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19 February 2007, 11:23 am
BAIRD Leads At Defender Trials
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America's Cup 2007

Ed BAIRD (USA) leads Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) 3-1 after day three of the second round of Alinghi's UBS Dubai Defender Trials. After racing was cancelled on Sunday, the American looks in a strong position to add another win to his round 1 victory.
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Racing got away in a steady 10-11 knot breeze on day two of the regatta on Saturday, with BAIRD at the helm of SUI91 and HOLMBERG on SUI64. The boats started on opposite tacks, with BAIRD tacking over to follow HOLMBERG out to the right. When HOLMBERG came back BAIRD and SUI91 had found more pressure and crossed ahead. SUI91 led around the top mark and although the boats came together on the first downwind leg with more pressure from behind, by the next top mark BAIRD had almost doubled the lead and went on to win by 49 seconds.

Race 4 was just one lap. HOLMBERG started to the left of BAIRD and when the boats came together a few minutes after the start HOLMBERG showed a small advantage but could not cross and tacked. SUI91 tacked away. SUI64 rounded the top mark a boat length ahead and on the downwind leg both boats were even with SUI64 finding a bit more pressure on the left hand side to finish 41 seconds ahead.

Race By Race

After Saturday's racing BAIRD commented, 'The boats are awfully close and the teams are both great. We know that no-one will win straight, we just have to do our best in each race and I think the guys have done that. They sailed a really nice race in the last one that we lost today. We just kept putting pressure on the other team, we kept close, we were pushing, we were right there at every opportunity and it didn't work, but that's match racing.'

HOLMBERG and BAIRD swapped boats for the second half of the regatta, but unfortunately, the conditions were against them and racing was cancelled due to light airs.

Monday is the final day of racing and will define the winner of Round 2 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials. BAIRD won round 1, winning the tiebreak after the American and US Virgin Islander ended on 3-3.

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, SUI91 crossing head of SUI64:© Th.Martinez/Alinghi
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