Holmberg wins Group A but tropical squall forces abandonment of Group B 17/3/06

Magnus Holmberg was the clear winner of yesterday’s Group A round robin at the Brazil Sailing Cup, Stage 5 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour.

Holmberg and his Victory Challenge crew advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the $100,000 match-racing regatta after winning the round with a 4-0 record.

Behind him there’s a three-way tie for second between Ed Baird (USA), Gavin Brady (NZL) and Thierry Peponnet (FRA). The three finished with 2-2 records. Local qualifier Daniel Glomb was fifth in the group at 0-4.

Group A enjoyed a pleasant 10- to 12-knot north-easterly yesterday morning that made for fair racing. As Baird said, “Yesterday [Wednesday] was very frustrating. Today was much better.”

After Group A finished its round Group B took to the water and completed two flights before the wind died away and an almighty tropical squall, complete with thunder, lightning and buckets of rain, put a halt to racing for the day. It was a good call by the race committee. Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia crewman Antar Vigna got a shock from lightning while touching the boom vang.

Ben Ainslie (GBR) and James Spithill (AUS) are tied for the Group B lead with 2-0 records. Dean Barker (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR) are 1-1, and Cameron Dunn (NZL) and Staffan Lindberg (FIN) are 0-2.

Group B is scheduled to complete its round robin this morning.

The format of the Brazil Sailing Cup calls for the top three teams from Groups A and B to advance to the Quarterfinal Round. The bottom teams from each group advance to a Repechage Round that will determine the other two quarterfinalists.

In the event of a tie between three or more teams the Sailing Instructions call for a sail-off among those teams, if time permits. If time doesn’t permit, the tiebreaking system in Appendix C of the Racing Rules of Sailing will be applied.

The race committee hasn’t decided whether it will conduct the sail off. If they decide to use the system described in the appendix, Baird and Brady would advance to the quarters.

Brazil Sailing Cup Standings

Group A (After 5 of 5 flights)

1. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge, 4-0
(Crew: Anders Dahlsjo, Niklas Carlzon, Lars Linger, Mattias Rahm)
2. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 2-2
(Crew: Rodney Ardern, Nils Frei, Murray Jones, Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen)
2= Gavin Brady (NZL) Beau Geste Sailing Team, 2-2
(Crew: Jon Gunderson, Brett Jones, Tony Rey, Geordie Shaver)
2= Thierry Peponnet (FRA) K-Challenge, 2-2
(Crew: Benoit Briand, Tanguy Cariou, Herve Cunningham, Thierry Douillard)
5. Daniel Glomb (BRA) Brazil Sailing Team, 0-4
(Crew: Eduardo Birkeland, Rene Garrafielo, Jose Paulo Barcellos, Daniel Santiago)

Group B (After 2 of 5 flights)

1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand, 2-0
(Crew: Kelvin Harrap, Richard Meacham, Tony Rey, Rob Salthouse)
1= James Spithill (AUS) Luna Rossa Challenge, 2-0
(Crew: Magnus Augustsson, Michele Ivaldi, Jonathan McKee, Joe Newton)
3. Dean Barker (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-1
(Crew: Don Cowie, James Dagg, Jared Henderson, Terry Hutchinson)
3= Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Team, 1-1
(Crew: Bill Hardesty, Gerard Mitchell, Mal Parker, Mark Williams)
5. Cameron Dunn (NZL) Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia, 0-2
(Crew: Matteo Auguadro, Maciel Chicchetti, Marco Constant, Antar Vigna)
5= Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 0-2
(Crew: Nils Bjerkås, Robert Skarp, Carl-Johan Uckelstam and Daniel Wallberg)