Semi finallists chosen

Baird out on top after day of varied wind strengths at the Match Racing Worlds on Lake Garda

Saturday August 30th 2003, Author: Alessandra Ghezzi, Location: Italy
It was a slow day for the 12 skippers competing in the ISAF Match Racing World Championship, due to the unstable weather conditions.

The competitors left the dock on time at 08.00 am this morning, but by midday the wind had died completely and the Race Committee ordered the competitors to return to shore. At 3pm the wind kicked in and quickly reached 35 knots. Due to the lack of wind early in the afternoon and to the strong northerly wind arriving later in the day, the Race Committee was unable to complete round robin two.

The four semifinalists were therefore selected using a point system that compares the results of round robin one and two.

The 4 skippers out of the competing 12 who qualify for the semifinals were:
1. Ed Baird, USA (Andy Horton, Tom Burnham, John Ziskind) ­ 8,5 points
2. James Spithill, Australia (Ben Durham, Joe Newton, Andy Fethers) ­ 8 points
3. Mathieu Richard, France (Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Yannick Simon) ­ 8 points
4. Karol Jablonski, Poland (Grzegorz Baranowski, Piotr Przybylski, Jacek Wysocki) ­ 7 points

Ed Baird commented on today's outcome: "Lake Garda is a tremendously beautiful venue. I am really glad I came here. Racing has been conducted very well. Almost every match has been extremely close. This shows that the level of competition of this championship is very high. We are very excited to be where we are, however we have just finished stage one. Now the most difficult part is to finish ahead of the group in the next stage. Today the race management did a great job as they were able to complete as many races as possible. Unfortunately it wasn¹t possible to complete round two before the big storm came in."

Russell Coutts, didn't make it through to the final four, but gave his impressions: "I really enjoyed the event. This is one of the best venues for sailing in Europe and the lifestyle is great. We had great racing conditions during this week. I tried to win, but unfortunately I wasn¹t able to do so. It¹s been quite a while since I competed on small boats and I guess I made mistakes that I wouldn¹t normally make. The level of competition in this world championship is very high
indeed. However, it hasn't been a bad year for me - I am now looking forward to some rest."

British hope Ian Williams finished the round robins with four wins and 16 losses. However Williams will be able to return home with the satisfaction of having beating Russell Coutts in flight nine today.

Racing will resume tomorrow with the semifinals and finals. Tomorrow afternoon the ten best placed skippers at the end of the finals will compete in the Sanpellegrino sponsor fleet race. The official prize giving ceremony and dinner will follow at the Fraglia Vela Riva.

More photos on the following pages


Ed Baird, USA ­ 15 wins, 4 losses
James Spithill, Australia ­ 15 wins, 4 losses
Mathieu Richard, Francia ­ 14 wins, 5 losses
Karol Jablonski, Polonia ­ 12 wins, 7 losses
Jesper Radich, Danimarca ­ 12 wins, 7 losses
Russell Coutts, Nuova Zelanda ­ 12 wins, 8 losses
Bjorn Hansen, Svezia ­ 10 wins, 10 losses
Jes Gram-Hansen, Danimarca ­ 8 wins, 11 losses
Paolo Cian, Italia ­ 7 wins, 13 losses
Staffan Lindberg, Finlandia ­ 5 wins, 14 losses
Ian Williams, Gran Bretagna ­ 4 wins, 16 losses
Mikael Lindqvist, Svezia ­ 2 wins, 17 losses


M. Richard def. R. Coutts (sailed yesterday)
J. Gram-Hansen def. M. Lindqvist
J. Spithill def. K. Jablonski
B. Hansen def. J. Radich
E. Baird def. I. Williams
BYE P. Cian - S. Lindberg

M. Richard def. B. Hansen
I. Williams def. R. Coutts
J. Spithill def. S. Lindberg
P. Cian def. M. Lindqvist
E. Baird def. K. Jablonski
BYE J. Gram-Hansen - J. Radich

B. Hansen def. S. Lindberg
R. Coutts def. M. Lindqvist
I. Williams def. P. Cian
E. Baird def. J. Radich
K. Jablonski def. J. Gram-Hansen
BYE M. Richard - J. Spithill

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