Surprises all round at Swedish Match Cup
From a glittering line-up of America's Cup skippers Jochen Schuemann of Switzerland's Alinghi Challenge posted an undefeated mark of four wins and zero losses on the first day of the Swedish Match Cup, the eighth and final event on Swedish Match Tour Year 2.
"We're very happy to be here. You can't have better conditions for match racing," said Schuemann. "The team worked very well together today and we're happy to achieve four wins."
One win off the pace was Schuemann's boss, Russell Coutts, who dropped his only race of the day to his teammate. Coutts has a new crew member for the regatta, none other than Alinghi Challenge head Ernesto Bertarelli. Bertarelli's on-board presence has shifted Coutts' longstanding partner-in-crime/tactician Brad Butterworth to Schuemann's crew. Bertarelli's involvement is no lark. He has proven himself an extremely competent sailor with years of experience on the lakes of Switzerland.
The biggest surprise of the day was the sub-par performance of Team New Zealand's Bertand Pace who was outsailed through the afternoon's action and ended the day at 0-4. Adding to the surprise is the fact that Pace is no stranger to the Swedish coastline, having won this regatta in 1996 and finishing as runner-up last year.
In other action, Dane Jes Gram-Hansen finished the day at three wins, dropping his only match to Coutts. Swedish Match Tour Year 2 Champion Magnus Holmberg of Sweden ended the day even at two wins against two losses and stands in the middle of the pack.
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