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Steinlager Line 7 Cup: AmericaOne Defeats Dickson And Goes To The 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 27, 1999

Today was our best day so far at the Steinlager Line 7 Match Racing Series. We went 3 and 0 with Chris Dickson to move on to the finals tomorrow. In the other semi-final match, Dean Barker of Team New Zealand put down Ed Baird of the New York Yacht Club 3-1.

The winds today were softer than yesterday, 12-16 knots from the north east. The current was flooding all day which put it at 45 degrees to the wind. This made for tricky lay line calls at both the rounding marks and the starting line.

In the first race both boats were over early, luffing head-to-wind. Dickson got back quicker and had the lead but we quickly got back into him and had a handy lead at the top mark. That race was never in dispute.

Second race we won the left side of the line which was proving to be favored, and were always in the lead. We won that race by 30 seconds.

At the start of the third race, we were controlling Dickson, with both boats on starboard and about 20 seconds to go. Dickson was too far down on the starboard layline to the pin end and tacked to port. A major collision occurred with AmericaOne on starboard and Dickson on port Dickson got a double penalty for that. He was behind the whole race and he owed a penalty at the end.

The series was not close and we felt very comfortable in the Farr MRX match racing boats, just like two years ago when we won this event.

Tomorrow we expect a tougher opponent in Barker. He is a full-time helmsman with Team New Zealand and was a finalist in this event last year. He also won the Australia Cup last year.

We are ready.

Paul Cayard
AmericaOne

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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