Tag Archive | "Ian Williams"

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Hansen hat trick at Stena Match Cup Sweden

Posted on 05 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ALPARI World Match Racing Tour] The Swedish team has been raising its game constantly throughout the week. After scraping into the Quarter Finals on Thursday having finished Qualifying in lowly seventh, Hansen had an equally tight run through the Quarter Finals beating Team Alpari FX skipper Keith Swinton, only by 3-2.

Even on 1-1 with US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield going into the last races of the Semi-Finals this morning, Hansen claimed two races in a row to gain his berth in the finals.

For today’s racing off the west coast of Sweden’s paradise island of Marstrand, the wind was light and blowing, unusually, from the northeast, the opposite way down the fjord to previous days.

In the Finals, Ian Williams got the first point on the board, following a prolonged dog fight. This involved numerous lead changes with Hansen leading around the top mark, then Williams passing him on the second beat to lead from then on.

In the second race, Williams unsuccessfully attempted to shovel Hansen over the line early, allowing the Swede to get the upper hand on the first beat and to round the top mark ahead. The GAC Pindar crew attempted to roll Hansen during a gybe but fell into a light patch allowing the Swedish team extend away. One all.

In race three, the two boats were close up the first beat with Hansen leading around the top mark, Williams just a few metres behind. A dial-down on the second beat resulted in Williams being penalised for not keeping clear, but despite a valiant effort by the British team on the run, the Swedes were too far ahead. 2-1 – advantage Hansen.

Björn Hansen claims his fourth Stena Match Cup Sweden. Marstrand, 5 July 2014. Photo copyright Ian roman / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

In race four, Hansen and his tactician Gustav Tempelman provided a masterclass in sailing the Marstrand fjord, gaining by taking the left side of the first beat to lead GAC Pindar into the top mark with a one boat length advantage which Williams and his crew were unable to recover. Game, set and match to Hansen.

Hansen paid tribute to his crew of Phillip Kai Guhle, tactician Gustav Tempelman, Mathias Bredin and Sebastian Wedel: “It is a privilege to sail with these four guys. I am so proud of them.”

With the tricky offshore breeze, tactician Gustav Tempelman stood out as ‘man of the match’. As Hansen said: “Gustav did a fantastic job – he found wind puffs, which we didn’t think existed. Most of the time we agreed, but I trust him 100% and that allowed me to really focus on getting the boat going which was really critical today because it was so puffy and so shifty.”

Hansen profoundly thanked the huge turn-out of Swedish supporters, who had laid out giant flags on ‘Hansen Hill’ on the rocks on the opposite side of the race track from Marstrand where in turn spectators in their thousands were camped this afternoon along the water’s edge and up on the cliffs to watch the Anglo-Swede bout.

“As soon as we do something well we hear the crowd shouting and if we do something not very good, we hear ‘OH NO’ from the crowd,” Hansen recounted. “When we hooked Taylor [Canfield] this morning, you could hear from the crowd that we were overlapped. I didn’t need to have anyone on the bow calling the overlap!”

While Hansen has now won Stena Match Cup Sweden four times (his first was in 2007), he is still three short of Peter Gilmour’s record.
Ian Williams was gracious in defeat, but admitted it was hard to face Hansen particularly in the last two matches when most shifts had gone his way. “You never know whether he was getting it right or whether he was a bit lucky. The last start was a classic – it was the first time all day that going left worked. He looked like he wanted the left, he got it and when we crossed he was clean ahead. Everything seemed to go his way. All credit to him.”

In the Petit-Finals, Taylor Canfield beat Francesco Bruni 2-0 to claim third place.

From here the Alpari World Match Racing Tour moves on to the new event for this season in Sopot, Poland over 31st July until 3rd August.

Björn Hansen claims his fourth Stena Match Cup Sweden. Marstrand, 5 July 2014. Photo copyright Ian roman / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Overall results of Stage 2 Stena Match Cup Sweden, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
2 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
4 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
5 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
6 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
7 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork
8 David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
10 Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
11 Ed Baird (USA) Quantum Racing
12 Magnus Hoimberg (SWE) Team Magnus Holmberg
13Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team
14 Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure

2014 Leaderboard Standings after Stage 2
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 47pts
2 Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 39
3 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 34
4 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 33
5 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 29
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 20
= Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20
= David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour 20

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Williams on top in classic gale force Marstrand conditions

Posted on 03 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Stena Match Cup Sweden is known for being one of the few events where, thanks to the boats and venue topography, sailors can race in anger inshore in gale force conditions with spinnakers. Over its 20 years this has provided some of the most action-packed match racing of all time, all visible to the spectators packing Marstrand’s natural sailing stadium.

Today’s racing was a classic example with the winds blowing a solid 25 knots, gusting to gale force. It was a day of shredded, wrapped and trawled spinnakers, collisions, a broach of the normally unbroachable DS37 as well as some at-the-limit match racing.

Qualifying concluded today with Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar winning on an impressive 12 points, but tied with Francesco Bruni’s Luna Rossa. Both teams dropped just one match: Williams to the 20-year-old Dane Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bruni falling to Williams. They finished four points ahead of third placed Mathieu Richard’s Lunajets and Keith Swinton’s Team Alpari FX.

“It is great to get through in the top spot, but our thoughts are now on the Quarter Finals,” said Williams. “We have got to bring out our A-game.” This afternoon Williams picked to race Joachim Aschenbrenner in tomorrow’s Quarter Finals.

Ian Williams lead the Stena Match Cup qualifiers. Marstrand, 3 July 2014. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

As to today’s big conditions, Williams said they had just been under control, although they suffered a twisted kite. “It wasn’t crazy, but it puts more emphasis on boat handling, setting the boat up well and getting it balanced. Boat speed differences become more marked in those conditions, so it was good to have a few old hands on board.” The DS37 can withstand being raced in 30 knots mainly due to their having large rudders.

Mathieu Richard made a late charge, winning his last three key matches against Robertson, Hansen and Swinton. The French team had a particularly action-packed match with Hansen: “It was a crazy match which we will remember for a while. We loved it – a dog fight with penalties, big luffs, a big fight, very physical on board and big engagement for everyone. It was very good racing.”

Fighting for their survival at Stena Match Cup Sweden today were the mid-fielders, Bjorn Hansen, David Gilmour, Phil Robertson, Nicolai Sehested. Robertson in particular had a disappointing day losing his last four matches.

Slipping through to the Quarter Finals was David Gilmour, the newbie Tour Card holder causing upset by beating Tour defending champion Taylor Canfield in the final match of the last flight. Proud father, Peter tweeted: “Nice work TG @TeamGilmour any more points is a waste of effort!”

Also through and keeping Swedish interests alive is Bjorn Hansen: “It was a fantastic day for sailing. I really enjoyed it, especially the second race when it really got up to 30 knots in the gusts and you started to get some waves coming in that you could surf on. All the people who came here, even if it was raining, really appreciated what they saw out there.”

Last year Hansen came back from the brink to claim the Stena Match Cup Sweden title, something he hopes to repeat this year.

Sadly the bottom six teams are now out of the competition. This includes the two match racing ‘legends’: Swede Magnus Holmberg and American three time ISAF Match Racing World Champion, Ed Baird, who finally lined up today with the American coming out on top.

Some of the younger sailors are also heading home. Nicolai Sehested and his Trefor Match Racing team will be returning to Denmark. “It has been a great week,” said Sehested. “It is always good fun racing in big wind. Today the game was on.” Sehested had a particular good race against Johnie Berntsson, where after much overtaking, his Swedish opponent ended up a penalty down and with his jib wrapped around the forestay.

Sehested grew up sailing on the DS37 yachts and is very experienced on them. “They are really good boats for racing in strong winds. They have big rudders, you can turn the boats wherever you want and there is no risk of wiping out on the downwind. They have plenty of control and power, so really good for racing in strong wind.”

In last place on two wins (against Ed Baird and Magnus Holmberg) was 26-year-old Swede Viktor Ogeman. “We didn’t do as well as we’d hoped,” he said. “We came here hoping to get into the quarters. We feel we’ve improved from two years ago but we had a lot of close matches and weren’t quite there.”

While the DS37s are difficult broach the young Swedish team managed it on their final downwind leg in their match against Aschenbrenner.

Final Results of Qualifying
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 12-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 12-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 8-5
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 8-5
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork 7.5-5
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 7-6
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 6-7
David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour 6-7
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 6-7
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 6-7
Ed Baird (USA) Quantum Racing 4-9
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Team Magnus Holmberg 3-10
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 2.5-10
Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure 2-11

Stage 2 Stena Match Cup Sweden, Alpari World Match Racing Tour – Quarter-Finals
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa v David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets v Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX v Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team

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Victory completes a near-perfect week for Williams

Posted on 09 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ALPARI World Match Racing Tour] GAC Pindar dropped just one match on the way to victory over Team Alpari FX in the Final

Ian Williams has won Match Race Germany after beating Keith Swinton in a light-airs, one-race final. The GAC Pindar crew from Great Britain put the Aussies on Team Alpari FX under pressure in the final seconds of the pre-start and, when Swinton ran into the committee boat at start time, the resulting penalty put the Perth skipper on the back foot. The four-time World Champion never relinquished his grip, focusing on squeezing every lost drop of speed out of the Bavaria 40 on a light-wind Lake Constance.

Williams said: “My team on GAC Pindar have sailed really well all week. Our focus was to keep the speed on the boat at all times, as much as possible. We always have a great welcome here, it’s a beautiful place. If you’re sitting around waiting for wind, there aren’t many better places to sit around and wait for wind!” The British team dropped just one match, when they raced Denmark’s Nicolai Sehested during Qualifying. It had been a near-perfect performance by GAC Pindar.

Ian Williams, Gerry Mitchell – Mainsheet, Bill Hardesty – Tactics, Malcolm Parker – Trimmer, Matthew Cornwall – Bowman. Langenargen, 9 June 2014. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AWMRT

For Swinton, 2nd place represents his best finish in Langenargen, and shows a clear sign that the 28-year-old is overcoming his traditional weakness in the bigger boats on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. “It’s been a really good regatta for Team Alpari FX. We’d love to have taken out the regatta, but 2nd is still a great result. This is the event on the Tour where we thought we’d struggle the most, sailing in the bigger boats is probably not our forte. It’s been a fantastic week.”

Williams and Swinton both made good progress through the Semi-Finals to beat their respective rivals, Mathieu Richard and Phil Robertson, 2-0. In the one-match Petit Final, the French team LunaJets went on to beat the WAKA Racing Kiwis and claim the final spot on the podium. “I’m satisfied with the final result,” said Richard. “We lost to GAC Pindar in the Semi-Finals, but they only lost one match in the whole week, so they have been very strong. Amazing job by Ian Williams and his team. But this is a great start for LunaJets.”

Phil Robertson traditionally does very well in Langenargen, and won here two years ago. So finishing 4th was a little disappointing by his high standards, but the New Zealander was upbeat all the same: “We’ve had a wonderful week once again, we’ve really enjoyed our time. The Lederhosen Party is the main reason we come to Langenargen. It’s one of our favourite parties of the year, and we’ll have to bring the lederhosen back with us next year.”

It was an incredibly challenging week on Lake Constance, with a massive high-pressure weather system called Wolfgang driving temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, their highest on record for more than 50 years. From a sailing point of view, it meant that wind was in very short supply, and all the sailors paid tribute to the race committee for completing the schedule. For Williams, victory in Germany represents the best possible start to his 2014 campaign. The 37-year-old from Lymington was hurting after narrowly missing out on a record fifth world title at the end of last season in Malaysia. The team that beat him in 2013, Taylor Canfield’s USone, could only manage 7th place this week.

James Pleasance, Executive Director of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour said: “I want to congratulate event organiser Eberhard Magg and his father Rudi, the principal race officer, who together have been enthusiastically and successfully running Match Race Germany for 17 years. We’ve seen 35,000 visitors come through Langenargen over the past few days, and we have witnessed some tense racing in very challenging conditions. Next stop on the Tour is just a few weeks away when we go to one of our favourite venues on the Tour: Marstrand for Stena Match Cup Sweden.”

Team Alpari FX nearly smack into the committee boat as Ricky McGarvie fends off the two boats. Langenargen, 9 June 2014. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AWMRT

Overall results of Stage 1 Match Race Germany, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
4 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
6 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
7 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
8 Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team
9 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
10 Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team
11 Carsten Kemmling (GER) SegelReporter
12 Nicolai Sehested (DEN) TRE-For Match Racing

2014 Leaderboard Standings after Stage 1
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 25pts
2 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 22pts
3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 19pts
4 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 16pts
5 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 14pts
6 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 12pts
7 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 10pts
8 Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Race Team 8pts

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Williams reigns supreme at 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club] The final day of the 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta took place in glorious conditions, with 10 to 14kts of swinging south westerly enticing the Race Officer to set her course in Kowloon Bay for the third day in a row.

The final three flights of the round robin were dispatched without delay, resulting in a top ranking for David Gilmour, with Ian Williams second, Will Tiller, on the same points, in third and Jeremy Koo claiming the last spot in the semi finals ahead of Sam Gilmour.
As the umpires and race management were preparing to start, there was a lull in the breeze, forcing Strompf-Jepsen to relay the course while the competitors were drawing lots for boats.

Fortunately someone ’put another coin in the wind machine’ and the semi-finals got underway in 15kts and a massive tide. . A frisky finish in 19kts saw Ian Williams finish a boat length ahead of William Tiller and David Gilmour finish with a sizeable advantage over Jeremy Koo.
After changing boats, the teams went into their second match, this time, Tiller beating Williams by 5 boat lengths, and Gilmour securing his place in the final with another win over Jeremy Koo.

Ian Williams claims the 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta. Hong Kong, 18 May 2014. Photo copyright Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

The Semi finals featured a ‘best of five’ format, and when Williams beat Tiller in match three, it looked as if it would go all the way, however Williams forced Tiller outside the committee boat during the dial up for rematch four and then proceeded to cover him for the entire race to secure a 3-1 margin and advance to the final.

Just as draws and boats were ready to start the final and petit final, a massive wind shift caused the Race Officer to relocate the entire course form Kowloon Bay to Kellett Island in a bid to capture the new Westerly. It took a couple of tries but, after one abandonment, the finals, pared down to best of three, were able to start.

The first flight resulted in a win for Tiller in the petit final and a win for Williams in the final. In the second flight, Williams and Gilmour both made a good entry, only for Williams to take Gilmour well outside the box in the dial up, with the result that Gilmour was still over at the start. From there, it was a straight-forward sail for Williams to wrap up the final and the title of 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Champion.

At the prizegiving, where silverware was presented by Mr Bruce Lam, Chief Marketing Officer of HKT, Mr Lam said, “We are delighted to have top international skippers to join the 1O1O 4G Match Racing Series in Hong Kong. A big congratulations to the winners who clearly demonstrated their top-notch skills even when facing unpredictable changes – this is an essential quality of a successful leader, the quality that 1O1O possesses for always being able to provide remarkable mobile communications services to our customers.”

Final Results
1st – Ian Williams
2nd – David Gilmour
3rd – William Tiller
4th – Jeremy Koo

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Taylor Canfield holds on to World #1 in match racing rankings

Posted on 14 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] It’s the calm before the storm in the Open Rankings with the Alpari World Match Racing Tour just around the corner. Taylor Canfield (ISV) sits atop of the Open Rankings for the seventh consecutive release and has a good advantage over the chasing pack.

The Alpari World Match Racing Tour kicks off with Match Race Germany from 5-9 June 2014 with Canfield atop of strong looking top five that includes World #2 Ian Williams (GBR), World #3 Bjorn Hansen (SWE), World #4 Mathieu Richard (FRA) and World #5 Phil Robertson (NZL). All five are tour card holders for the upcoming Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

With the Tour shaping up to be another classic with six scheduled events and eight strong tour card holders there will be ups and downs in the Open Rankings as the year progresses.

Whilst there’s very little movement in the top 25 of the Open Rankings this month there are several movers and shakers further down with a string of ISAF Grade 3, 4 and 5 regattas taking place.

Felix Oehme (GER) was dominant at the Ploener May 1.0 Match Race and the Ploener May 2.0 Match Race in Plon, Germany. Oehme claimed titles in both of the ISAF Grade 3 regattas and as a result moves up to World #31 from World #47.

Denmark’s Christian Tang finished behind Oehme at both regattas with a second and a third but he is one of the month’s biggest climbers. The Danish sailor now counts five regattas to his points total and climbs up to World #74 from World #153.

Italy’s Michele Ivaldi is another big mover, going from World #119 to World #69. The Italian won the ISAF Grade 3 Spring Time Match Race and as a result climbs fifty places up the Open Rankings.

Philip Bendon (IRL) tasted success at the ISAF Grade 3 BUCS/BUSA Match Racing Championships in Weymouth, Great Britain and at the Ice Breaker Cup in Prita, Estonia. With maximum points from the Grade 3 regattas the Irish sailor jumps up ten spots to World #36.

Florian Haufe (GER) finished third at the Bodensee Match Race Act 1 in Romanshorn, Bodensee, Switzerland. Whilst the regatta win went to World #51 Roger Stocker, the points going Haufe’s way benefitted him the most, going from World #71 to World #49.

Jeremy Koo (MAS) continues to climb up the Open Rankings following further success on his home Malaysian waters. Koo won the ISAF Grade 3 Liga Layer Malaysia (Lumut) to back up the success he had in February at the Langkawi edition. With Monsoon Cup appearances up his sleeve and showing good signs of progress Koo currently sits at a personal best of World #38, up from his previous best of World #51.

With plenty of other ISAF Grade 3, 4 and 5 Match Racing regattas in Europe, North America and Asia there is plenty of movement in May’s Open Match Race Ranking release.

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Taylor Canfield consolidates World #1 spot in Match Racing Rankings

Posted on 17 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] Taylor Canfield (ISV) retained World #1 in the Open Rankings having overcome World #2 Ian Williams (GBR) in the final of the ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California, USA.

A best of three final was raced to decide the 50th Congressional Cup Champion, with one win a piece it was all to play for going into the last race. During the pre-start a loud crunching noise indicated a collision between boats and the fortunes of fate swung to Canfield in the last minute.

First he noticed the six-inch chunk missing from the transom behind his feet, then he reached for the protest flag and moments later saw the on-water umpires affirm his protest with a blue flag, matching Williams’ ID for that race.

Canfield stayed out of trouble to take the honours and extend his advantage at World #1.

Taylor Canfield extends his grip on the #1 spot at the match racing rankings. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

The top five remain as per usual in the Open Rankings but further down there is significant movement following a busy period of match racing regattas.

Francesco Bruni (ITA) is one of the month’s biggest movers having climbed 54 places to World #48. The former World #1 only counts five regattas to his name and having finished third at the ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup the Italian was significantly promoted back in the top 50.

The Italian will sail on the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour and will look to work his way back to the top as the tour unfolds.

Croatia’s Tomislav Basic moved up from World #31 to World #21 after he won the ISAF Grade 3 Slovenian National Open Match Race Championships in Izola, Slovenia. The Croatian counts eight regattas to his points total and of those eight he has won six. His personal best ranking of World #10 came in February 2000.

Having won the ISAF Grade 3 Match Race Thailand Championship Maximilian Soh (SIN) moved to a personal best ranking of World #36. The Singaporean is on a run of seven straight victories at Grade 3 and 5 regattas and has been rewarded having previously sat at World #50.

Korea’s Gunwoo Park has broken into the top 100 for the first time in his career following a third at the Match Race Thailand Championship. Park counts six regattas to his points total and climbs from World #107 to World #66.

With several ISAF Grade 3, 4 and 5 regattas taking place in the latter part of February, all throughout March and the early part of April further movement is visible in the April release.

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Taylor Canfield wins 50th Congressional Cup, Ian Williams second

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Congressional Cup] Krrunch! The sound was heard by the spectators all the way up on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier and over the lower part of the race course for the 50th Congressional Cup on the Long Beach outer harbor Sunday. It was startling for all and heartbreaking for others, like those rooting for Ian Williams of the UK to win his third traditional Crimson Blazer in four years.

Instead, the fortunes of fate swung to Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the last minute of the pre-start choreography. First he noticed the six-inch chunk missing from the transom behind his feet, then he reached for the protest flag and moments later saw the on-water umpires affirm his protest with a blue flag, matching Williams’ ID for that race.

Although there remained a decisive race twice around the half-mile windward-leeward course in 10 knots of chilly breeze, with Williams behind and owing a penalty turn, it seemed over before the start. Canfield, 25, said he knew it wasn’t.

“We knew it was going to be tough all the way through the race,” he said—and Williams made it so with tacking duels upwind and jibing his spinnaker to steal Canfield’s air downwind.

But Canfield and his crew sailed an unforgiving and mistake-free defense to win the championship sailoff with two wins to Williams’ one and collect the booty: the traditional Crimson Blazer and $17,500 of the $75,000 total purse.

That’s match racing, and the pair performed as their current No. 1 and No. 2 world rankings promised in a contest featuring contestants from seven nations.

Canfield’s crew consisted of Rod Dawson, spinnaker trim and tactics; Goodrick Hayden, bow; Mike Rehe and Dan Morris, sail trim, and Garrett Brown, main sail and pit.

Williams said, “It’s not a good way to lose, but Taylor sailed great. When I look back at it, the first race hurt us more. We had contact in that pre-start, too, but the umpires didn’t make the call.”

Funny thing about those flags. There were about a dozen protests upheld by the umpires Sunday and all were against the boats flying identifying blue flags, not the yellow flags of their rivals.

Williams said, smiling slightly, “With all those blue flags, the umpires must have lost the yellow flags.”

Williams did win the second race . . . after Canfield, then the blue-flag boat, committed a pre-start foul he was never able to resolve with a penalty turn.

Earlier, Canfield dispatched Keith Swinton of Australia in the semifinals, 2-0, while Williams defeated Francesco Bruni of Australia, 2-1. Bruni then defeated Swinton, 2-1, in the petite sailoff.

Phil Robertson’s New Zealand team won the fleet race around the harbor for the six competitors who didn’t reach the sailoffs.

Final standings

1. Taylor Canfield, USVI
2. Ian Williams, UK
3. Francesco Bruni, Italy
4. Keith Swinton, Australia
5. Simone Ferrarese, Italy
6. Mathieu Richard, France
7. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden
8. Dave Perry, U.S.
9. Phil Robertson, New Zealand
10. Scott Dickson, U.S.
11. Dustin Durant, U.S.
12. Chris Poole, U.S.

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Keith Swinton and Ian Williams tied at Stage Two of the Congressional Cup

Posted on 10 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Congressional Cup] There were no perfect days as Stage Two of the Congressional Cup got under way Wednesday. Taylor Canfield, speaking for all said afterward, “We’re still dusting a little rust off. We haven’t sailed together with our crews in five months.”

That might partly explain why the top-ranked match racer in the world is in a three-way tie for third place with three wins in his first five matches, behind early leaders Ian Williams of the UK and Australia’s Keith Swinton, each at four – one following opening tests of the first round-robin.

Thirteen more flights remain on the Long Beach outer harbor over the next three days to determine the four semifinalists who will mix it up Sunday. Total prize money is $75,000, with $17,500 to the winner through $2,000 for last place.

Their last Grade one event was the Monsoon Cup windup of the Alpari World Match Racing series in late November, won by New Zealand’s Phil Robertson, who is hanging on alone at two – three, ahead of the misplaced classy company of past winners Johnie Berntsson of Sweden and Simone Ferrarese of Italy at one – four, alongside local hopeful Scott Dickson.

As a southwest breeze built from a feeble 3 1/2 knots to 10, Williams, the winner in 2011 and 2012 and still ranked No. two, opened with four victories over Bruni, Swinton, Berntsson and Ferrarese until running into—almost literally—Richard in Wednesday’s final flight. The Frenchman, the 2007 winner now ranked No. five, forced Williams behind the race committee boat in the final minute, and by the time the Brit recovered Richard had a 16-second jump off the line.

“For sure, we have to work on our starting,” Williams said.

Richard lost his first two matches to the veteran Dave Perry, coming off a strong effort in the preceding Stage One event, and Dickson—the latter’s only win. Then he beat Bruni and Berntsson before blitzing Williams to jump back into early contention.

And if Swinton seems like the only frontrunner besides Canfield who hasn’t won the Congressional Cup, he’s working on it.

Since placing eighth in the Monsoon Cup he has rebuilt his team by changing two of his five crew members for an all-Aussie outfit, except for pitman Tudur Owen of Wales.

He also has taken on a new tactician, Ben Lamb, who said, “I really haven’t done that but we came from behind twice to win today.”

Still, Swinton dismissed a suggestion that this week was a bit like training camp. “I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “We were good off the (start) line in most of the races and usually came from behind when we had to.”

Racing is scheduled to start daily at 11:30 a.m., conditions permitting. Spectators may enjoy incomparable viewing of the races from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Admission is free, with paid parking at the base of the pier. Seating, free public shuttles along the pier, concessions and comfort stations are available.

Standings after five of eighteen flights:

1. Tie between Ian Williams, UK, and Keith Swinton, Australia, 4-1
3. Tie among Mathieu Richard, France; Dave Perry, U.S., Francesco Bruni, Italy, and Taylor Canfield, USVI, 3-2
7. Phil Robertson, New Zealand, 2-3;
8. tie among Simone Ferrarese, Italy; Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, and Scott Dickson, U.S., 1-4

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