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16 February 2002, 02:28 pm
New Zealand Take Overall Honours
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GBR Challenge

Americas Cup International Regatta

Racing was delayed for several hours today as the North Easterly sea breeze slowly appeared and settled down to blow at a light 6 knots.
As the programme of races had slipped dramatically over the week due to light weather, the committee decided to terminate the match racing at the end of the Round Robin series, using the rankings from these two rounds to determine the winners.

With five wins Team New Zealand maintains their healthy record in these Road to America's Cup regattas, taking overall honours again. On the last leg of the last race OneWorld Challenge sailed past Victory Challenge to secure second place overall. Victory Challenge finishes third and GBR Challenge fourth overall.

A fleet race, involving all teams will start tomorrow at 1300.

OneWorld Challenge beat Victory Challenge by one minute and thirty-two seconds

Winning the pre-start and starting on starboard at the pin end, Peter Gilmour tacked over to cover Victory Challenge, already on port, and the pair sailed off to the right hand side of the course. Magnus Holmberg showed once again his new boat's speed and, footing out ahead of the American boat, watched as the Seattle based syndicate were forced to tack away from a bad position. On the upwind legs of this race the high pointing Frers-designed boat pulled away. But a fatal mistake on the last leg of the course, not covering the opponent in spite of a big lead, saw the OneWorld Challenge boat find more breeze and sail into a commanding position and ultimately the lead.

This mistake cost the Swedish team second place overall in this its first formal America's Cup Class regatta.

Team New Zealand beat GBR Challenge by two minutes and thirty seconds

In the last 60 seconds of an active pre-start Andy Green, sailing GBR Challenge, managed to outfox Dean Barker, sailing Team New Zealand. Green succeeded in leaving the current holder of the America's Cup sailing downwind towards the start line while he sailed Britain's hopes upwind to more than a one minute lead by the time the Kiwis finally started correctly.

In spite of good sailing on the correct side of the course, by the time the pair were halfway up the first leg the British boat had lost most of its lead to the speedy Team New Zealand. At the mark, GBR Challenge, with the black boat on their weather hip, luffed head to wind to try and force the Kiwis to tack around and lose distance. But the manoeuvre went wrong and Team New Zealand rolled over the top and into the lead.

On the first run the Kiwis sailed away from the British boat with better speed and were never really threatened again.

For more America's Cup information visit www.louisvuittoncup.com
LV Cup Press/News Editor
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