French skipper Luc Pillot chalked up four wins and only one loss on the opening day of the Steinlager Line 7 Regatta

French skipper Luc Pillot chalked up four wins and only one loss on the opening day of the Steinlager Line 7 Regatta, to hold the top spot on the leaderboard overnight. Representing Le Defi Areva Challenge for the America’s Cup, he won every start of the day, and only let one opponent pass him, after a mistake he readily admitted to.

The former physical education teacher commented at the end of the day, “we were quite happy with the day, we had four wins, it could be a little bit better.”

Explaining his loss to Ed Baird he said, “we won the start against Ed Baird, but I did a mistake, and we lost that match, but we are very happy, we won all the starts, so it makes us very confident for the next days.”

Auckland laid on a perfect day, with 10 to12 knots of south westerly breeze, and sunshine that made the Waitemata Harbour sparkle, the only downside was the strong ebb tide that dictated the tactics in most races.

Holding onto second place, with three wins and one loss is Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg, the current leader of the Swedish Match Tour, who sailed a very steady day, only losing to Italy’s Paolo Cian.

Three skippers share third place, with a three win, two loss scoreline, Gavin Brady of the Prada Challenge, Denmark’s Jes Gram-Hansen, and Oracle Challenge skipper Peter Holmberg.

Probably one of the surprise packages of the first day is Paolo Cian of Italy’s Mascalzone Latino Challenge, who also has three wins, but has three losses as well, a newcomer to the Swedish Match Tour, he performed better than expected.

A log-jam of five skippers share seventh place, have two wins and three losses, demonstrating just how close this series is.

While Luc Pillot may feel confident, he, like the rest of the skippers knows this regatta is far from over, and there is still all to sail for, the catch phrase of the day, “tomorrow will be tough.”

Results after day one

1. Luc Pillot – France, Le Defi Areva 4 wins 1 loss

2. Magnus Holmberg – Sweden, Victory Challenge 3 1

3= Gavin Brady – Italy, Prada Challenge 3 2

3= Jes Gram-Hansen – Denmark 3 2

3= Peter Holmberg – U.S.A., Oracle Challenge 3 2

6 Paolo Cian – Italy, Mascalzone Latino Challenge 3 3

7= Dean Barker – New Zealand, Team New Zealand 2 3

7= Ed Baird – U.S.A. 2 3

7= Ken Read – U.S.A., Team Dennis Conner 2 3

7= Rod Davis – Italy, Prada Challenge 2 3

7= Andy Green – Britain, GBR Challenge 2 3

12. Ian Walker – Britain, GBR Challenge 1 4