No wind no final

At conclusion of Steinlager/Line 7 match racing in Auckland

Sunday March 24th 2002, Author: John Roberson, Location: Australasia

Peter Holmberg was victorious in the Steinlager Line 7 Cup on a countback over Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen of Team Marienlyst when light conditions cancelled the finals. This was Holmberg's second consecutive Swedish Match Tour win.

Peter Holmberg of the Oracle America's Cup Challenge won the Steinlager/Line 7 Regatta on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, after a countback, when lack of wind prevented any competition in the final.

Holmberg had a tough fight with Prada's Rod Davis, to claim his place in the final. He was pitched against Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen for the final but this was cancelled. As race officer Peter Carr of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron commented, "trying to run sailing without wind, is like trying to run
Wimbledon in the rain - disappointing."

When time finally ran out on Sunday afternoon, Holmberg was happy with the countback system, "the rules are the rules, we're happy to go at it either way, if the conditions came good we were anxious to race.

"I'm pretty happy, the guys did a great job, we came through against Rod today, which was a tough one, we're proud to have made it through there."

Then commenting about the event Holmberg continued, "it's the Steinlager/Line 7, man, it's a big one, and this year you'd have to say the field was probably the biggest I've ever seen here, and we're real proud to have pulled this one off."

This is the second consecutive Swedish Match Tour event that Holmberg has won, having picked up the Bermuda Gold Cup in October last year, and he has
now moved to the top of the Tour leaderboard ahead of his namesake Victory Challenge's Magnus Holmberg (no relation).

He plans to do three more Tour events this year, the Congressional Cup in California next month, May's ACI Cup in Croatia, and the final event on this year's circuit, Marstrand's Swedish Match Cup.

Supporting Peter Holmberg, who is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands, was a crew of Kiwis, John Cutler, Robbie Naismith, Mike Sanderson and Brad Webb.

Jes Gram-Hansen was probably the most gracious and happiest runner-up in the history of the Steinlager/Line 7 regatta, thrilled to make his first ever Tour event semi-final, he dispatched Italy's Paolo Cian in two straight races, and was itching to take on the venerable Holmberg.

The NZ$11,000 prize money he will take away, makes the trip all the way from Denmark, just about break-even financially, but gives him high hopes of raising sponsorship when he returns home.

"Of course it is always a disappointment not to race in the final, when you reach the final," said the young Dane, "but we are very pleased to have reached the final, and there'll be another final some day."


1. Peter Holmberg - U.S.A., Oracle Challenge
2. Jes Gram-Hansen - Denmark
3. Paolo Cian - Italy, Mascalzone Latino Challenge
4. Rod Davis - Italy, Prada Challenge
5. Gavin Brady - Italy, Prada Challenge
6. Ken Read - U.S.A., Team Dennis Conner
7. Magnus Holmberg - Sweden, Victory Challenge
8. Luc Pillot - France, Le Defi Areva
9. Dean Barker - New Zealand, Team New Zealand
10 Ed Baird - U.S.A.
11 Ian Walker - Britain, GBR Challenge
12 Andy Green - Britain, GBR Challenge

SWEDISH MATCH TOUR LEADERBOARD after four events of year 3:
1. Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing - 80
2. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team SeaLife - 68
3. Gavin Brady, Prada Challenge - 42
4. Jes Gram-HAnsen, DEN/Team Marienlyst - 40
5. Jesper Bank, Victory Challenge - 20
Dean Barker, Team New Zealand - 20
Morten Henriksen, GER - 20
8. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto - 15

Peter Holmberg bt Rod Davis 2 - 1
Jes Gram-Hansen bt Paolo Cian 2 - 0

Semi-finals - flight 1
Rod Davis bt Peter Holmberg
Jes Gram-Hansen bt Paolo Cian

Semi-finals - flight 2
Peter Holmberg bt Rod Davis
Jes Gram-Hansen bt Paolo Cian

Semi-finals - flight 3
Peter Holmberg bt Rod Davis

Sail off for places 5 - 8, Flight 1
Ken Read bt Magnus Holmberg
Gavin Brady bt Luc Pillot

Sail off for places 5 - 8, Flight 2

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