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Steinlager Line 7 Cup: AmericaOne Seeds #2 And Goes To Semi-Finals

Contenders from five current America's Cup teams, plus three other past Cup skippers are racing in Auckland, NZ, this week in the Steinlager Line 7 Cup match racing series. The ten-boat fleet comprises the strongest field of Cup players yet to be seen in the city where the Cup will be defended in a few short months. AmericaOne 's Paul Cayard reports on the latest sailing action from the Auckland waterfront:

Sailing News: March 26, 1999

We had our worst day today at 3 wins 2 losses but, with 13 wins out of 18 races, we finished second in the double round robin which seeds the top four into the semifinals. Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker finished on 14 wins to win the round robin portion and will pick his opponent tonight for the semis. Chris Dickson of New Zealand finished third on 12 wins, tied with Ed Baird.

It was a breezy day, just as we like it. We sailed the whole day on the small jib as the winds were in the 20-24 knot range.

Our first loss was to Young America skipper Ed Baird. After we won the start and went to the favored right side, a 20 degree windshift to the left put us behind at the first mark. We never managed to recover from that. Against Francesco de Angelis, I did a bad job on the start, got us behind and then we were not patient enough to stay close. Both terribly frustrating losses but good motivators for getting out there tomorrow and getting it right.

We did have a spectacular comeback against Gavin Brady. We had a penalty from the pre-start and Gavin was ahead around the first lap. But excellent crew work on AmericaOne closed the gap at the first leeward mark and we got to the right of him and forced him off. We had superior speed and ended up winning comfortably after working off the penalty on the finish line.

We don't know who we will race tomorrow, but we are ready and eager to get into it.

Paul Cayard

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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