Saturday, April 27, 2013

Congo Cup Update- J/24 sailors led the charge!

Congressional Cup- led by J/24 World Champions(Long Beach, CA)- While it may have been billed as a "dream win" for one sailor from Italy, the rock-solid team of Ed Baird and Terry Hutchinson (dual J/24 World Champions) eliminated all their competitors to sail the final match.  But, for most who've watched this event over the years, it was quite a disappointing finale.  Even Ed Baird was a bit mystified why they would sail a one-race championship showdown, a quarter-mile race windward-leeward twice around in next to no wind to determine the winner!

Here's how it all went down. Earlier in the long afternoon fickle and feeble breeze delayed the start of racing for about two hours and then stopped it again for an hour in mid-afternoon before a 6-knot southerly showed up under a heavy cloud cover to allow the title matTerry Hutchinson- J/24 sailor expert- World Championch to go at 5:15 p.m early Sunday evening.

Even then, the conditions were so fragile PRO Randy Smith cut the title and petite finals from best-of-threes to single matches!

So, after Ferrarese had spotted Great Britain's Ian Williams--- the double defending champ and world No. 1---their first semifinal match before winning the next two and Baird had dispatched France's Mathieu Richard with wins in their first and third go-rounds, it all came down to a single rEd Baird- J/24 sailor extraordinaire- World Championace.

That's when Smith also ordered the windward-leeward, twice-around course shortened from a 0.35 nautical mile to 0.25---a mere quarter-mile that seemed to suffice??

As it was, Ferrarese found breeze that nobody else could, first winning the favored left side from Baird, who went right at the start, and extending his leads from 29 seconds at the first windward mark to 35 at the leeward, 48 at the second windward and finally 54 at the finish. Baird said, "He just went the better way. We gave him what he wanted."  For more Congo Cup sailing information-