A fickle wind and ambiguous rules threw the Steinlager Cup into confusion here yesterday on a day when Dean Barker, heir apparent at the helm of Team New Zealand, became the first man to book a semi-final place in the opening Grand Prix of the Swedish match series. Britain's Andy Green has a tricky task to secure one of the three remaining places today.
Barker seemed to have been joined in the semis by Betrand Pace, the French America's Cup skipper. Pace shared a 10-4 scoreline with New Zealand's Chris Dickson, but had beaten him earlier in the event.
Dickson, however, a skilled reader of the laws, found another interpretation of the rules following the reshuffling of the groups earlier in the Cup. The jury agreed there was room for doubt, and compromised on a sudden death sail-off today.
The wind shifted unpredictably throughout the day and the main beneficiary was Green's rival, the Kiwi Gavin Brady. While later races were abandoned because of conditions, Brady took advantage of Australia's Peter Gilmour being caught in a windless area, sailed round him and took a point.
Gilmour then beat Green and Brady upset the Group One leader, the 22-year-old Cameron Appleton. Green now has to win his three remaining races today, including one against Appleton.