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Bermuda Gold Cup heats up

cup
The Bermuda Gold Cup is well known for its unforgiving format

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HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Competitors for the Bermuda Gold Cup have been halved at the end of the first knockout round on Wednesday.

The format, which has been called "unforgiving" and "cutthroat," squares off 16 teams with the winners of each series advancing and the losers going home.

The 16 skippers who entered the first round included eight seeded professionals, six amateurs and two female match racers.

The Bermuda Gold Cup, now in its 54th year, is one of the oldest match racing series in the world, and usually attracts the top stars.

This year, however, many of the top match racers, including 2001 champion Peter Holmberg, are tied up with America's Cup commitments in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Gold Cup has still managed a good, decidedly Scandinavian, line up including Jes Gram-Hansen from Denmark, currently ranked number one on the 2002-3 Swedish Match Tour.

The two other seeded Danes are Lars Nordbjerg who is ranked 19th and Jesper Radich who is ranked third. From Sweden there is Bjorn Hansen who is ranked eighth, Mikael Lindqvist who is ranked seventh and Mattias Rahm who is ranked 15. From Finland there is Staffan Lindberg who is ranked 12th.

Breaking the Scandinavian hold is Karol Jablonski from Poland who is the nominated skipper for the proposed Polish 2006 America's Cup Challenge and is currently ranked seventh in the world.

The six unseeded skippers include two local Bermudian sailors Peter Bromby and Glenn Astwood, Americans Andy Horton, Mason Woodworth and Tucker Thompson and Briton Chris Law.

The two female match racers are Paula Lewin from Bermuda and Marie Bjorling from Sweden who qualified by finishing first and second in the women's match racing championship on Tuesday.

It was the two local Bermudians, Lewin and Bromby, who know the IOD yachts used in the Gold Cup very well, that took the first scalps knocking out the two seeds Hansen (Sweden) and Nordbjerg (Denmark) on Wednesday.

The two seeds that advanced to the quarterfinals are Gram-Hansen and Linqvist who beat Woodworth and Andy Horton of the USA.

World No .1 Gram-Hansen had the toughest match against Woodworth, one of a talented group of new amateur match racers, taking him all the way to 3-2 in the best of five races.

Gram-Hansen will now sail against Paula Lewin on Friday.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is hosting the racing in International One Design class yachts with the final on October 20.

Round Robin 1 Results

Complete Group 2 Results

Group 2

Flight 1

Radich def. Thompson

Lindberg def. Astwood

Bjorling def. Rahm

Jablonski def. Law

Flight 2

Thompson def. Radich

Lindberg def. Astwood

Rahm def. Bjorling

Jablonski def. Law

Flight 3

Radich def. Thompson

Astwood def. Lindberg

Rahm def. Bjorling

Law def. Jablonski

Flight 4

Radich def. Thompson

Lindberg def. Astwood

Rahm def. Bjorling

Jablonski def. Law



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