Ian Williams defeated Pierre-Antonie Moravan 3-0 in the Final of the Open de España in Calpe.
by Pierre Orphanidis www.vsail.info
The British match racer, fifth in world rankings, wons the Open de España after scoring three straight bullets against Robertson in the semifinals and then another three against Morvan in the finals.
Williams was definitely on a roll on Saturday in Calpe. Not only did he continue his winning streak from Friday, he did it with great form. Going into the event's closing day, he and Pierre-Antoine Morvan had a 2-0 lead over their respective semifinal opponents, Phil Robertson and Simone Ferrarese.
Morvan didn´t face any problem extending his score to 3-0 and moving to the finals. He was off the starting line with an advantage over his Italian opponent and by playing it safe, he covered Ferrarese to the finish line. On the other hand, the race between Robertson and Williams was probably the most interesting and intense, and the only one of the day with a lead change. Robertson squeezed Williams at the committee boat end of the line, started the first beat on a good pace and in front and rounded the top mark ahead of Williams. However the race was far from over. Williams managed to reach Robertson in the first run and started a gybing duel that resulted in the New Zealander getting a penalty. Williams squeezed inside in the leeward buoy and stayed ahead until the finish line.
Although intense, especially in the prestarts, the three final races lacked the drama of the semifinals and with a brief exception in the second race, Williams had a commanding lead. All three of his starts were perfect and it seemed that in every beat, he would extend his lead over Pierre-Antoine Morvan. After rounding the first weather mark of the second race in the lead, Williams and his crew had a difficult spinnaker hoist, losing precious seconds and meters that Morvan quickly took advantage of. However, Williams showed his strong form once again by forcing a penalty on his opponent down the run, regaining the lead. From that point there was nothing the French could do. Williams clearly dominated all three races and won a well-deserved ticket to St Moritz Match Race. Results:
1st Ian Williams - Great Britain
2nd Pierre-Antoine Morvan - France
3rd Philip Robertson - New Zealand
4th Simone Ferrrarese - Italy
5th Keith Swinton - Australia
6th Bertrand Pace - France
7th Evan Walker - Australia
8th Staffan Lindberg - Finland
9th Manu Weiller - Spain
10th Reuben Corbett - New Zealand
11th Björn Hansen - Sweden
12th Álvaro Marinho - Portugal
Open de España website here
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11:29 PM Sat 7 May 2011 GMT
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