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24 October 2003, 09:24 am
Team Izod Sails to Pro-Am Victory
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Team Izod © Sergio Dionisio/OceanFashion

King Edward VII Gold Cup
Hamilton

With two bullets and a fifth, Team Izod sailed to victory against the King Edward VII Gold Cup sponsors and won the 2003 Pro-Am regatta.
he traditional annual event - which invites sponsor representatives to crew with the sailing stars gathered here for the Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup -- took place on Hamilton Harbour in front of the hosting Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC).

America's Cup legend Dennis Conner guided Team Izod with assistance from Keith Musto, Malcolm Robinson, President of Phillip Van Heusen, Peter Burton of Team Dennis Conner and Bermudians Ricki Hornett and Somers Coopers, Past Commodore of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

"I'm a little more comfortable with fleet racing," said Conner, alluding to the fact that he was defeated in three straight matches against Paula Lewin in yesterday's first round of the Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. "This is the only time that I've gotten a gun all week."

For most of the sailors - both professional and amateur - today's racing was a day of relaxed competition. Sunny skies and warm 12-15 knot breezes contributed to the congenial attitude both on and off the water.

"When you're sailing in a race where all the skippers are at the same level, it feels like you're back at your home club and just trying to beat your friends," said Robinson of his experience sailing with one of the world's most accomplished sailors.

Second-place Team Investors Guaranty 1 tied with Team Izod on 7 points, but came second according to the tiebreaker. Skipper Dean Barker of Team New Zealand's Omega Match Racing Team steered the boat to a second, first and fourth place.

Russell Coutts of Team Alinghi helmed the third place entry Investors Guaranty 2.

Finishing in fourth through ninth place were Horizons & Cottages with Peter Gilmour of the Pizza-La Sailing team; Department of Tourism with Chris Dickson of Oracle BMW Racing; Renaissance Reinsurance with Andy Green of Team Renaissance Reinsurance; Continental Airlines with Magnus Holmberg of Team Continental and Colorcraft with Jes Gram-Hansen of Team Colorcraft.

Tomorrow's Investors Guaranty Gold Cup Quarter-Final Round will feature eight teams, including top Bermuda sailorsPaula Lewin, who will match race down to just one champion on Sunday.

1. Team IZOD, Dennis Conner, 7 points
2. Team Investors Guaranty 1, Dean Barker, 7 points
3. Team Investors Guaranty 2, Russell Coutts, 9 points
4. Team Horizons & Cottages, Peter Gilmour, 11 points
5. Team Department of Tourism, Chris Dickson, 18 points
6. Team Renaissance Reinsurance, Andy Green, 19 points
7. Team Continental, Magnus Holmberg, 21 points
8. Team Bacardi, Jesper Radich, 22 points
9. Team Colorcraft, Jes Gram-Hansen, 27 points
Dana Paxton (As amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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