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Steinlager Line 7 Cup: Paul Cayard and Dean Barker Remain On Top

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 25, 1999

STEINLAGER LINE 7 CUP
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, Thursday
DAY SIX - MAIN SERIES

Paul Cayard of AmericaOne and Dean Barker of Team New Zealand continued their winning form at the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Auckland today and when racing finished halfway through Round Robin Two they shared the lead with ten wins each.

"Anybody can beat anybody out there," said Cayard. "It's tough." The day nearly finished with Barker clear ahead, but two penalties in his last race of the day against top seed Gavin Brady spoiled his chances.

The first penalty came after Barker collided with Brady from clear astern. "At one point I had their spinnaker right over my face," said Brady. The second was for hitting the leeward mark.

Nevertheless, Barker nearly pulled off an unlikely win by sailing Brady past the committee boat at the finish, winding off a penalty and only just trailing his opponent over the line by six seconds.

"We felt pretty hard done by with some of the umpiring decisions," Barker said afterwards. "But, that's match racing. It was pretty exciting stuff."

Ed Baird, skipper of the Young America team, continued a steady series with three wins in succession in the morning session, but lost momentum with three losses in the afternoon. Nevertheless, he remains tied for third with one of the big movers of the day, Chris Dickson, of New Zealand. Both Dickson and Baird are on eight wins.

Dickson took four America's Cup scalps today - Francesco de Angelis of Prada Challenge, Paul Cayard, John Cutler of America True and Ed Baird. He attributed his change of fortunes to a change of hats, electing to race today in his Tag Heuer cap from his 1995 America's Cup campaign.

The other major mover of the day was Chris Law of Great Britain. Complaining of jet-lag, he started the regatta poorly with only two wins on the first day. But, today he strung five successive wins together before losing a five second cliff-hanger to Paul Cayard.

Although he was disappointed by the loss, he may have been consoled by its diplomatic value: he is hoping to get a job with Cayard's AmericaOne syndicate for America's Cup 2000.

Top seed and World No.2 Gavin Brady on six wins has some work to do if he is to make it into the final four. "We still have an outside chance of getting through," he said. "We will have to step up our game a bit tomorrow."

Racing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour took place in moderate 13-18 knot easterly winds. The schedule still has five flights to complete in Round Robin Two before moving into the semi-finals and finals on the weekend.

ROUND ROBIN ONE Results (after nine of nine flights):
PAUL CAYARD (USA) beat Holmberg (SWE), de Angelis (ITA), Cutler (USA), Baird (USA), Law (GBR), Salthouse (NZL), Dickson (NZL), Barker (NZL) = 8pt
DEAN BARKER (NZL) beat Dickson (NZL), Baird (USA), Holmberg (SWE), Salthouse (NZL), Law (GBR), de Angelis (ITA), Cutler (USA) = 7pt
ED BAIRD (USA) beat de Angelis (ITA), Salthouse (NZL), Cutler (USA), Dickson (NZL), Law (GBR), Brady (NZL), Holmberg (SWE) = 7pt
DEAN SALTHOUSE (NZL) beat Brady (NZL), Law (GBR), Holmberg (SWE), de Angelis (ITA), Cutler (USA) = 5pt
CHRIS DICKSON (NZL) beat Holmberg (SWE), Salthouse (NZL), Cutler (USA), de Angelis (ITA) = 4pt
GAVIN BRADY (NZL) beat Dickson (NZL), Cayard (USA), Barker (NZL), Holmberg (SWE) = 4pt
CHRIS LAW (GBR) beat Dickson (NZL), de Angelis (ITA), Holmberg (SWE), Brady (NZL) = 4pt
JOHN CUTLER (USA) beat Law (GBR), Brady (NZL), de Angelis (ITA) = 3pt
FRANCESCO DE ANGELIS (ITA) beat Brady (NZL), Holmberg (SWE) = 2pt
MAGNUS HOLMBERG (SWE) beat Cutler (USA) = 1pt

ROUND ROBIN TWO Results (after four of nine flights, and combined with Round Robin 1):
PAUL CAYARD (USA) beat Salthouse (NZL), Law (GBR) = 10pt
DEAN BARKER (NZL) beat Cayard (USA), Cutler (USA), de Angelis (ITA) = 10pt
ED BAIRD (USA) beat Holmberg (SWE) = 8pt
CHRIS DICKSON (NZL) beat de Angelis (ITA), Cayard (USA), Cutler (USA), Baird (USA) = 8pt
CHRIS LAW (GBR) beat Brady (NZL), Holmberg (SWE), Baird (USA) = 7pt
GAVIN BRADY (NZL) beat Baird (USA), Barker (NZL) = 6pt
DEAN SALTHOUSE (NZL) beat de Angelis (ITA) = 6pt
JOHN CUTLER (USA) beat Salthouse (NZL), de Angelis (ITA) = 5pt
MAGNUS HOLMBERG (SWE) beat Brady (NZL), Salthouse (NZL) = 3pt
FRANCESCO DE ANGELIS (ITA) = 2pt

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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