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24 October 2001, 12:53 pm
Holmberg Holds On To Top Spot
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Swedish Match Tour
Stamford

A fourth place finish at the Swedish Match Tour's Colorcraft Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, was enough for Magnus Holmberg to protect his top position on the Swedish Match Tour's Championship Leaderboard.

However, with his victory at the Colorcraft Gold Cup, Peter Holmberg of the Oracle Racing Team closed what had been a 20 point gap between first and second place to just seven points.

Peter Holmberg, and his Oracle Racing Team comprised of John Ziskind, Mike Sanderson and Paul Cayard on the bow, sailed with surgical precision all week. The team notched twelve wins while dropping only one match in the entire regatta en route to having their names etched on the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup.

Swedish Match Tour leader Magnus Holmberg, the event's top seed, had a difficult week battling the flukey conditions on Hamilton Harbor. Holmberg and his Stora Enso match race crew defeated young American Andy Horton 3-1 in the first round of the regatta but were pushed to five matches in a 3-1.5 win over Bermuda's Peter Bromby. Holmberg, who is top of the ISAF World Match Race rankings(www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp), was then upset by unseeded Gavin Brady of the Prada Challenge 0-3 in the semifinals before being dumped 0-2 by unseeded American Ed Baird in the petit finals to finish in fourth place overall. The 15 Swedish Match Tour Championship points Holmberg picked up for his efforts were enough to secure his top spot on the Swedish Match Tour leaderboard.

Swedish Match Tour Championship Leaderboard:

1. Magnus Holmberg (SWE/Team StoraEnso) 62 pts
2. Peter Holmberg (Oracle Racing) 55 pts
3. Gavin Brady (Prada Challenge) 32 pts
4. Jesper Bank (Victory Challenge) 20 pts
5. Dean Barker (Team New Zealand) 20 pts
6. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Marienlyst) 20 pts
7. Morten Henriksen (illbruck Challenge) 20 pts
8. Ed Baird (USA/Team XL Capital) 15 pts

With his runner-up finish at the Colorcraft Gold Cup, Brady moved out of a three-way tie for fifth place with Morten Henriksen of the illbruck Challenge and James Spithill of the One World Challenge into third place overall with 32 points.

A sixth place finish in Bermuda moved Henriksen into a four way tie for fourth place with Jesper Bank of the Victor Challenge and Dean Barker of Team New Zealand who did not compete at the Colorcraft Gold Cup. Rounding out the quartet is Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen who finished in sixth in Bermuda and moved up from eighth place.

Joining the Swedish Match Tour Leaderboard for the first time since finishing in eighth place for Swedish Match Tour Year 1 was Baird. Baird, until recently affiliated with the Volvo Ocean Race team Djuice Dragons returned to match racing at the Colorcraft Gold Cup and sailed to an impressive third place finish.

Bumped from the leaderboard were Russell Coutts of the Alinghi Challenge who chose not to defend his Colorcraft Gold Cup title and James Spithill of the One World Challenge who cancelled due to travel concerns. Coutts had been tied with Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen for eighth place.
Shawn McBride/News Editor
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