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Auckland - 24/3/00


Team New Zealand's Cameron Appleton will face Bertrand Pace of the Le Defi Francais America's Cup team in the final of the Steinlager Line 7 Cup, the opening event on the 2000 Swedish Match Tour.

The 22 year old Appleton caused the upset of the regatta, when he defeated the new "golden boy of sailing", and fellow Team New Zealand member, Dean Barker 3 - 0 in the semi-finals.

"It's one of the biggest highlights and most amazing feelings so far," he said after his victory, "next to winning the America's Cup, so for me beating Dean, three - nil, was amazing, I still can't believe how he let us do that, I'm just blown away."

The other semi-final, between AmericaOne's Gavin Brady and Frenchman Bertrand Pace was a much tighter affair, with the French claiming their finals place after taking the fourth race by just one second.

The conditions on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour were almost perfect for spectators, and nearly as good for the competitors, with bright sunshine and a breeze that varied between 10 and 20 knots from the south.

First confrontation of the day was the tie-break sail off between New Zealand's Chris Dickson and Bertrand Pace for a place in the semi-finals.

The Frenchman and his Le Defi team soon established a commanding position, which was strengthened when his rival sailed the wrong course.

After that, it didn't take long for Gavin Brady and Cameron Appleton to claim their semi-finals places as the remaining qualifying rounds were completed.

With Barker the top scorer in Group B, he was destined to face Team New Zealand mate Appleton in one semi-final, while Pace lined up against Brady.

Cameron Appleton went into the confrontation as the underdog, but took control immediately in the pre-start, to dominate the three races and move on to claim his place in the final.

On the other side of the game, Bertrand Pace took the first heat against Brady, but the AmericaOne team levelled the score in the next meeting.

Match three saw the French grab another victory, and Brady had his back to the wall, with heat four a battle to the end, and Pace snatching the gun by one second to claim his finals berth.

Talking about the close finish Bertrand Pace said simply, "We had just five metres ahead of him, and it was very close finish, but we won the race even though I made a mistake."


Group B

Bertrand Pace bt Chris Dickson (the tie-breaker)

Group A

Flight 4: (round robin 2)
Cameron Appleton bt Andy Green
Magnus Holmberg bt James Spithill

Flight 6:
Gavin Brady bt Lars Nordbjerg
James Spithill bt Cameron Appleton
Magnus Holmberg bt Andy Green
Peter Gilmour bt Markus Wieser

Flight 7:
Cameron Appleton bt Lars Nordbjerg
Peter Gilmour bt Magnus Holmberg
Andy Green bt Markus Wieser
Gavin Brady bt James Spithill

Score (round robins 1 & 2)

Cameron Appleton   11 3
Gavin Brady   11 3
Andy Green   9 5
Magnus Holmberg   7 7
Peter Gilmour   7 7
Marcus Weiser   4 10
James Spithill   4 10
Lars Nordbjerg   3 11

Semi-finals: (minor place sail-offs)

Flight 1:
Cameron Appleton bt Dean Barker
Bertrand Pace bt Gavin Brady

Chris Dickson bt Andy Green
Peter Gilmour bt Peter Holmberg
Magnus Holmberg bt Jes Gram-Hansen

Flight 2:
Cameron Appleton bt Dean Barker
Gavin Brady bt Bertrand Pace

Andy Green bt Chris Dickson
Peter Holmberg bt Peter Gilmour
Magnus Holmberg bt Jes Gram-Hansen (Holmberg takes 9th)

Flight 3:
Cameron Appleton bt Dean Barker (Appleton wins 3 - 0)
Bertrand Pace bt Gavin Brady

Chris Dickson bt Andy Green (Dickson takes 5th place)
Peter Holmberg bt Peter Gilmour (Holmberg takes 7th place)

Flight 4:
Bertrand Pace bt Gavin Brady (Pace wins 3 - 1)

5 Chris Dickson (New Zealand)
6 Andy Green (Britain)
7 Peter Holmberg (US Virgin Islands)
8 Peter Gilmour (Japan)
9 Magnus Holmberg (Sweden)
10. Jes Gram-Hansen (Denmark)

Other STEINLAGER/LINE 7 CUP Press Releases


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