Five straight for Brady

Shawn McBride reports from the Congressional Cup match racing

Thursday April 10th 2003, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: United States
Registering five wins today, New Zealand’s Gavin Brady remained undefeated after the second day of the Swedish Match Tour’s Congressional Cup and, with 27 seconds being Brady’s narrowest margin of victory, he has easily established himself as the favorite to add a third “Crimson Blazer” to his wardrobe.

Today’s win total pushed Brady’s overall record to 10-0, as the native Kiwi sailed through the entire fleet of teams gathered at the 39th edition of the United States premier match racing event.

“It’s a nice position to be in,” said Brady. “The difference between a great day, good day and bad day is a three or four degree windshift 30 seconds off the line.”

In Brady’s first match of the day against Denmark’s Jesper Radich he copped a port-starboard penalty in the pre-start. Moments later Brady drew Radich into a windward-leeward situation with Radich being assessed a penalty, wiping off Brady’s in the process and allowing Brady to cross the start line five seconds before his Danish opponent.

In his final match of the day Brady got into a dispute with France’s Luc Pillot when the two became “tangled” with the press boat during their pre-start. Pillot red-flagged the incident seeking redress from the race committee, but was denied his request following the match and Brady’s unblemished record was intact.

In spite of disappointing two win days, Australian James Spithill, former helmsman for the OneWorld Challenge, and Italian Paolo Cian, former helmsman for the Mascalzone Latino Challenge, now sailing with the Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, are tied for second with overall records of 6-4.

“It was actually a pretty tough day for us,” said Spithill. “We struggled to get off the line early and our boathandling was rather average. We consider ourselves lucky to be in second place.”

In other action, three skippers registered three wins apiece to stay in the hunt for the right to join Brady in the semifinals. Swedish Match Tour leader Jes Gram-Hansen and Team Victory Lane opened the day with three straight wins, before dropping their final two matches.

“I don’t know what it was, I did a poor job in the final two pre-starts, I still have to work a bit with the wheel steering,” admitted Gram-Hansen. “It was very good conditions for match racing today, we saw a little bit of everything – light breeze and shifty and strong and steady.”

Also, registering three wins were American Ken Read of Saucony Racing and Great Britain’s Chris Law and his team, “The Outlaws” to rebound from disappointing 1-4 records yesterday.

“It’s a fine line between a great day and an average day,” confessed Read. “I’m still trying to get back in the groove after taking a couple of months off, luckily the crew did another great job today.”

Below: Ken Read does his John McEnroe impression

The regatta’s first match between the Swedish Match Tour’s two top points leaders was essentially over as it started, with Radich pushing Swedish Match Tour Rankings leader Jes Gram-Hansen and Team Victory Lane across the start line early, forcing Gram-Hansen to execute a turn before embarking on a split-tack start. Radich steered clear of trouble throughout the match, eventually winning by 12 seconds.

Racing began promptly at 11:30 a.m. today with a six knot breeze blowing in from Catalina Island. By early afternoon the windspeed had built to ten knots, peaking at 12 knots in the late afternoon. The race course on the second day of the 2003 Congressional Cup was set between the end of Belmont Pier and one of the oil islands that dot Long Beach’s Outer Harbor.

Round robin action resumes at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Skipper Wins Losses Points
1.Gavin Brady, NZ/Team Beau Geste 10 0 10
2.James Spithill, AUS/Team Spithill 6 4 6
Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team 6 4 6
4.Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Holmberg 5 5 5
Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane 5 5 5
6.Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich 4 6 4
Scott Dickson, USA/Dickson Racing Team 4 6 4
Ken Read, USA/Saucony Racing Team 4 6 4
Chris Law, GBR/ “The Outlaws” 4 6 4
10. Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Luc Pillot 2 8 2

Round Robin Racing
Flight 6
Dickson def. Spithill
Read def. Law
Holmberg def. Cian
Brady def. Radich
Gram-Hansen def. Pillot

Flight 7
Cian def. Radich
Gram-Hansen def. Dickson
Law def. Pillot
Spithill def. Holmberg
Brady def. Read

Flight 8
Law def. Dickson
Holmberg def. Pillot
Brady def. Spithill
Gram-Hansen def. Cian
Read def. Radich

Flight 9
Pillot def. Dickson
Spithill def. Law
Read def. Holmberg
Brady def. Cian
Radich def. Gram-Hansen

Flight 10
Brady def. Pillot
Law def. Gram-Hansen
Cian def. Read
Radich def. Spithill
Dickson def. Holmberg

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