The Cadillac Columbus Cup changed tacks yesterday, dropping its fleet-racing program and opening a round-robin series of match races a day earlier than planned.
Susan Taylor, executive director of the Columbus Cup, said the change in format was brought up at a morning meetings of skippers and heartily endorsed.
"These people all came here to match race," Taylor said. "Another day of fleet racing just didn't seem to fit the bill."
Chris Law of Britain won all three races he and his crew sailed yesterday and stands alone in first place entering today's schedule. As many as three races are scheduled, with the first starting gun set for 11 a.m.
At the other end of the standings is American John Kostecki, whose boat lost all three races.
J.J. Isler, the first woman to skipper a J/44 in the Columbus Cup, is tied for second place with Antonio Gorostegui of Spain and Jim Brady of Annapolis at 2-1.
"They were really tough races," said Isler, who matched with Buddy Melges from Wisconsin, Marc Bouet from France and Kostecki. "The race with Buddy could have gone either way. We both had penalties against us at different points in the race."
Infractions in this regatta are judged on the water, and penalized boats may be required to make a 270-degree turn while the opposition sails on.
"Both 270s hurt us a lot," Isler said. "He had to do his in a real lull, PTC and turning these boats when there is less breeze really hurts you more."
Conditions yesterday were somewhat shifty in the first race, but, as the afternoon progressed, the wind became constant at 10 to 15 knots.