Australia's Peter Gilmour and his Pizza-La Sailing Team defeated Sweden's Magnus Holmberg and the SeaLife Rangers 3-1 today to claim his record eighth Nippon Cup title

Australia’s Peter Gilmour and his Pizza-La Sailing Team defeated Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg and the SeaLife Rangers 3-1 today to claim his record eighth Nippon Cup title.

Today’s win was the fifth consecutive Nippon Cup crown and second consecutive regatta win on the Swedish Match Tour, following a victory at last month’s Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda, for the veteran Australian match racer and his crew of Mike Mottle, Yasuhiro Yaji and Kazuhiko Sofuku.

On a brisk day on Shinjuku Bay, Gilmour and his crew battled Holmberg and his long-standing team of Stefan Rahm, Lars Linger and Magnus Augusston in a championship bout featuring two of the premier teams on the Swedish Match Tour.

After the Swedes took the first match, Gilmour and his team battened down to win the next three in a row to remain the foremost team in the history of this Japanese match racing classic.

“Every race you’ve been through, whether you’ve won or lost, you need to analyse the mistakes and improve upon them,” said Gilmour. “Before (the first) race was even finished, going down the final run, we were discussing it and determining which changes we were going to make in the next match.

“We realized that in order to win we needed to start better, start to the right of Magnus and tail back, not lead back in the upcoming races,” This year’s win was especially pleasing for Gilmour’s mainsheet trimmer Yasuhiro Yaji who has been instrumental, and a driving force, in resurrecting and organizing this event following a two-year hiatus and positioning it to be a part of the Swedish Match Tour.

In today’s petit-finals racing Gavin Brady of the Oracle BMW Racing Team dismissed fellow Kiwi Dean Barker of the OMEGA Match Racing Team 3-0 to grab third place.

Gilmour’s win today further solidified his position atop the Swedish Match Tour 2003/2004 Rankings, while Holmberg’s runner-up finish moved the former Swedish Match Tour champion (2000/2001) into second place. Reigning Swedish Match Tour champion Jesper Radich of Denmark, sixth this week, sits in third place, while Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker of the OMEGA Match Racing team finds himself in the fourth spot.

The next event on the Swedish Match Tour is the Congressional Cup in Long Beach 19-24 April 2004.

Overall Results

1.Peter Gilmour, AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team – $15,000

2.Magnus Holmberg, SWE/SeaLife Rangers – $9,000

3.Gavin Brady, Oracle BMW Racing – $7,000

4. Dean Barker, NZ/OMEGA Match Racing Team – $6,000

5.Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team – $5,000

6.Jesper Radich, Denmark – $4,500

7.Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot – $3,500

8.Staffan Lindberg, FIN/Team Henri Lloyd – $3,000

9.Andy Green, GBR/Team Racing Green – $2,500

10.Yautaka Funazawa, Japan – $2,000

11.Eiichiro Hamazaki, Japan – $1,500

12.Takao Ninomiya, Japan – $1,000