Swedish Match moves to Denmark

Shawn McBride previews the match racing tour's Danish Open that starts tomorrow

Wednesday August 14th 2002, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: Scandinavia
Fresh off his victory two weeks ago at the Swedish Match Tour's UBS Challenge, Great Britain's Chris Law and The Outlaws are on a quest to make it two wins in a row on the Swedish Match Tour by capturing the Danish Open 2002, set to begin tomorrow and hosted by the KDY/SKS Match Race Center, on Skovshoved Harbor, just north of Copenhagen. Among those standing in between Law and his goal are a bevy of Scandinavian skippers.

Danes Jesper Radich and Jes Gram-Hansen, currently ranked fourth and fifth on the Swedish Match Tour 2002/3 Rankings, are very familiar with the boats used at the regatta, the DS 37 Match Racers, as well as the local waters. Additionally, Gram-Hansen would like nothing more than to notch his first Swedish Match Tour win on his home waters while Radich would like to go two-for-two at Match Race Center-hosted regattas, having previously won April's MRC Challenge.

Two other Danes, Lars Nordjberg and Henrik Jensen are also helming entries here this week. Most recently, Nordjberg finished seventh at the Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Match Race in Ravenna, Italy. Team Nordjberg practices in Skovshoved almost every day and know the shifts and waters well, which should work to their advantage this week.

Four Swedish skippers will also enter the fray. Bjorn Hansen of the GOL Sailing Team, Michael Lindqvist, Mattias Rahm and Gustav Nilsson will lead their teams. Hansen finished ninth at the Trombini Match Race while Lindqvist finished 10th at July's Swedish Match Cup. Rahm will be making his second Swedish Match Tour appearance after failing to advance to the championship round of the Swedish Match Cup the first week of July. The Danish Open 2002 will be Nilsson's first Swedish Match Tour competition.

Finland's Staffan Lindberg completes the Scandinavian contingent at the Danish Open 2002. Lindberg will use the knowledge he gained skippering the DS 37 Match Racers at last month's Swedish Match Cup qualifying to his advantage this week.

France's Mathieu Richard will also be challenging for the eighth Danish Open. Richard would like nothing better to steal the Scandinavian's thunder and abscond the Danish Open Trophy to France.

Rounding out the list of competitors, and having traveled the farthest to challenge for the Danish Open trophy, is Australia's Scott Walton. Walton is relatively unknown on the international sailing scene but has garnered his share of local accolades and hopes to make his first break-through this week.

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