Spithill shines

After day one of the Swedish Match Tour's Roberto Trombini Trophy in Ravenna

Thursday July 11th 2002, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: Mediterranean

OneWorld Challenge's James Spithill registered seven wins at the Swedish Match Tour's Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Match Race to not only set the pace but also go undefeated on the first day. One win behind Spithill, and also registering a flawless record, was Team Victory Lane's Jes Gram-Hansen of Denmark whose record stands at 6-0.

"It was pretty tricky out there today," said Spithill. "I had a few bad starts and was behind in a couple of races but my crew pulled us through. I'm really confident with our boat handling and Ben (Durham) called some really good tactics."

Although Spithill hasn't competed on the Swedish Match Tour in almost a year he showed no signs of rust, nor did his crew of Durham, Joe Newton and Andy Feathers.

"We're still getting used to the breezes and hot weather. Regatta fitness is definitely an issue after having not competed in a year and I'm sure we'll sleep well tonight," continued Spithill.

The day's 'excitement' occurred in the sixth flight in the first match which featured Prada Challenge's Gavin Brady and GOL Sailing Team's Bjorn Hansen of Sweden. A collision occurred between the two boats when Brady cut behind Hansen and left a meter-long gash in the hull of the leeward boat, forcing the organisers to juggle the day's remaining schedule and jump ahead to Flights 9 and 10 which featured byes for four skippers in each.

The day's conditions started out light but the breeze filled in after noon, building to 12 knots. The race committee ran two courses, providing plenty of action for the spectators gathered on the pier just off the Ravenna Yacht Club.

The Swedish Match Tour's Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Match Race resumes on Thursday at 12 noon.

See page two for the leaderboard and more of Guido Cantini's photos of the action...

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