Brady and Holmberg undefeated in today's opening two races of World Match Racing Tour Stage 5

Stage 5 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour for the inaugural Brazil Sailing Cup, got underway today in light winds that hampered racing.

Two flights for Group A were completed in racing that didn’t begin until late afternoon. The crews sat on the bay in front of the Yacht Club Angra dos Reis waiting for the wind to fill. Around 1600 the race committee moved the fleet out towards Riberia Bay where a 10-knot northerly helped complete the two flights.

New Zealander Gavin Brady, racing as the Beau Geste Sailing Team, and Swede Magnus Holmberg, of Victory Challenge, each takes a 2-0 record into tomorrow’s racing after winning both of their flights.

Frenchman Thierry Peponnet of the K-Challenge Syndicate and Brazilian qualifier Daniel Glomb are 1-1. American Ed Baird of Alinghi is 0-2 after losses to Peponnet and Holmberg.

The sixth skipper in Group A – World Tour leader Peter Gilmour of Australia – will not be competing this week after encountering visa problems trying to leave Australia.

Group B features teams led by skippers Ben Ainslie (GBR), Dean Barker (NZL), Cameron Dunn (NZL), Staffan Lindberg (FIN), James Spithill (AUS) and Ian Williams (GBR). They’re scheduled to race tomorrow.

Today’s racing left spectators yearning for more wind to propel the SM40s around the racecourse and create interesting boat-for-boat scenarios. In today’s light winds, there were few highlights. But the Flight 2 match between Holmberg and Baird showed the Swede’s talent in pre-start.

With the winds down to 5 knots, Baird entered the pre-start on starboard and dialed-up Holmberg. The two sat head-to-wind for a bit and then Baird bore off onto port before gybing onto starboard to head for the pin end.

As Baird circled around Holmberg took the opportunity to bear away onto port and gybe to starboard inside Baird. The result was Holmberg wound up on Baird’s lee bow leading towards the pin end of the start line.

Holmberg held a nice lead at the windward mark but Baird closed the gap on the light air run. The two were overlapped side-by-side on starboard heading towards the leeward gate when Holmberg luffed Baird slightly. That forced Baird to gybe away to port for the opposite gate mark. Holmberg extended on the second beat and then survived a drifting match to the finish to win the flight.

Brazil Sailing Cup Standings

Group A (After 2 of 10 flights)

1.Gavin Brady (NZL) Beau Geste Sailing Team, 2-0

(Crew: Jon Gunderson, Brett Jones, Tony Rey, Geordie Shaver)

1=Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge, 2-0

(Crew: Anders Dahlsjo, Niklas Carlzon, Lars Linger, Mattias Rahm)

3.Daniel Glomb (BRA) Brazil Sailing Team, 1-1

(Crew: Eduardo Birkeland, Rene Garrafielo, Jose Paulo Barcellos, Daniel Santiago)

3=Thierry Peponnet (FRA) K-Challenge, 1-1

(Crew: Benoit Briand, Tanguy Cariou, Herve Cunningham, Thierry Douillard)

5.Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 0-2

(Crew: Rodney Ardern, Nils Frei, Murray Jones, Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen)


Group B

Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand

(Crew: Kelvin Harrap, Richard Meacham, Tony Rey, Rob Salthouse)

Dean Barker (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand

(Crew: Don Cowie, James Dagg, Jared Henderson, Terry Hutchinson)

Cameron Dunn (NZL) Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia

(Crew: Matteo Auguadro, Maciel Chicchetti, Marco Constant, Antar Vigna)

Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team

(Crew: Nils Bjerkås, Robert Skarp, Carl-Johan Uckelstam and Daniel Wallberg)

James Spithill (AUS) Luna Rossa Challenge

(Crew: Magnus Augustsson, Michele Ivaldi, Jonathan McKee, Joe Newton)

Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Team

(Crew: Bill Hardesty, Gerard Mitchell, Mal Parker, Mark Williams)