British skipper Chris Law is disappointed with Congressional Cup result in Long Beach
British skipper Chris Law with a five member crew from South Africa’s America’s Cup Team Shosholoza finished sixth overall in California’s high profile Congressional Cup after a cut throat week of racing which saw the team hold second place for two days and scoop two wins off three times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts.
Dean Barker, helmsman of the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup Challenge won the event, relegating his former skipper Russell Coutts to second place. Chris Dickson, CEO and skipper of the US BMW Oracle Racing team was third, Frenchman Mathieu Richard fourth and Finland’s Staffan Lindberg fifth.
Commenting on his sixth place Law said: “We are pretty disappointed as we couldn’t have tried harder. It was my first time racing with this particular crew from South Africa and we had great synergy between us. We had good speed and we were right up there knocking on the door of the world’s best.”
Law, a former winner of the Congressional Cup, which features the world’s highest ranked match racing skippers by invitation only, last year invited four crew from Team Shosholoza to crew for him in a match racing event in Denmark.
For the Congressional Cup he invited Team Shosholoza’s Ian Ainslie ex Durban as tactician, Ashton Sampson of Grassy Park, Cape Town as bowman, David Rae ex Pretoria as trimmer, Charles Nankin of Zeekoevlei, Cape Town for the pit and Mark Sadler ex Benoni to do the mainsail.
It was an invitation they readily accepted as the format for the America’s Cup is match racing and they need all the opportunities they can get to sharpen their match racing skills in the count-down to the ultimate America’s Cup match to be held in Valencia, Spain in 2007.
Chris Dickson, Golden Gate YC, San Francisco, d. Russell Coutts, Aarhus Sejlklub, Denmark, 3 minutes 0 seconds; Coutts d. Dickson, 0:26; Coutts d. Dickson, 0:33 (Coutts wins, 2-1)
Mathieu Richard, APCC-Voile Sportive, France, d. Dean Barker, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, 0:18; Barker d. Richard, 0:54; Barker d. Richard, 1:10 (Barker wins, 2-1)
Barker d. Coutts, 0:33; Coutts d. Barker, 0:17; Barker d. Coutts, 0:19 (Barker wins, 2-1; Barker $10,000, Coutts $5,700)
Dickson d. Richard, 0:10; Richard d. Dickson, 0:08; Dickson d. Richard, 0:09 (Dickson wins 2-1; Dickson $4,800, Richard, $4,400)
5th Staffan Lindberg, Aaland Islands YC, Finland ($3,800), d. Chris Law, Royal Cape YC, South Africa ($3,000), 0:44
7th Philippe Presti, Union Nationale pour la Course au Large, France ($2,700), d. Lars Nordbjerg, Skovshoved Sejlklub, Denmark ($2,300), 0:35
9th Chris Larson, Annapolis YC ($1,900), d. Scott Dickson, Long Beach YC ($1,500), 0:39