Peter Holmberg - $60k richer
Only five points separate Sweden's Magnus Holmberg and his Team SeaLife, currently sitting in second place, from third place skipper Jes Gram-Hansen of Denmark and his Team Marienlyst. Both skippers will be at the Swedish Match Cup and with US$40,000 being the reward for a second place finish and third being US$15,000 less, each skipper is well aware of what needs to be done.
"We never expected to be in this position when the Swedish Match Tour (2001/2) started last July, but we're really excited and realise its because we've come together as a team," said Gram-Hansen. "We're looking forward to going to Sweden and putting the pressure on Magnus and his crew. We're just amateurs and they're part of an America's Cup team (Victory Challenge) so we've really got nothing to lose".
Magnus Holmberg, the defending Swedish Match Tour champion, is fully intent on holding off the Danish amateurs nipping at his heels.
"We're heading back to Sweden for a couple of weeks of holiday and then we'll focus our attention on the Swedish Match Cup and holding on to our second place position on the leaderboard," said the Swedish skipper. "Jes and his team are very familiar with the boats in Marstrand (DS 37 Match Racers - they are also used at the Danish Open) so we should see some excellent competition that week".
Further down the Swedish Match Tour Rankings, only ten points separate the skippers in places five through eight. American Ed Baird and his Team Musto, currently in fifth place with 35 points and Denmark's Jesper Radich, in sixth place just two points behind, will both be sailing in Marstrand.
Baird has been quite active lately, competing at three of the last four Swedish Match Tour events as well as several other regattas. Radich and his crew were crowned European Match Race Champions in April and then defeated Baird in the finals of Match Race Germany in mid-May.
Swedish Match Tour Leaderboard
|1||Peter Holmberg||Oracle Racing||120|
|2||Magnus Holmberg||SWE/Team Sealife||80|
|3||Jes Gram-Hansen||Team Marienlyst||75|
|4||Gavin Brady||Prada Chalenge||62|
|5||Ed Baird||USA/Team Musto||35|
|7||Ken Read||USA/Team Dennis Conner||27|
|8||Philippe Presti||Le Defi Areva||25|