Peter Holmberg, representing Oracle Racing here as replacement for the out-of-sorts Chris Dickson, sweeps clean on his first day
Seven wins from seven races; Peter Holmberg has taken an impressive lead after the first round robin of the Trofeo Roberto Trombini in Marina di Ravenna.
Much of Holmberg’s momentum was gathered in his first race, against the rampant Russell Coutts, racing with the Swiss AC syndicate Alinghi. Coutts managed to pin a penalty on Holmberg but he refused to be bowed. “It certainly is a tough way to start a regatta,” said Holmberg. “Luckily we were able to win the start, execute our penalty and sail away for what began a comfortable win.”
Holmberg heaped much of the credit onto his familiar Oracle Racing crew. “Winning match races is a team effort,” said Holmberg. “The crew worked very well together and I have a very high comfort-level with all the crew and especially John Cutler, going back to our days in Finns and previous America’s Cup campaigns.”
This event, opening the fourth year of the Swedish Match Grand Prix tour, was billed as an ‘Italy vs The World’ showdown and so far, honours look fairly even. Holmberg’s perfect day was almost matched by Paolo Cian, here racing for Mascalzone Latino, Italy’s second America’s Cup challenge. The Italian helm finished the first series of races with a 6-1 win-loss ratio, with Holmberg the only man to better him.
Italian Olympic Soling sailor Nicola Celon lies third on 5-2 after losing to Holmberg and France’s Luc Pillot. Tied with him on 5-2 is Russell Coutts, defied by Holmberg and Team New Zealand’s Dean Barker, fifth on 4-3.
GBR Challenge’s Andy Green is currently tenth of the twelve contesting this event, with a 2-5 scoreline having beaten illbruck’s entry Morten Henriksen and Italian veteran Frederico Strocchi. Green and his crew will be digging deep for a couple of big wins against the leaders in the next round.
Trofeo Roberto Trombini
Skipper: win-loss1. Peter Holmberg: 7-02. Paolo Cian: 6-13=. Nicola Celon: 5-23=. Russell Coutts: 5-25=. Dean Barker: 4-35=. Magnus Holmberg: 4-35=. James Spithill: 4-38. Morten Henriksen: 3-49. Francesco de Angelis: 2-610=. Andy Green: 2-510=. Luc Pillot: 2-512. Frederico Strocchi: 0-7