Ian Williams, the current ISAF Match Racing World Champion and two-time Congressional Cup winner, found himself uncharacteristically in the bottom half of the pack after three days of Qualifying in Congressional Cup racing.
But in the repechage Williams won all five matches and then a spot in the Quarter Finals. Now, after winning eight races in a row, he will compete in the Semi Finals on Sunday along with Canfield, Robertson and Hansen.
“We’re sailing pretty well,” said Williams, who admitted, “We got a little stitched up to be in the repechage, to be honest.” But he viewed the added matches as a chance for a little more practice, and even joked about it, saying “We thought we’d slip ourselves in to the repechage, to get our full quota of races in.”
Keith Swinton (AUS) was the eighth and final competitor to make it to the Quarter Finals. Racing was close, and aggressive, with several collisions and penalties a plenty, according to Chief Umpire Alfredo Ricci. In the end Canfield triumphed over Aschenbrenner 3-0, likewise Robertson went 3-0 over Steele. Swinton (0-3) fell to Williams, saying, “Ian gave us a bit of a schooling.”
In the Semi Finals which begin on Sunday, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) will be paired with Taylor Canfield (ISV) and Williams with Phil Robertson (NZL). It is expected there will be sunny skies and WSW winds of 10 knots, on the Congressional Cup Stadium course: a federally designated area of Long Beach’s outer harbour.
SEMI FINAL PAIRINGS
Taylor Canfield ISV v Bjorn Hansen SWE
Phil Robertson NZL v Ian Williams GBR
QUARTER FINAL RESULTS
Taylor Canfield ISV 3, Joachim Aschenbrenner DEN 0
Bjorn Hansen SWE 3, Reuben Corbett NZL 2
Phil Robertson NZL 3, Chris Steele NZL 0
Ian Williams GBR 3, Keith Swinton AUS 0
Ian Williams, GBR GAC Pindar 5-0
Keith Swinton, AUS Black Swan Racing 4-1
Eric Monnin, SUI Team SailBox 2-3
Scott Dickson, USA Dickson Racing 2-3
Przemeyslaw ‘Tara’ Tarnacki, POL Energa Yacht Racing Team 1-4
Dustin Durant, USA Long Beach Match Racing 1-4