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Steinlager Line 7 Cup: Paul Cayard and Dean Barker Rule Opening Round

Short of the America's Cup, this year's Steinlager Line 7 Cup match race regatta has attracted one of the most powerful line-ups of match racers ever assembled in Auckland. The regatta has a hall of fame look about it with six of the seven skippers in the main draw either current or former America's Cup helmsmen. Two more America's Cup skippers earned their way to the main series by their performances in a preliminary series. The format is two round robins, followed by a best-of-seven semi-finals and a best-of-seven finals.

PRESS RELEASE: March 24, 1999

STEINLAGER LINE 7 CUP
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, Wednesday
DAY FIVE - MAIN SERIES

Dean Barker of Team New Zealand and Paul Cayard of AmericaOne opened their accounts in the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in excellent form in Auckland today, each dropping only one match of the seven sailed so far. Racing in Round Robin One of the grand prix event got off in a 13-15 knot northerly breeze, with a powerful ebb tide across the track adding to the tacticians' headaches in the afternoon.

Barker streaked away to an unbeaten five race record, before losing to top seed Gavin Brady of New Zealand in flight six. In three of his first five wins, Barker had to come from behind to take the gun.

"It was really close racing," said Barker. "The wind was quite streaky and it was very important to get to the puffs. We did not make any major mistakes, which is always nice."

Cayard went away on a four-win streak before he fell in the fifth flight, also to Brady.

But, Brady, who is ranked No.2 in the world, had a much slower start to the day, losing his first three matches to qualifiers Dean Salthouse of New Zealand, John Cutler of America True and Francesco de Angelis of Prada Italy. He then won the next four in a row, his first at the expense of New Zealand's Chris Dickson, a three-times match racing world champion and Brady's boss on Tag Heuer in the 1995 America's Cup.

"We seemed to come right after lunch, so hopefully tomorrow's lunch will be good for us as well," he quipped.

At the end of racing today, seven of nine flights in Round Robin One were completed with Barker and Cayard topping the board on six wins each, followed by Young America's Ed Baird on five wins.

ROUND ROBIN ONE Results (after seven of nine flights):
Paul Cayard (USA) beat Holmberg (SWE), de Angelis (ITA), Cutler (USA), Baird (USA), Law (GBR), Salthouse (NZL) = 6 pt
Dean Barker (NZL) beat Dickson (NZL), Baird (USA), Holmberg (SWE), Salthouse (NZL), Law (GBR), de Angelis (ITA) = 6 pt
Ed Baird (USA) beat de Angelis (ITA), Salthouse (NZL), Cutler (USA), Dickson (NZL), Law (GBR) = 5 pt
Gavin Brady (NZL) beat Dickson (NZL), Cayard (USA), Barker (NZL), Holmberg (SWE) = 4 pt
Chris Dickson (NZL) beat Holmberg (SWE), Salthouse (NZL), Cutler (USA) =3 pt
John Cutler (USA) beat Law (GBR), Brady (NZL), de Angelis (ITA) = 3 pt
Dean Salthouse (NZL) beat Brady (NZL), Law (GBR), Holmberg (SWE) = 3pt
Francesco de Angelis (ITA) beat Brady (NZL), Holmberg (SWE) = 2pt
Chris Law (GBR) beat Dickson (NZL), de Angelis (ITA) = 2pt
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) beat Cutler (USA) = 1pt

For more about this major match race series go to the Steinlager Line Seven Cup official web site. Also visit the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron site. For more in this series of reports, look at AmericaOne's Grand Prix Sailing News page.

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