Steinlager Cup becalmed

Racing abandoned in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour...

Friday March 22nd 2002, Author: John Roberson, Location: Australasia
While Auckland's Waitemata Harbour was barely ruffled by a breeze on the third day of the Steinlager/Line 7 Cup, the twelve crews restlessly paced the dockside, desperate to work off some energy, and to find out who would be progressing to the quarter finals.

Neither the patience of the Peter Carr, the principal race officer for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, nor the impatience of the crews were rewarded, when racing for the day was abandoned at 1600.

For the top four crews it was just an inconvenient waste of time, they are through to the quarter-finals, come what may, while for the rest the tension of having a Damoclean Sword hanging over their heads made for an agonizing day.

Magnus Holmberg, the current leader of the Swedish Match Tour, is one of the four skippers with his quarter-final place assured, but his problem was keeping a toey crew in check.

For Magnus, the big picture is balancing his commitments to Sweden's Victory Challenge for the America's Cup, with his ambitions to win the Swedish Match Tour for the second year in succession.

He has recently had to pull out of the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, the next event on the Swediah Match Tour, but although this is a disappointment, he believes he can maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard.

"It is hard to balance the two," he admitted, "because the America's Challenge takes so much time, and it's also hard trying to get the whole team to be occupied doing good things all the time. If we leave with a small team to do a Swedish Match Tour event, then they wouldn't be able to sail two America's Cup boats, so that is a bit of a problem."

"We are doing this event, we are doing Croatia's ACI Cup and Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand, we're doing fairly well, we're happy to be able to schedule around to do most of the events."

Like so many of the other crews in this regatta, Magnus and his team are happy to be having a break from the monotony of endless testing, "it's good to get a bit more action. These boats are a bit quicker, and you have to make decisions a lot quicker, because the wind and your opponent are changing so much quicker, it's good to get something else to think about for a while, and it gives something back to the Cup campaign."

RESULTS after day two (no racing today)

Pos Skipper Nation AC campaign Won Lost
1 Luc Pillot FRA Le Defi Areva 7 2
2= Magnus Holmberg SWE Victory Challenge 6 3
2= Jes Gram-Hansen DEN 6 3
4 Gavin Brady ITA Prada 6 4
5= Paolo Cian ITA Mascalzone Latino 5 4
5= Ed Baird USA 5 4
7= Rod Davis ITA Prada 4 5
7= Peter Holmberg USA Oracle 4 5
7= Ken Read USA Team Dennis Conner 4 5
10= Dean Barker NZL Team New Zealand 3 6
10= Ian Walker UK GBR Challenge 3 6
12 Andy Green UK GBR Challenge 2 8

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