From left to right: Frane Brate, Allan Coutts, Chris Law, James Spithill, Magnus Holmberg, Mattias Rahm, Johnie Berntsson, Paolo Cian, Jes Gram Hansen, Jesper Radich and Karol Jablonski
 

From left to right: Frane Brate, Allan Coutts, Chris Law, James Spithill, Magnus Holmberg, Mattias Rahm, Johnie Berntsson, Paolo Cian, Jes Gram Hansen, Jesper Radich and Karol Jablonski

ACI match racing kicks off

Swedish Match Tour arrives in Croatia

Tuesday May 27th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Mediterranean
Six of the top eight skippers in the Swedish Match Tour 2002/2003 rankings have assembled in Split, Croatia to contest the 17th running of the ACI HTmobile Cup, the seventh event on the Swedish Match Tour 2002-3.

Located on the Adriatic, the historic town of Split, once the location of the Roman Emperor Diocletian attracts visitors from all over the world. The cultural and economic center of Dalmatia is well known for its sailing conditions, sailing traditions and skilled Croatian sailors.

This week, the eight competitors will be battling aboard the event-supplied Jeanneau One Design 35s.

"Even though I have been sailing here twice before, I think we don't have a very good feeling with this boat, I hope we can change that with this event," said Paolo Cian, one of the favourites for the event.

"We've had two hours (practice) today. But I am relying on my very good crew!" continued Cian. "We have a very international crew this time. I have a new bowman from Belgium - so the problem is to understand each other during the rush. So when I use bad words, they will be in Italian so the others won't understand."

With all the skippers and crews weighed and the practice session concluded, the
the first races are due to kick off at 1300 local time today, although the forecast is for little breeze.

2003 ACI HTmobile Cup Skippers

Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Victory Lane) – Swedish Match Tour Rankings Leader
James Spithill (AUS/Team Spithill) – Second on Swedish Match Tour Rankings; former helmsman for the OneWorld Challenge
Jesper Radich (DEN/Team Radich) – Third on Swedish Match Tour Rankings
Chris Law (GBR/”The Outlaws”) – Fifth on Swedish Match Tour Rankings
Paolo Cian (ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team) – Sixth on Swedish Match Tour Rankings; former helmsman for Mascalzone Latino America’s Cup challenge
Magnus Holmberg (SWE/Team Holmberg) – Seventh on Swedish Match Tour Rankings; 2001 Swedish Match Tour champion; skipper of Victory Challenge
Karol Jablonski (POL/Jablonski Sailing Team) – Skipper of Polska 2007 America’s Cup challenge
Mattias Rahm (SWE/Team Stena Bulk) – Up-and-coming Swedish match racer
Johnie Bernsston (SWE) – Another young Swedish skipper trying to break into the top ranks
Allan Coutts (Alinghi Team) – Member of America’s Cup winning Alinghi Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) – French match racer ready to compete against best Swedish Match Tour has to offer
Frano Brate (CRO) – Local qualifier

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