Ed Baird has won the 40th Congressional Cup which concluded yesterday
The 40th Congressional Cup had run out of time and Terry Hutchinson had run out of wind when Ed Baird came from behind on the last leg to win a sudden-death championship race by 1 minute 41 seconds Saturday.
Baird, at 46 the oldest competitor in the fleet, was the only semi-finalist among Hutchinson, New Zealand’s Gavin Brady and Australia’s Peter Gilmour who hadn’t won the event’s traditional Crimson Blazer.
The Congressional Cup is the only American stop on the eight-event 2003-04 SMT. Baird, from St. Petersburg, Fla., took the weakest round-robin record into the semifinals (11-7), but eliminated Brady (12-6), a two-time winner, 2-1.
Meanwhile, Gilmour (16-2) chose Hutchinson (12-6) as his semi-final opponent after the Annapolis, Md. sailor had warned, “I wouldn’t pick us.”
Sure enough, Gilmour was stunned, 2-1, downgrading the anticipated title showdown between himself and Brady to a sail-off for third place, won by Brady by 1 minute 15 seconds.
Baird collected $6,000 of the $25,000 total purse for his first SMT victory, which put him in fifth place in the rankings behind Gilmour – still the leader with wins in two of four events, Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg, Denmark’s Jesper Radich and Brady.
Brady ($3,000) d. Gilmour ($2,500), 1:15
Baird ($6,000) d. Hutchinson ($3,500), 1:41