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10 April 2002, 10:50 am
Holmberg Takes Early Lead
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Congressional Cup

Congressional Cup
Long Beach, California

Flawless teamwork helped to result in a spotless record for Oracle Racing’s Peter Holmberg after the first day of racing at the Congressional Cup.
Holmberg, current Swedish Match Tour rankings leader, wasted no time in letting his competitors know that he is on top of his game in his quest to defend his Congressional Cup title while building his Swedish Match Tour points lead in the process.

In shifty conditions with wind speeds peaking at 14 knots Holmberg posted wins over GBR Challenge's Andy Green, Stars & Stripes Ken Read, local skipper Scott Dickson, Prada Challenge's Rod Davis and American Ed Baird.

"There was plenty on out there," said Holmberg. "We had a couple of really tough races. Rod Davis gave us quite a mix-up and we had to off-set a penalty to win. Another tough one was against Scott Dickson and, of course they (the race committee) gave us three races against Ed Baird to end the day."

The match with Baird that Holmberg referenced was by far the strangest of the day. The match had to be restarted twice due to the race committee mistiming the start. The third time was the charm for Holmberg, although he had to sweat out a Baird protest before leaving the water with his perfect record intact.

And, as always, Holmberg credited his crew for his success. Sailing with Holmberg this week are Mike "Moose" Sanderson on the main, Robbie Naismith trimming, Graham Fleury in the pit, Brad Webb on the bow and John Cutler calling tactics.

One win off the pace was Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen who dropped his only match of the day to Prada Challenge's Gavin Brady. Gram-Hansen counts among his crew this week several locals including tactician Steve Flam, a veteran of 12 Congressional Cups and expert on the local waters.

Knotted on three wins were Read, Brady and local skipper Scott Dickson, who is being assisted this week by older brother, Chris, himself a two-time Congressional Cup winner and veteran America's Cup skipper.

Prada Challenge's Rod Davis and GBR Challenge's Andy Green both could take some solace in ending their frustrating days with victories. Green, in spite of having to execute a penalty turn, handily defeated Read and Davis beat Team New Zealand's Dean Barker to avoid beginning the regatta winless.

Racing resumes on Wednesday at noon off the end of Belmont Pier.

Overall Standings
Skipper Wins Losses
Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing 5 0
Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark/Team Marienlyst 4 1
Ken Read, Team Stars & Stripes 3 2
Gavin Brady, Prada Challenge 3 2
Scott Dickson, USA/LBYC 3 2
Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto 2 3
Dean Barker, Team New Zealand 2 3
Rod Davis, Prada Challenge 1 4
Andy Green, GBR Challenge 1 4
Luc Pillot, Le Defi Areva 1 4

Flight 1
Read def. Pillot
Gram-Hansen def. Davis
Brady def. Barker
Holmberg def. Green
Dickson def. Baird

Flight 2
Brady def. Gram-Hansen
Barker def. Green
Holmberg def. Read
Dickson def. Pillot
Baird def. Davis

Flight 3
Read def. Barker
Holmberg def. Dickson
Pillot def. Davis
Gram-Hansen def. Baird
Brady def. Green

Flight 4
Holmberg def. Davis
Baird def. Pillot
Gram-Hansen def. Green
Read def. Brady
Barker def. Dickson

Flight 5
Gram-Hansen def. Pillot
Green def. Read
Dickson def. Brady
Davis def. Barker
Holmberg def. Baird

Shawn McBride/ISAF Secretariat
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