Sailing: Draw favours Law in Bermuda's talent feast

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The Independent Online
A GENEROUS draw pitted Britain's world No 2, Chris Law, against local man Glenn Astwood as the seeds joined the qualifiers in the 50th Bermuda Gold Cup match race grand prix yesterday.

In a feast of America's Cup talent, Peter Gilmour, the defending champion, world No1 and Nippon Challenge skipper, lined up against his fellow Australian James Spithill while Italy's Prada skipper, Francesco de Angelis, met the recently appointed helmsman for Dawn Riley's America True campaign, John Cutler.

Russell Coutts, cup winner and defender in 2000, also had to meet one of his own countrymen, Dean Barker of New Zealand. Peter Holmberg, the Virgin Islander and Team Caribbean boss, faced the young Briton Andy Green. Another Andy, Beadsworth, was pitted against Germany's Markus Weiser as a third New Zealander, Murray Jones, met a third Australian, Neville Wittey.

Unexpectedly missing is Paul Cayard, whom both Beadsworth and Green helped to knock out of the preliminary rounds. His consolation is being able to announce the building of two boats designed by Bruce Nelson, the first starting next month, in Ted Brown's Westerly Marine yard at Costa Mesa, California.

But he will be back in Bermuda next week for the meeting of the America's Cup Challengers Association. That should ratify the television deal for the event and confirm Louis Vuitton as sponsor and promoter.

Present at the meeting will be the Spirit of Britain syndicate. They may make an announcement about building the first of two possible boats at Weymouth. However, the materials supply industry has not announced any orders and those top sailors expecting to be contacted say they have heard nothing.

In the race to the finish of the first leg of the Around Race from Charleston to Cape Town, Mike Golding's Group 4 and Josh Hall's Gartmore continue to jockey for third position behind the French duo, Marc Thiercelin in Somewhere, and Isabelle Autissier in PRB.