Australian James Spithill is new ISAF Match Racing World Champion
Australian James Spithill is the new ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Spithill showed why he was one of the favourites, as after a poor beginning, he started a race to the top of the leader board, finishing first at the round robin, with the same points as Paolo Cian (ITA). Spithill chose Richard, who was fourth, for the semi-finals. Paolo Cian had to sail against Ed Baird. Both Spithill and Baird, easily won the three matches, two yesterday and one today.
Baird was looking for his third consecutive world title, and he had to face at the semi-finals the great name of this week, Paolo Cian, who had been leading the leader board up to the last minute. Alinghi’s helmsman didn’t give any chance to Cian in the two matches they sailed yesterday. Today Cian got the right side of the field and lead most of the race, but an impressive tactical manoeuvre of Baird left the Italian behind on the second upwind mark.
Spithill had no problem in winning the three matches against Richard.
The bad weather conditions were to blame for the premature finishing of the championship. A heavy storm made impossible for the teams to race the finals, after the last match of the semi-finals so, as Spithill and Baird had the same number of points from the semi-finals, the one who had more points on the round robin was the winner.
Spithill commented: “We were looking forward to the finals as two years ago, in our first World Championship, we got to the finals and Baird beat us, so we wanted the revenge, but anyway, we are really happy with the results. We had a really hard beginning, the day we lost against Gilmour and against the Spanish was a really hard one for us, but the guys did a really good job by overcoming such bad results, that was really satisfying for me.”
1. James Spithill (AUS)
2. Ed Baird (USA)
3. Paolo Cian (ITA)
4. Mathieu Richard (FRA)
5. Ian Williams (GBR)
6. Philippe Presti (FRA)
7. Sebastién Col (FRA)
8. Eugeny Nevgodnikov (RUS)
9. Peter Gilmour (AUS)
10. Staffan Lindberg (FIN)
11. Björn Hansen (SWE)
12. Santi López-Vázquez (ESP)