Five AC teams in Croatia

ACI HT Cronet Cup match race kicks off tomorrow

Monday May 27th 2002, Author: Shawm McBride, Location: Mediterranean
The Swedish Match Tour's ACI HT Cronet Cup, the seventh event on the international match racing tour, kicks off tomorrow and will feature five America's Cup teams, including America's Cup-holder Team New Zealand, battling at the 16th edition of the Split, Croatia-based regatta. Located on the South Adriatic Coast, Split is the cultural and economic center of Dalmatia, and is well known for its sailing conditions, and strong sailing traditions.

Headlining the list of competitors, and seeded first, is Swedish Match Tour Rankings leader Peter Holmberg of Oracle Racing. Holmberg has won the last three Swedish Match Tour events he has entered, the Colorcraft Gold Cup last October in Bermuda, the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Auckland, NZ in March and April's Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA.

Also lining up in Croatia is Magnus Holmberg (no relation to Peter) and Team SeaLife, defending Swedish Match Tour champion, currently ranked second on Swedish Match Tour 2001/2. The Swedish skipper, who is also a helmsman for the Victory Challenge, needs to win the regatta to have any chance of defending his points championship.

Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen and his Team Marienlyst come to the ACI HT Cronet Cup following a third place finish at last week's Match Race Germany. The result moved the Danes up to third overall on the Swedish Match Tour Rankings, just three points behind Magnus Holmberg.

Masclazone Latino's Paolo Cian and GBR Challenge's Andy Beadworth, a former winner of the regatta (1998) will also brings crews to Split. As will Team New Zealand's Bertrand Pace who will be hoping to keep the event crown "in the family" as defending champion and Team New Zealand boss Dean Barker is unable to compete this year due to obligations to the America's Cup defense.

Also skippering entries at the ACI HT Cronet Cup are Mathieu Richard of France, ranked 28th in the world by ISAF, Sweden's Johnnie Berntsson, ranked 24th and Staffan Lindberg of Finland who is ranked 19th.

Swedish skipper Mattias Rahm, the world's 25th ranked match racer, will be making his first appearance at a Swedish Match Tour event. Mattias is the brother of Stefan Rahm, longtime tactician for Magnus Holmberg.

Rounding out the field of competitors are match racing veteran Chris Law of Great Britain, local skipper Tomislav Basic of Croatia and Vasco Vascotto of Italy.
Competitors at Swedish Match Tour's ACI HT Cronet Cup

Seed, Skipper
1. Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing
2. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team SeaLife
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Marienlyst
4. Paolo Cian, Mascalzone Latino
5. Mathieu Richard, France
6. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden
7. Lars Nordbjerg, Denmark
8. Staffan Lindberg, Finland
9. Mattias Rahm, Sweden
10. Bertrand Pace, Team New Zealand
11. Chris Law, Great Britain
12. Andy Beadsworth, GBR Challenge
13. Tomislav Basic, Croatia
14. Vasco Vascotto, Italy

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