Williams defends World Match Race title

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Friday is a big day for Ian Williams, the reigning World Match Race champion, whose Team Pindar is also defending his ‘king of the mountains' title at the St. Moritz Match Race.

Car headlights were already blazing at 6.00p.m., the wind had an edge and rain was driving walkers away from the lakeside of the glitzy ski resort when the Southampton-based Williams completed his second day to go into the club house lying second to Italy's Francesco Bruni, despite being unbeaten in his first five races.

The reason he was lying second was a half point penalty when winning all his five races on the opening day, imposed by a jury headed by former Royal Yachting Association keelboat coach Bill Edgerton, after being judged responsible for some collision damage.

"Yesterday was a really nice breeze, but today was very, very difficult," said Williams. "The wind was far more unpredictable and could leave you fighting to defend every gain. Friday's quartet of races has the big premium of a direct advance to the semi-finals if we win the round robin stage. That way we avoid any quarter-final traps.

"We are feeling good, we remain unbeaten, but the tough thing is that this counts for nothing when we start the next round with a clean slate."

Listen to Stuart Alexander talk to Andrew Pindar:

In New York, America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle duly lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the imposition of measurement rules for its 90-foot trimaran. The San Francisco team was joined by lawyer Cory Friedman, who asserts that the imposition of a secrecy clause between the defender, Switzerland's Alinghi, and the world governing body, the International Sailing Federation over publishing an agreement for running the proposed America's Cup clash in Ras al-Khaimah next February is contrary to the first amendment of the American Constitution.

In Geneva, Alinghi and the Societe Nautique de Geneve castigated Oracle for going back to court, said that the rules were quite clear and in line with the 1887 Deed of Gift which governs the event. In a dig at Oracle rules advisor Tom Ehman, they and went to the trouble of saying that they were issuing the rules earlier than had the San Diego Yacht Club in its mismatch against New Zealand in 1988, when Ehman was in charge.