Brady created a bit of excitement on the day by being behind in each of his four matches at one time or another, but as a testament to how well his crew is sailing, quickly corrected his situations.
“We had a day of some pretty close races. It’s a tribute to the guys racing with me, they just put their heads down and worked hard,” said Brady. “You know, it's good to be pushed at this stage of a regatta because the scores go back to zero in the semis and everyone picks up their game.”
Highlights from the regatta leader’s day included an exciting first match against local skipper Scott Dickson during which Brady misjudged the time and distance to the start and crossed the line early. Brady was unfazed however and made quick work of closing Dickson’s margin before sailing to victory.
In his second match, Brady pinned Chris Law and “The Outlaws” behind the committee boat in a display of textbook pre-start tactics. Brady left Law little choice but to gybe out of his predicament, while the Kiwi steamed across the line. Brady then drew Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg into a penalty following a windward-leeward infraction, in his third match, allowing him to tack off on port to the favored part of the racecourse and from there sail cleanly around the track.
In his final match, Brady turned a five second deficit to Swedish Match Tour leader Jes Gram-Hansen into a 17 second lead on the second leeward beat - a 22 second swing over the six-tenth of a mile racecourse.
Also posting a perfect day on Long Beach’s Outer Harbor was Australia’s James Spithill, former helmsman for the Seattle-based OneWorld Challenge. Spithill started the day tied with Italy’s Paolo Cian of the Riviera di Rimini Racing Team for second place, but easily handled his Italian opponent in the day’s first match.
“We really got our act together today. I did a better job in the pre-starts and we found some good speed,” said Spithill. “Charlie (McKee – tactician) is doing a great job and the guys are all working really well, but we still have some room for improvement going into the weekend.”
Cian meanwhile posted a 1-3 record on the day to slide into a tie for third place with American Ken Read of Team Saucony Racing. After opening the regatta with a 1-4 record, Read posted his second straight three win day to continue his ascension up the standings.
“Slowly, but surely its coming back to us and we’re just trying to improve and dig ourselves out of the hole we dug on the first day,” said Read. “James (Spithill) did a really nice job in the one race we lost today, so we’re really looking forward to tomorrow and glad that we’re back in the hunt.”
Current Swedish Match Tour leader Jes Gram-Hansen of Team Victory Lane had the most challenging day on the water, failing to win a match. The 0-4 record dropped the Dane from a tie for fourth place to eighth place overall, where he sits beside his countryman Jesper Radich.
Four flights remain in round robin racing at the 2003 Congressional Cup. Racing is scheduled to resume at noon on Friday.
CONGRESSIONAL CUP LEADERBOARD
Skipper Wins Losses Points
1.Gavin Brady, NZ/Team Beau Geste 14 0 14
2.James Spithill, AUS/Team Spithill 10 4 10
3.Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team 7 7 7
Ken Read, USA/Saucony Racing Team 7 7 7
5.Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Holmberg 6 8 6
Scott Dickson, USA/Dickson Racing Team 6 8 6
Chris Law, GBR/ “The Outlaws” 6 8 6
8.Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane 5 9 5
Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich 5 9 5
10. Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Luc Pillot 4 10 4
Round Robin Racing
Read def. Gram-Hansen
Spithill def. Cian
Pillot def. Radich
Brady def. Dickson
Law def. Holmberg
Pillot def. Cian
Dickson def. Radich
Brady def. Law
Holmberg def. Gram-Hansen
Spithill def. Read
Law def. Radich
Brady def. Holmberg
Spithill def. Gram-Hansen
Read def. Pillot
Dickson def. Cian
Brady def. Gram-Hansen
Spithill def. Pillot
Read def. Dickson
Cian def. Law
Radich def. Holmberg