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21 March 2001, 03:31 pm
Americas Cup Skipper In Front
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©John Roberson

Sun Microsystems Australia Cup.

Peter Gilmour and Magnus Holmberg head the leaderboard at the end of the first day of the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup.
Gilmour representing the OneWorld America's Challenge, and Holmberg representing Sweden's Victory Challenge, have pulled marginally ahead of the rest of the field. Both skippers are undefeated, with five wins on the board, after a long tough day on the water. Gilmour is defending the trophy he won last year, and has bought out the big guns, with Olympic gold and silver medallist Ben Ainslie in his crew. Magnus Holmberg is the current leader of the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour, as the second year of the Tour goes past the half way stage.

Hanging in close behind these two is American skipper Ken Read, sailing for Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes Cup campaign through the New York Yacht Club. This is a particularly impressive performance from Read, who is competing in his first grand prix match racing event. Explaining his success, he praised his tactician, "Terry Hutchinson is awesome at seeing the water, so we feel like in shifty conditions that we have a strength," he said. "When ever you're confident you sail better, and when you sail well, you win."

Sharing fourth place are two non-Cup skippers, Frenchman Luc Pillot, and Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen, both with three wins and three losses. The competition on the water has been fearsome, and it is an indication of the depth of talent in this field, that big names like Chris Dickson and Gavin Brady are on the bottom half of the ladder.

The day started out with a strong south easterly breeze, which was eventually overcome by the legendary Fremantle Doctor seabreeze.

The Sun Microsystems Australia Cup runs from Wednesday 21st March to Sunday 25th March, with twelve top international crews competing on the Swan River's Matilda Bay.
Results after day one.

Magnus Holmberg SWE 6 - 0
Peter Gilmour USA 6 - 0
Ken Read USA 5 - 1
Luc Pillot FRA 3 - 3
Jes-Gram Hansen DEN 3 - 3
Andy Beadsworth GBR 2 - 3
Nicola Celon ITA 2 - 4
Chris Dickson USA 1 - 4
Neville Wittey AUS 1 - 3
James Spithill USA 1 - 4
Gavin Brady ITA 1 - 3
Jesper Radich DEN 1 - 4

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