Williams and Cian ahead

A report from racing at the St Moritz Match Race

Wednesday August 15th 2007, Author: Peter Rusch, Location: United Kingdom
Ian Williams (GBR) and Paolo Cian (ITA) showed the way at the St Moritz Match Race on Wednesday. Williams sailed to a perfect 5-0 record in winning his group Round Robin while Cian was close behind, claiming his group with a 4-1 scoreline.

It was an ideal day for racing in St. Moritz, with bright, sunny skies, warm temperatures and a tricky, gusty breeze, making for challenging racing. A large crowd gathered along the shoreline of Lake St. Moritz, congregating at the grandstand built over the water, just metres from the starting line, enjoying live commentary about the racing.

The 12 teams were split into two groups of six, with each group scheduled to sail a full Round Robin on Wednesday.

Group A was first on the water, and following a short postponement racing was soon underway in a building, shifty breeze. Williams, who said before racing began that it was important not to take any single result too seriously, due to the vagaries of the conditions, showed he needn’t have worried. He sailed all but flawlessly, demonstrating good boat speed and handling and strong match racing skills en route to his perfect day.

Also performing well in Group A was Sébastien Col (FRA), who sits on a 4-1 record, his only blemish being a close loss to Williams. And just behind was Peter Evans (NZL) at 3-2, filling in admirably for the injured Jochen Schuemann. Those top three teams in Group A qualify directly for the Quarter Final.

Qualifying in Group B, along with winner Paolo Cian, was another substitute sailor, Cameron Dunn, who is replacing Mark Mendelblatt. Dunn and Eric Monnin (SUI) sailed to 3-2 records in the Round Robin in Group B, to move into the Quarter Final.

"Cameron did a fantastic job, starting the boat really well today, which meant we were always there at the top mark, able to attack down the run," said Ed Smyth, who was working the middle of the boat for Dunn today. "We had a bit of luck go our way as well, which you need – this is a tough venue!"

The bottom half of each group, the remaining six teams, will now try their luck in the Repechage tomorrow. These six will say a further Round Robin, with the top two advancing to the Quarter Finals.

Sailors in the Repechage Round from Group A include Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS) on a 2-3 record, Michael Hestbaek (GER) at 1-4 and Matteo Simoncelli (ITA) with no wins and five losses. Group B is contributing Staffan Lindberg (FIN) and Matthias Renker (SUI), both on 2-3 records along with Mathieu Richard (FRA) at 1-4.

Along with a full day for the sailors, the Umpires were certainly kept busy on Wednesday, with over a dozen penalties handed out over the 30 matches – just about one in every other race.

Racing is scheduled to resume on Thursday at 11:00.

Results after Group Round Robin

Group A

Ian Williams 5-0
Sebastien Col 4-1
Jochen Schuemann 3-2
Evgeny Neugodnikow 2-3
Michael Hestbaek 1-4
Matteo Simoncelli 0-5

Group B

Paolo Cian 4-1
Eric Monnin 3-2
Mark Mendelblatt 3-2
Staffan Lindberg 2-3
Matthias Renker 2-3
Mathieu Richard 1-4

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