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17 March 2001, 09:28 am
Team New Zealand On Top Again
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Pace Celebrates With The Team NZ Crew ©Fotopress NZ

Steinlager Line 7 Cup

Bertrand Pace and his Team New Zealand crew won the Steinlager Line 7 Cup, defeating the Prada challenge skipper Gavin Brady in the final.
The two skippers and their crews kept the large crowd on the edge of their seats until the last winning gun was fired, with Pace grabbing victory after a furious battle down the last leg of the fifth and deciding race. An exhausted Pace said, ""it was a very difficult final, it was very, very close, and with the tide behind us the starting line was difficult to judge, and sometimes we took too much risk on the starting line. I think the final is usually a good fight, and the two crews have had four or five days sailing, so they have good timing, so the final is always very tight."

Brady had shown his mental stamina in the semi-finals when he came back from 2 - 0 down against Magnus Holmberg, to win 3 - 2, and claim his place in the final. The other semi-final was a re-run of last year's final, with Pace beating Cameron Appleton in three straight races, to claim a chance to defend his title.

In the final, the Team New Zealand crew opened the scoring, before Brady's Prada crew hit back and took the next two. Bertrand Pace then levelled the score, setting up the decider. Pace got the better of the last start, and forced Brady into a penalty, which should have given the Team New Zealand crew a comfortable advantage, but the Prada team continuously attacked, trying to nullify their disadvantage. Eventually the two boats crossed the line bow to bow, but with Brady still not having completed his penalty turn, so giving the race and the trophy to Bertrand Pace.

It was also a long day on the water for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron race committee, and the umpires, who were kept busy throughout the final, issuing at least one penalty in all but one race of the finals.
News Editor / John Roberson
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