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OneWorld dominates UBS Challenge

Two of the three amateur qualifiers lost all their races  

NEWPORT, Rhode Island -- The two crews of the Seattle based OneWorld America's Cup Challenge continue to dominate the UBS Challenge match racing series.

James Spithill, with three more wins on Thursday, remains undefeated at the top of leaderboard of Group B at the end of Round Robin One with a score line of 7 wins and no losses.

The only blot on his scorecard is a one-point penalty imposed for causing damage in a collision on the first day. He still went on to win the race after making a 720 degree penalty turn.

All the teams are sailing in J/105 boats privately owned by local sailors and so the organisers try to discourage the on-the-water aggression of the sailors turning into actual physical damage.

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"It was quite tricky today, the breeze was very light and shifty," said Spithill. "The crew called great shots for me and I managed to keep us out of trouble. I've been sailing with these guys for a couple of years and I'm very confident in their decision-making."

In Group A, Spithill's boss OneWorld Challenge skipper Peter Gilmour sailed to a 3-1 record on the second day to finish at the top of the leaderboard with 6 wins and one loss.

For Gilmour the results thus far have been reassuring, "It's great after a year away from the Swedish Match Tour to come back and be in the hunt."

Posting equally impressive records on the second day of the round robins were Paolo Cian of the Italian Mascalzone Latino America's Cup Challenge who registered four wins and Great Britain's Chris Law and his Team Outlaws who went 3-0.

Law is not affliated to any America's Cup syndicate and had a far better day than Andy Green of the British GBR America's Cup challenge who languishes at the bottom of the leaderboard with just one win and six losses.

Local favourite Ken Read of Team Dennis Conner had a tough day on his home waters. After opening the regatta with a 3-0 record on Wednesday, Read won his first match of the day but then dropped three in a row to Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen, Le Defi Areva's Luc Pillot and Gilmour.

"It wasn't our best day today. I didn't get us off the line like Terry (Hutchinson, tactician) would have liked," admitted Read. "You win some, you lose some and now we've dug ourselves a hole we need to get out of."

The three unseeded US amateur sailors who progressed through three months of qualifying regattas to get to the final were also unable to make an impression on the leading professionals.

The 16 teams sail a second round robin series on Friday with the top eight going into in a knockout quarter final, semi final and final series over the weekend.

Eight of the nine America's Cup challenging syndicates are racing in the UBS Challenge with only Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing and Team New Zealand not represented.

This is the last time that the America's Cup skippers are likely to race each other before the Challenger elimination series starts in Auckland, New Zealand on October 31.

The UBS Challenge is the richest event in the 2002-3 Swedish Match Tour with a total prize purse of $100,000.

Group A round robin

1. Peter Gilmour (Australia), OneWorld, 6 wins, 0 losses

2. Jes Gram-Hansen (Denmark), Team Victory, 5 wins, 2 losses

3 Paolo Cian (Italy), Mascalzone Latino, 5 wins, 2 losses

4. Ken Read (USA), Team Dennis Conner, 4 wins, 3 losses

5 Luc Pillot (France), Le Defi Areva, 3 wins, 4 losses

6. Mason Woodworth (USA), amateur, 2 wins, 5 losses

7. Jean-Claude Monnin (Swiss), Alinghi Team, 2 wins, 5 loss

8. Ben Cesare (USA), amateur, 1 win, 6 losses

Group B round robin

1. James Spithill (Australia), OneWorld Challenge, 7 wins, 0 losses

2. Chris Law (Great Britain), Team Outlaws, 5 wins, 2 losses

3. Ed Baird (USA), Team Musto, 4 wins, 3 losses

4. Andy Lovell (USA), amateur, 4 wins, 3 losses

5. Jesper Radich (Denmark), 3 wins, 4 losses

6. Gavin Brady (New Zealand), Prada Challenge, 3 wins, 4 losses

7. Dawn Riley (USA), K-Challenge, 1 win, 6 losses

8. Andy Green (Great Britain), GBR Challenge, 1 win, 6 losses


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