The Danish Open 2001 is underway in Skovshoved Harbour and a good day tomorrow will put GBR Challenge into the quarterfinals of this Swedish Match Grand Prix event

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the GBR Challenge match racing team competing at the Danish Open 2001 in Skovshoved Harbour. The four round robin races sailed yesterday – against Danish Olympic legend Jesper Bank, local sailor Lars Nordbjerg, Swedish Match title holder Magnus Holmberg and Oracle Racing’s Peter Holmberg – brought them one win and three losses.

Helmsman Andy Beadsworth takes us through the day’s racing. Against Bank: “We won the prestart and led at windward mark. However, we were then penalised for a collision. Their tacking was slightly slicker than ours and Jesper managed to pass us on the second beat.”

Against Nordbjerg: “We lost the start and then threatened him all the way around but could not quite pass.”

Against Magnus Holmberg: “The start was fairly equal. We wanted the pin end and won it, although we didn’t nail it. He held the right hand side and controlled the race from there.” Holmberg finished the day with a 100 percent record of victory.

Against Peter Holmberg: “We won the start convincingly and defended tightly, holding them off the whole way around.”

Beadsworth expected and got a tough day but believed GBR Challenge’s match racing act was definitely coming together. “We’re a new crew finding our feet against competition that is seriously good. Our improvement today was massive, and it felt good to win the last race.”

GBR Challenge sailing manager Ian Walker was looking forward to tomorrow’s racing. “We’re pleased to have beaten Holmberg in the last race, but we’ll have to win at least two of the three races tomorrow to progress.”

“If we sail well tomorrow, we could win our races but we’re not yet at a level where we can deal with everything that’s thrown at us. If we win starts then we’re OK but if we don’t, and then we get involved in a tussle, we might be found out by lack of time together and lack of time in these boats.

“Our reactions as a team are not yet automatic. We’ve got a really good bunch of guys with a lot of raw talent, we just need more time together to refine the skills.”

“At this event, we’re up against guys who are in the top five in the world for the reason that they’ve been racing together in these type of boats for years. We’ll come into an event like this and we’ll definitely rattle some cages of the more experienced crews.”

Regatta leader and reigning Swedish Match champion Magnus Holmberg made an excellent start but knows much more will be required tomorrow. “We won two of our starts today and were even in the other two, allowing us to protect the right side. That was the difference for us today. It’s early in the regatta and teams are still adjusting to the boats. I think you’ll see much more aggressive sailing tomorrow.”

Danish Open 2001
Group A Standings: Skipper (Country/Team) Wins-LossesMagnus Holmberg (SWE/Team Stora Enso) 4-0Jesper Bank (Victory Challenge) 3-1Lars Nordbjerg (DEN) 3-1Peter Holmberg (Oracle Racing) 2-2Ben Ainslie (USA/Team Pizza La) 1-3Andy Beadsworth (GBR Challenge) 1-3Sebastien Destramau (Le Defi Challenge) 1-3Henrik Jensen (DEN) 1-3Group B StandingsMorten Henriksen (illbruck Challenge) 4-1Gavin Brady (Prada Challenge) 4-1Jesper Radich (DEN/Team Steff Houlberg) 4-1Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN/Team Hotel Marienlyst) 3-2Chris Law (Great Britain) 2-3Murray Jones (Alinghi Challenge) 1-4Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 1-4Jesper Feldt (DEN) 1-4