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17 October 2005, 10:02 am
Tactics And Boat Handling Critical To Leaders
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King Edward VII Gold Cup Qualifier 2005
Hamilton, Bermuda

As light and shifty breezes made decisive tactics and boat handling critical to scoring points in day two of the ISAF Grade 3 Qualifying event for the Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, the leaders of the men's' open unseeded event completed error free sailing in their bid to advance to the qualifying rounds.
With a score of 7-1, Cameron DUNN of New Zealand is a top contender to enter the qualifying rounds, although he faces tough competition as the elimination round enters its third and final day.

'We have been sailing well and we have gotten the first cross each time and the sides we want to get,' DUNN said. 'I just want to keep the momentum going and keep winning my matches and to get to the qualifier matches. I have two tough ones tomorrow but we are getting to know this boat and we are sailing fast.'

DUNN is racing with his Mascalzone Latino Italian America's Cup challenge teammates Michele PAOLETTI, Marco CONSTANT and Matteo AUGUADRO.

The ISAF Grade 3 qualifying match is a round robin that will determine the six top teams that, along with the winner and runner-up of the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, will enter the ISAF Grade 1 Gold Cup on Thursday. They will sail against the world's best ' open' match race sailors to ultimately decide the winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup and a share of the $100,000 prize money.

New Zealander Cameron APPLETON and Polish sailor Karol JABLONSKI, who sails for the Spanish America's Cup team Desafio Espanol are both in second place with a score of 6-2. JABLONSKI had a perfect day after arriving late due to passport problems in London. He took over the helm from teammate John CUTLER who moved to the foredeck.

'We have been having a great regatta and we are sailing together for the first time so we feel we are getting around the track and making the right decisions,' APPLETON said.

Japanese sailor Takumi NAKAMURA is also having a strong regatta with a score of 5-3 and is emerging as a contender to make it to the qualifying rounds.

'The windier conditions are easier for us than the light air but we are happy to be in the game and sailing well and we do hope to hang in there for the qualifier match,' he said.

Bermuda National Match Race Champion Alec CUTLER has a 3-5 deficit that he must overcome, but his strong performance against Eric MONNIN of Switzerland during the second flight of racing yesterday gave him the momentum to build on.

'Today we closed some deals out there on the water and the teams are very, very even,' CUTLER said. 'There is no reason why more Bermudian sailors cannot be match racers but switching from fleet racing to match racing isn't easy. You can be the best jockey in the world but it doesn't make you a horse jumper. The two are quite different disciplines but we are pleased to be out competing and it has been a great event.'

American sailor Bill HARDESTY and his crew have remained in the hunt for the qualifying rounds at 5-3 after beating American sailor Elizabeth KRATZIG and her team yesterday who have a score of 4-4.

'Hamilton Harbour makes it important to come out first at the starts and you want to come out of the block with speed,' commented Anthony KATOUN, a team member on HARDESTY's boat.

'I think that the mistakes come at the starts and you have to recover from that,' HARDESTY added. 'We have ironed things out and feel strong going into the final races of the round robin.'

MONNIN did not sail as well in yesterday's light breezes but was frustrated with his performance saying that, 'we are used to the light breezes in Switzerland and that should be good for us. We have to sail well through our next three races to stay in this.'

For Ian AINSLIE (RSA) of South Africa's America's Cup challenger Team Shosholoza, his first time racing in the men's unseeded rounds. 'We have seen many lead changes and there are more subtle maneuvers that we are not as accustomed to. It has taken us some time and we don't seem to have the whole package together as yet.'

The men will proceed today to the final round robin as they battle it out to remain in the qualifying event for Investor Guaranty's presentation of The King Edward VII Gold Cup and a shot at racing against the seeded challengers and a portion of the $100,000 prize money.

King Edward VII Gold Cup Qualifier Standings

1. Cameron DUNN (NZL), 7-1
2. Karol JABLONSKI (POL), 6-2
3. Cameron APPLETON (NZL), 6-2
4. Bill HARDESTY (USA), 5-3
5. Takumi NAKAMURA (JPN), 5-3
6. Elizabeth KRATZIG (USA), 4-4
7. Ian AINSLIE (RSA), 3-5
8. Brian ANGEL (USA), 3-4
9. Alec CUTLER (BER), 3-5
10. Eric MONNIN (SUI), 3-5
11. Scott DICKSON (USA), 2-6
12. Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN), 1-7

Laurie Fullerton (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Cameron DUNN leads in Hamilton:© Charles Anderson/PPL
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