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4 February 2007, 05:05 pm
BAIRD Wins Round 1 Of Defender Trials
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America's Cup 2007

Ed BAIRD (USA) and his crew won two races on Saturday to draw even on points with Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) in Alinghi's UBS Dubai Defender Trials. In order to break the tie, the Race Committee reverted to the boat that won the last race giving BAIRD overall victory in round 1.
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Racing got away in 8-10 knots on day 4 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials, HOLMBERG on SUI64 was over the line at the start, he commented, 'That was a big mistake on my part, I had the start won and I got a little greedy. I had set a trap for him to come in there and got a little slow and he came in and hooked me and put me over the line.'

With just one windward-leeward, BAIRD crossed the line 59 seconds ahead to raise his points to two, edging closer to HOLMBERG's three. In race 6, the last of round 1, BAIRD and HOLMBERG got away to an even start with both boats sailing a long time on port tack. When they met again BAIRD and SUI91 had a small advantage which they maintained to the top mark and downwind to finish 37 seconds ahead.

The Basics

BAIRD reflected on what he can take away from this first round, 'All the guys are being reminded that it's the simple basic things that you have to do correctly time and time again to be successful. As a team, every time we get into a high pressure race, it's the basics that win it.'

Team skipper and tactician, Brad BUTTERWORTH (NZL), gave his take on the event as a whole, 'We've been sailing with each other a lot over the last few months and the standard of crew work and the way that we sail the boats has improved since we started racing. There's a winner and a loser in these regattas and it puts a lot more pressure on the crew. We're trying to emulate a Louis Vuitton Cup and this is the best we can do. I think it is everything that we have asked for and I'm looking forward to the next one.'

At an informal prizegiving on the dock, Saeed HAREB, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) Managing Director and Vice Chairman of the UAE Marine Water Sports Federation presented BAIRD and his crew with a trophy for round 1 from UBS. Round 2 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials is scheduled from 16-19 February and will culminate in the announcement of the helmsman and afterguard for Louis Vuitton Act 13 in Valencia.

The America's Cup Match and Challenger/Defender Series are designated as ISAF Special Events. For more information on the America's Cup, the Louis Vuttion Acts and the teams competing, visit the official America's Cup website - www.americascup.com.

For a complete list of all the news about the America's Cup 2007 CLICK HERE.
Daphne Morgan Barnicoat (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Dubai:© Ivo Rovira/Alinghi
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