Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ainslie at 7-0… perfect, so far

by Talbot Wilson
Photo by Charles Anderson

Hamilton, Bermuda (October 8, 2009): Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie has won a lot of gold, but never the King Edward VII Gold Cup. Today he moved into the quarter finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup with a perfect 7-0 record thus far. That’s the first step towards the Cup, but Ben is reminded of the lesson from world champion Ian Williams who was also 7-0 at this stage in 2008 series - and then didn’t even make it to the finals!

Today, Ainslie defeated Seb Col (FRA), Adam Minoprio (NZL) and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) on another flawless day of sailing for the multi medal Olympian. Ainslie doesn’t do much match racing but when he does he does it well.

The two top teams in each group automatically move up to the quarter final stage. Joining Ainslie in Friday's quarter finals is Adam Minoprio with a 4-3 score . Group 1 is represented by Eric Monnin (SUI) and Ian Williams (GBR) both sharing a 6-1 scoreline. The top two in Group 3 were last year’s Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) with 6-1, and 2007 Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard (FRA).

The remaining slots in the quarter finals will go to the top two from the repechage round robin still in progress. This will be completed on Friday morning.

Organizers had hoped to get all of the round robin racing completed today but a frontal passage with possible lightning, coupled with a departing cruise ship in Hamilton Harbour, delayed the start. Once racing began around 10:30, the committee banged of start after start in short order. Winds were fresh out of the northwest blowing 18-20kts most of the day.

As usual, the competition was fierce. Umpires handed out multiple penalties. Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Paula Lewin (BER) were both black flagged today, and Damian Iehl got his second black flag of the event. This brings the total to eight black flags for a regatta and it is still only half way through!

Racing continues Friday at 9:00AM with the last flights of the repechage followed by quarter final action.

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