Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Congressional Cup: BlackMatch Have Good Opening Day

Minoprio and the BlackMatch Racing team in a close downwind battle on day one of the Congressional Cup. Image copyright Rich Roberts.

by David Swete

Today was the opening day of the prestigious Congressional Cup Grade 1 Match Racing Event, in Long Beach California. The event is sailed in 6 man Catalina 37s, which are big powerful boats, so for our two extra crew we have enlisted the expertise of the legendary Rod Davis and local guru Steve Flam.

Rod is one of sailing's all time greats; he has Olympic gold and silver medals, is Emirates Team New Zealand's coach and back-up helmsman, having helmed 3 America's Cup Campaigns and has also won the Congressional Cup on four previous occasions. Steve Flam is a local legend, he has 26 Congressional Cups under his belt and an unbelievable knowledge of the tricky conditions here in Long Beach, so with the addition of such experienced sailors to our team, we are hoping for big things at our first Congressional Cup.

We finished today with a 4-2 scorecard, gaining wins over all three of the French teams including World number 1 Sebastian Col and former Congressional Cup winner Mathieu Richard, while we also took down local hope Brian Angel. We lost out to a drilled TEAMORIGIN, skippered by Ben Ainslie, while our other loss came against Steffan Lindberg from Finland, when first day jitters meant mistakes crept in and ultimately cost us this race.

Our opening day was adequate however we feel we have so much to improve on and are looking forward to our 3 remaining matches of the first round robin. We face a rampant Terry Hutchinson tomorrow who is unbeaten on 6 wins, however we feel if we can make the step up from todays effort we will be able to give the past winner a run for his money.

There is an awesome line up of skippers at this event.

FedEx Express and Line 7 are our two sponsors who have stuck by us throughout our campaign and we would like to yet again thank them for their support. To the RNZYS, Emirates Team New Zealand and everyone else, thank you also for your support.

Standings:Round Robin
1 Terry Hutchinson 6.00
2 Ben Ainslie 5.00
3 Franchesco Bruni 4.00
4 Adam Minoprio 4.00
5 Johnie Berntsson 3.00
6 Philippe Presti 2.00
7 Mathieu Richard 2.00
8 Sebastien Col 2.00
9 Staffan Lindberg 1.00
10 Brian Angel 1.00

BlackMatch Racing

No comments: