by Talbot Wilson
Hamilton BERMUDA, October 22, 2014 - Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar who is #1 on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and stands #2 in ISAF rankings going into Stage 6 at the Argo Group Gold Cup had a nearly perfect first day in the Argo Group gold Cup. He won all four of his matches but stands on 3.5 points.
Williams tried to cross Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa in a close match and failed to make it. Bruni's bow roller caught William's backstay and the two boats twirled away locked together for what seemed like an age. Both skippers were penalized 1/2 point for the incident. Williams leads Group 1 going into flight 6 on Wednesday.
Leading Group 2 is Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing, a former Polish Match Race Champion. He finished the first day with a perfect 4 points and no losses. Stanczyk defeated Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team, Nathan Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing.
Taylor Canfield ((ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, has 3 points. He is joined there by Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team and Staffan Lindberg (Fin) Alandia Sailing Team
Sailing starts again on Thursday at 9:00 ADT with more Qualifying matches.
Weather Forecast for Thursday -
Winds southwesterly 18 to 22 knots, increasing 20 to 25 knots in any heavier showers or thunderstorms, decreasing west-southwesterly 12 to 18 knots by the afternoon... Scattered to widespread showers with risk of thunder and fair to poor visibility, becoming isolated showers in the afternoon... Seas inside the reef 1 to 2 ft... Outside the reef 4 to 7 ft... Sunrise: 7:28 am; Sunset: 6:37 pm.
Quotes for the Day:
We had a great result today and in part it is because we are missing our friend and a fellow crewmember, Dominick Niskiewicz, who has been here for two prior Gold Cups. He passed away this year. So we are glad we did so well today for him.
We had a lot of tough races and shifty conditions today. It was a very difficult day on the harbor with more penalties that we would like. We are looking forward to a better day tomorrow.
There was some really tough competition out there this year and we are facing a southeast wind so that makes things very challenging. Hamilton harbor always is a challenging place to sail. We did lose the first race to Chris Poole and then put together wins for the next three. Racing here for the first day is difficult but it gets more comfortable as you go along.
This is the kind of racing that I am not entirely accustomed to and at 2-2 we have our work cut out for us tomorrow. I am someone who likes to sail everything and I am getting up to speed. I just hope we can sail well tomorrow and sail the shifts well. What is great about being out here is I see some of the colleagues I knew sailing 49ers and even as a junior match racer. It is great to be around people I have sailed with all my life.
We came out swinging today and we have a new crew and it is our first time sailing together in competition. We feel we did pretty well with 2-2 on the board. We have five more races to go to see what will happen.
It was a pretty tricky day, disappointing and I got a bit of a hiding from the RBYC Commodore Kempe, but we got it together and sailed well for the rest of the event.
It is still in our hands at 2-2 but I think we were a bit lucky today as there were a lot of penalties and we might have had a few more as the day went. But, we are just happy to be here and the sailing is great so far.
We still have a chance but we have not sailed as well as we could today. We were leading all of our races at some stage but in this game you cannot make mistakes. So, we have five races tomorrow and we are hoping we do better.
Sometimes you get beat by Hamilton Harbour but out of our four races we had one win against Keith Swinton. That race went down to the wire and we slid a bit in the next three. But, we definitely felt that there was no reason why we should not be out there. We need a few more lucky breaks and maybe we will get that tomorrow.
There are no easy races, that is for sure but we treat every race separately and we try to learn from each one. Unfortunately, the round robin does not give us that much room to learn.
This is my first major event and I am 70-years old so this has been thrilling for me. Just getting an invitation to this premier match racing event is a thrill. So, this is a major event for me and I am just honored to be here.
2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour Standings coming into the Argo Group Gold Cup:
1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 94pts
2. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 88pts
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 76pts
4. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing 63pts
5. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 58pts
6. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 56pts
7. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 39pts
8. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20pts