Three way tie for the top

An update from day two of the Knickerbocker Cup match racing

Saturday August 23rd 2008, Author: Andrea Watson, Location: United Kingdom
Keith Swinton, Black Swan Match Racing (AUS), Sergey Musikhin, (RUS) and Takumi Nakamura, Albatross Match Racing Team (JAP) lead the pack with 5-1 score as the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup gets underway after a no-wind opening day yesterday. Defending champion, Chris Van Tol, Van Tol Match Racing (USA) and Evan Walker (AUS) are close behind with 4-1.

When Manhasset Bay greeted the racers with another day of glassy calm waters on Friday morning, the Race Committee towed the Colgate 26s out to Long Island Sound where the wind filled in nicely and racing got started about mid-morning. It was a very long day on the water, as PRO Sue Miller moved the race course to outer Manhasset Bay to take advantage of the southerly that filled in mid-afternoon. To make up for the lack of wind on Day 1, she kept the racers out on the water to 8:00pm, which took the teams just about ½ through the Full Round Robin.

By sundown, Swinton had one loss to Musikhin, Musikhin lost one match to Nakamura, and Nakamura’s one loss was to Van Tol. Both Van Tol and Swinton have one previous Knickerbocker Cup under their belts, so it will be interesting to see if Nakamura and Musikhin, first time players, will be able to content with Manhasset Bay’s current and winds, conditions that have brought down many a match racer in the past. And then there is Evan Walker, who has only one loss to Nakamura.

One thing is certain. The next few days are going to bring fierce competition among all the teams who are vying for this year’s Cup. Who knows what lies in wait for the rest of the teams? Phil Robertson, Panama Jack Racing (NZ), a newcomer to the Cup, with two losses to Swinton and Musikhin, can’t be ruled out and is still very much in the race. Andrew Arbuzov (RUS), who has a world ranking of 18 and has been to the KCUP three previous times, with 2-3 score (losses to Nakamura, Van Tol and Even Walker), has a lot of time to catch up to the leaders. So the field is still wide open, and no one is placing any bets on any one team.

The long day ended with Ted Weisberg, who has been involved with World Tour Match Racing since 1994, along with Eva Andersson, SWE, who gave an interesting update on match racing events around the world, with highlights of the Swedish Match Race in Marstrand.

Results as of 8/22/08:
Keith Swinton (AUS) 5-1
Sergey Musikhin (RUS) 5-1
Takumi Nakamura (JAP) 5-1
Chris Van Tol (USA) 4-1
Evan Walker (AUS) 4-1
Phil Robertson (NZ) 3-2
Blythe Walker (BER) 2-3
Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) 2-3
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-4
Francesco Bruni (ITA) 1-5
Liz Baylis (USA) 1-5
Juan Ignacio Grimaldi (ARG) 0-6

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