Seventh win for Gilmour

Former OneWorld boss on fire after securing another Nippon Cup

Sunday November 23rd 2003, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: Australasia
Australia’s Peter Gilmour and his Pizza-La Sailing Team defeated Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg and the SeaLife Rangers 3-1 today to claim his record eighth Nippon Cup title.

Today’s win was the fifth consecutive Nippon Cup crown and second consecutive regatta win on the Swedish Match Tour, following a victory at last month’s Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda, for the veteran Australian match racer and his crew of Mike Mottle, Yasuhiro Yaji and Kazuhiko Sofuku.

“Congratulations to my crew for their outstanding performance,” said Gilmour. “They are a great team with an even temperament, I go through my ups and downs, but part of our success is that we work together as a team.”

On a brisk day on Shinjuku Bay, Gilmour and his crew battled Holmberg and his long-standing team of Stefan Rahm, Lars Linger and Magnus Augusston in a championship bout featuring two of the premier teams on the Swedish Match Tour.

After the Swedes took the first match, Gilmour and his team battened down to win the next three in a row to remain the foremost team in the history of this Japanese match racing classic.

“Every race you’ve been through, whether you’ve won or lost, you need to analyse the mistakes and improve upon them,” said Gilmour. “Before (the first) race was even finished, going down the final run, we were discussing it and determining which changes we were going to make in the next match.”

“We realised that in order to win we needed to start better, start to the right of Magnus and tail back, not lead back in the upcoming races,” explained Gilmour. “Winning here is very special for us and unique in that it’s in front of the home crowd and it really is wonderful to win here once again.”

This year’s win was especially pleasing for Gilmour’s mainsheet trimmer Yasuhiro Yaji who has been instrumental, and a driving force, in resurrecting and organising this event following a two-year hiatus and positioning it to be a part of the Swedish Match Tour.
“Everybody who supported me was a big help in making this happen and created an environment that allowed me to concentrate on sailing this week,” said Yaji, who is also employed by event-sponsor and team sponsor Pizza-La. “Until yesterday all the pressure was on my shoulders, now all the weight is gone, but I still need two weeks off!”

In today’s petit-finals racing Gavin Brady of the Oracle BMW Racing Team dismissed fellow Kiwi Dean Barker of the OMEGA Match Racing Team 3-0 to grab third place.

“We’re a little bit disappointed, we would have liked to have put up a better fight,” said Barker. “At this level, as you see with Peter and Magnus, crew work is crucial and both Gavin and I have been changing around our crews. We sailed well at times, but we’re also learning. We look forward to coming back next year.”

Gilmour’s win today further solidified his position atop the Swedish Match Tour 2003/2004 Rankings, while Holmberg’s runner-up finish moved the former Swedish Match Tour champion (2000/2001) into second place. Reigning Swedish Match Tour champion Jesper Radich of Denmark, sixth this week, sits in third place, while Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker of the Omega Match Racing team finds himself in the fourth spot.

The next event on the Swedish Match Tour is the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, Calif., April 19-24, 2004.

Final Nippon Cup 2003 Standings

1.Peter Gilmour, AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team - $15,000
2.Magnus Holmberg, SWE/SeaLife Rangers - $9,000
3.Gavin Brady, Oracle BMW Racing - $7,000
4. Dean Barker, NZ/OMEGA Match Racing Team - $6,000
5.Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team - $5,000
6.Jesper Radich, Denmark - $4,500
7.Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot - $3,500
8.Staffan Lindberg, FIN/Team Henri Lloyd - $3,000
9.Andy Green, GBR/Team Racing Green - $2,500
10.Yautaka Funazawa, Japan - $2,000
11.Eiichiro Hamazaki, Japan - $1,500
12.Takao Ninomiya, Japan - $1,000

Current Swedish Match Tour 2003/2004 Rankings

Skipper Points
1.Peter Gilmour, AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team 65
2.Magnus Holmberg, SWE/SeaLife Rangers 45
3.Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich 35
4.Dean Barker, NZ/Omega Match Racing Team 24
5.Jesper Bank, Denmark 20
=Chris Dickson, Oracle BMW Racing Team 20
7.Gavin Brady, NZ/Oracle BMW Racing Racing 15
8. Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot 14
9.Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team 10
=Russell Coutts, Alinghi Team 10
=Kelvin Harrap, New Zealand 10

Finals Results
Flight 1
Holmberg def. Gilmour

Flight 2
Gilmour def. Holmberg

Flight 3
Gilmour def. Holmberg

Flight 4
Gilmour def. Holmberg

Petit Finals
Flight 1
Brady def. Barker
Flight 2
Brady def. Barker

Flight 3
Brady def. Barker

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