round 1 being completed before most of the island's residents finished their morning coffee and croissant.

Denmark’s Jesper Radich, Finland’s Staffan Lindberg of Team Musto, Sweden’s Mattias Rahm of Team Stena Bulk, and Poland’s Karol Jablonski of Team MK Café, defeated their rivals, American Tucker Thompson of Team T2 Productions, Bermudan Glenn Astwood of Team Bacardi, Sweden’s Marie Bjorling of Team Goteborg Energi, and Great Britain’s Chris Law and The Outlaws, respectively, by similar scores of 3-1.

The match between Jablonski and Law was the highlight of the morning’s action. Three penalty flags, one collision and a seawall incident in the pre-start equalled the most exciting match of the day.

“Always when you sail against Chris you have to calculate that he’ll be aggressive,” said Jablonski. “If you don’t risk, you don’t win, but you need to be smart.”

In the fourth and final match between Bjorling and Rahm, the lifelong friends, and almost equally longtime rivals, delved back into their many previous competitions to try and counter the other’s maneuvers.

“We have sailed a lot against Marie and know how she responds very well,” said Rahm. “Also, we were very aggressive yesterday with two penalties in our first match and one in our second.

“You can’t be too aggressive in these boats because they are a bit unforgiving,” continued Rahm. “Our plan with today’s match was to keep our distance and stay out of trouble. We managed to establish full control in the start after entering on starboard side and just never left there.”

Rahm now faces Jablonski in the first-to-three-points quarterfinals. Jablonski and his crew, who are leading the charge for a Polish America’s Cup Challenge in 2006, are familiar opponents to the Swedes.

“We have matured as a team quite a bit since the last time we faced Karol at the Swedish Match Cup and expect a very close match. Karol will be a tough opponent,” said Rahm. “We learned a lot about timing and the shifts in our matches with Marie. Good starts are the key because it’s hard to pass in these boats. If we can have equal starts with Karol we should have a good chance against him.”

The Quarterfinals other matches feature Swedish Match Tour leader Jes Gram-Hansen and Team Victory Lane against Bermuda’s favorite daughter Paula Lewin and her Team Ace Group. Gram-Hansen and crew know they have their hands full.

“Paula is sailing very well and has a lot of support from her hometown crowd,” said Gram-Hansen. “Hopefully we can read the shifts and get some good speed.”

Mikael Lindqvist of Sweden now faces the other local entry, Peter Bromby, helming his own Team Ace Group entry, while Denmark’s Jesper Radich faces Finland’s Staffan Lindberg and Team Musto.

“In our last two regattas we are 3-0 against Jesper, so hopefully we can extend that record,” said Lindberg.

Quarterfinals Match-Ups
Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Victory Lane) v. Paula Lewin (BDA/Team Ace Group)
Mikael Lindqvist (Sweden) v. Peter Bromby (BDA/Team Ace Group)
Jesper Radich (Denmark) v. Staffan Lindberg (FIN/Team Musto)
Mattias Rahm (SWE/Team Stena Bulk) v. Karol Jablonski (POL/Team MK Café)

Round Robin 1 Results

Complete Group 2 Results
Group 2
Flight 1
Radich def. Thompson
Lindberg def. Astwood
Bjorling def. Rahm
Jablonski def. Law

Flight 2
Thompson def. Radich
Lindberg def. Astwood
Rahm def. Bjorling
Jablonski def. Law

Flight 3
Radich def. Thompson
Astwood def. Lindberg
Rahm def. Bjorling
Law def. Jablonski

Flight 4
Radich def. Thompson
Lindberg def. Astwood
Rahm def. Bjorling
Jablonski def. Law

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