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14 March 2001, 07:55 am
Local Crews Thrive in Home Waters
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Jes Gram-Hansen goes up against Gavin Brady © Photopress NZ

Steinlager Line 7 Cup

Team New Zealand skippers are dominating the Steinlager Line 7 Cup regatta on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.
Cameron Appleton and Bertrand Pace are at the top of the leader-board with 8 wins apiece in the round-robin competition. Teammate Dean Barker is in third place with 7 wins. After a long, tough day on the water, Cameron Appleton commented, "I'm frizzled, it's been an extremely testing day, we just had to take each race as a step, not as a jump."

The best of the non-Kiwis is Rod Davis, representing Italy's Prada America's Cup Challenge, with 6 wins and 4 losses. Also on 6 wins, but with 5 losses is Chris Dickson of the United States Oracle America's Cup Challenge. With the round-robin elimination series getting close to the half-way stage the battle to grab the four semi-final places looks likely to get meaner and tougher in the second half.

Other skippers still in with a realistic chance of making the semi-finals include Gavin Brady, also representing Italy's Prada Challenge, who has sailed three fewer races than his rivals, and Magnus Holmberg of the Swedish Victory Challenge for the America's Cup.

The best of the non-America's Cup skippers is Denmark's Jesper Radich, who is level on 5 wins with Holmberg and Brady. Radich was the giant-killer of the day chalking up victories over Cameron Appleton, Chris Dickson and Dean Barker. Clinging to an outside chance is Andy Green, representing the fledgling British Challenge for the America's Cup. Green is sailing with a new crew made up entirely of members of Team GBR.

Event Director, Harold Bennett, said, "It's been an interesting day's racing. A good wind started in the North, North-East and then shifted to the North-West, which meant the bulk of the activity occured directly in front of Hobson Wharf. It was great viewing for the spectators."

The Steinlager Line 7 Cup is the fourth event in year two of the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour. The event consists of a double round-robin in which each skipper sails against all of the others twice. With the top four then going to the semi-finals, followed by the finals, which will be sailed on Saturday 17 March.

Scores after day 2

Cameron Appleton NZL 8 - 3
Bertrand Pace NZL 8 - 3
Dean Barker NZL 7 - 4
Rod Davis ITA 6 - 4
Chris Dickson USA 6 - 5
Gavin Brady ITA 5 - 3
Magnus Holmberg SWE 5 - 5
Jesper Radich DEN 5 - 5
Andy Green GBR 4 - 7
Jes Gram-Hansen DEN 3 - 7
Nicola Celon ITA 3 - 7
Bjorn Hansen SWE 1 - 8

News Editor / John Roberson
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