Light, shifty winds puts delays quarter-finals in Portugal

Denmark’s Jesper Radich advanced to the semi-finals of Stage 1 of the Swedish Match Tour 2004-’05, the Portugal Match Cup, with a 3-0 quarter-final victory over France’s Bertrand Pacé.

The Radich-Pacé match was the only one completed in the quarter-final round. Ed Baird (USA) ended the day with a 2-1 lead over Philippe Presti (FRA).

The pair was set to start what could have been the fourth and deciding flight when a large windshift and drop in pressure forced the race committee to abandon racing at 1900.

Other quarter-final matches feature Russell Coutts (NZL) against Staffan Lindberg (FIN) and Peter Gilmour (AUS) versus Peter Holmberg (USVI). Neither was started, but both are scheduled for today.

Lindberg and Presti advanced to the quarters from the repechage round, which finished this afternoon. Lindberg won the five-flight series with a 5-0 record, while Presti finished second at 4-1.

Presti had to defeat Law in the final match to ensure advancement. The Frenchman started to windward of the Briton, and never gave him a chance to shake loose.

Law, Michael Dunstan (AUS), Geoff Meek (RSA) and Francisco Neto (POR) were all eliminated from competition after placing 3rd through 6th in the repechage round.

Baird and his Team Musto crew (Andy Horton, Dean Phipps, Guy Salter and Jon Ziskind) could have won their quarterfinal match 3-0 as well, but gave away the lead in the second flight to Presti and his le Défi crew (Jean-Marie Dauris, Fred Guilmin, Maurier Husson and Christian Scherrer) when Baird mistook the pin end of the start line for the leeward mark.

“The leeward mark was right on top of the start line,” said Baird. “It was a mess up on my part. When Andy finally said, ‘No, the orange mark!’ it was too late. We gybed to get to the leeward mark but were within a boatlength and got penalised.”

Pacé had some unusual problems against Radich. The B-boat helmsman for BMW Oracle Racing sailing with his usual French crew (Benoit Briand, Thierry Fouchier, Fabrice Levet and Romain Troublé) hooked a mooring buoy in one match, and got a pre-start penalty in the third match.

The shifty winds kept the action interesting. Like the previous two days the wind blew from the north, but yesterday it was between 12 and 16 knots. Wind shifts up to 40 degrees were common when the blustery dark streaks of wind swept off the beach and across the Bay of Cascais.


Repechage Round (after 5/5 flights)

1. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), 5-0 Crew Johan Karlsson, Martin Krite, Daniel Mattsson, Daniel Wallberg

2. Philippe Presti (FRA) le Défi Français, 4-1 Crew Jean-Marie Dauris, Fred Guilmin, Maurier Husson, Christian Scherrer

3. Chris Law (GBR) The Outlaws, 3-2 Crew Oscar Angervall, Daniel Bjorndal, Anders Dahlsjo, Henrik Walderyd

4. Michael Dunstan (AUS) OzBoyz Challenge, 2-3 Crew Jeremy Elliot, Wade Morgan, Ben Morrison-Jack, Nick Partridge

5. Geoff Meek (RSA) Shosholoza Challenge, 1-4 Crew Ian Ainslie, Marc Lagesse, David Rae, Mark Sadler

6. Francisco Neto (POR) Team Henri Lloyd, 0-5 Crew Tiago Marcelino, Joaquim Moreira, Bruno Santos, Miguel Veludo

Quarterfinal Round (first to 3 points)

Jesper Radich (DEN) d. Bertrand Pacé (FRA), 3-0

Team Denmark Jann Neergaard, Chresten Plinius, Pete Poulsen, Rasmus Winston

Pacé Crew Benoit Briand, Thierry Fouchier, Fabrice Levet, Romain Troublé

Ed Baird (USA) leads Philippe Presti (FRA), 2-1

Team Musto Andy Horton, Dean Phipps, Guy Salter and Jon Ziskind

le Défi Français Jean-Marie Dauris, Fred Guilmin, Maurier Husson, Christian Scherrer

Russell Coutts (NZL) vs. Staffan Lindberg (FIN)

Coutts’ crew Michael Arnhild, Jes Gram-Hansen, Christian Kamp, Rasmus Kostner

Lindberg’s crew Johan Karlsson, Martin Krite, Daniel Mattsson, Daniel Wallberg

Peter Gilmour (AUS) vs. Peter Holmberg (USVI)

Pizza-La Sailing Team Rod Dawson, Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko Sofuku, Yasuhiro Yaji

Team Alinghi Rodney Ardern, Murray Jones, Lorenzo Mazza, Pete Van Nieuwenhuyzen