A number of the world's top match sailors, including two teams fielded from Britain's GBR Challenge, are set to compete in the feeder series for the Steinlager Line 7 Cup
The Swedish Match Tour’s Steinlager Line 7 Cup, March 19-24, Auckland, NZ is preceded by a feeder series featuring 10 skippers battling to be among the top four to advance to battle the eight previously announced seeds. Among the competitors in the feeder series, running March 14-17, are five skippers representing four America’s Cup teams. Great Britain’s GBR Challenge has two teams entered in the feeder series. Andy Green, ranked 33rd in the ISAF world match race rankings will helm one of the entries and Ian Walker will lead the second. Walker will be assisted by Andy Beadsworth, himself a regular competitor on the Swedish Match Tour.
Paolo Cian of the Vincente Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino Challenge also will compete. With the recent arrival of the Onorato Challenge to Auckland, Cian plans to become a regular on the Swedish Match Tour. Jesper Bank of the Victory Challenge will also field an entry. Bank’s Victory Challenge teammate Magnus Holmberg is the top-seed in the Steinlager Line 7 Cup. Rounding out the America’s Cup team involvement in the feeder series is Team New Zealand’s Cameron Appleton. Appleton has had much success at the Steinlager Line 7 Cup, finishing third in 2001 and as runner-up in 2000. Should Appleton advance to the Steinlager Line 7 Cup he will join Team New Zealand leader Dean Barker and give the America’s Cup holders two entries in the regatta.
Among the remaining entries in the feeder series, two America’s Cup veterans, American Ed Baird and Great Britain’s Chris Law will be lining up for the chance to advance. Baird, most recently skipper of Young America at the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup is following up on a third place finish at last October’s Colorcraft Gold Cup in Bermuda. Law is a noted international sailor and former colour analyst for TV New Zealand’s coverage of the 1995 and 2000 America’s Cup. Also competing are Johnie Berntsson of Sweden, ranked 22nd in the world, Australian Pat Langley, ranked 52nd in the world, and native New Zealander John Kensington.