Local favorite Peter GILMOUR of Australia and his Pizza-La Sailing Team, with TV Asahi's Taku Furusawa at the helm, won today's Nippon Cup 2003 Celebrity Pro-Am race.
Gilmour, France's Luc PILLOT, Denmark's Jesper RADICH and New Zealander Gavin BRADY of Oracle BMW Racing were paired with local television anchors in today's Celebrity Pro-am race, the kick-off event of Nippon Cup 2003, the third event on Swedish Match Tour 2003/2004.
Gilmour, a seven-time winner here, who is going for his fifth consecutive Nippon Cup victory this week, continued his dominance, 'assisting' TV Asahi's Taku Furusawa to a win.
"As the only experienced sailor (media member), I took for granted that I was going to win,"
laughed Furusawa. "This makes me want to start sailing again. I want to thank the sponsors for their support of this excellent event."
For winning the race, Furusawa received a year's supply of pizza from Nippon Cup 2003 presenting sponsor Pizza-La as well as a year's supply of Korean barbeque from Gyu-Kaku.
Pillot, sailing with TBS' Airi Yamada was second, Brady paired with Fuji TV's Saori Ishimoto was third, and Radich, sailing with TV Tokyo's Mariko Maeda, finished fourth.
Tonight's official opening ceremony, the Sail-Off Party, will be held at the Shonan Village Center. The event features an introduction of competitors as well as a Japanese Tea Ceremony and Japanese Drums performance.
Round robin racing begins at 9:30 am local time on Wednesday.
Celebrity Pro-Am Results
1.TV Asahi/Taku Furusawa (Peter Gilmour)
2.TBS/Aiiri Yamada (Luc Pillot)
3.Fuji TV/Saori Ishimoto (Gavin Brady)
4.TV Tokyo/Mariko Maeda (Jesper Radich)