Sailing: Law's late advance

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The Independent Online
CHRIS LAW'S attempt to defend the Omega Australia Cup match racing title he won last year was given a second life yesterday as he scraped into today's fourth semi-final position under a complex tie-break system, writes Stuart Alexander from Perth.

The American-born New Zealander, Rod Davis, headed the field of 10 with 15 wins from 18 qualifying races and promptly exercised his right to choose Law as his semi-final opponent. A second American, Peter Isler, made sure of his place with 12 wins and will meet Australia's Peter Gilmour, who recorded 10 victories, in the other semi-final. There were three candidates with nine wins.

Roy Heiner, of the Netherlands, was eliminated because he had lost to the other two, Law and Ed Baird, in their round-robin races, and Baird went out because he had lost to Law in the second round-robin. Law had to dig deep to beat Baird, France's Thierry Peponnet and Heiner especially as he lost unexpectedly to the local helmsmen, Skip Lissiman and Gordon Lucas.

OMEGA AUSTRALIA CUP (Fremantle): Second round robin: Flight 4: P Gilmour (Aus) bt R Heiner (Neth); T Peponnet (Fr) bt E Baird (US); S Lissiman (Aus) bt M Holmberg (Swe); R Davis (NZ) bt G Lucas (Aus); P Isler (US) bt C Law (GB). Flight 5: Davis bt Heiner; Lissiman bt Law; Baird bt Lucas; Gilmour bt Holmberg; Isler bt Peponnet. Flight 6: Law bt Baird; Isler bt Holmberg; Peponnet bt Gilmour; Davis bt Lissiman; Heiner bt Lucas. Flight 7: Peponnet bt Lissiman; Heiner bt Holmberg; Isler bt Davis; Lucas bt Law; Baird bt Gilmour. Flight 8: Holmberg bt Lucas; Isler bt Baird; Gilmour bt Davis; Law bt Peponnet; Lissiman bt Heiner. Flight 9: Holmberg bt Peponnet; Lissiman bt Lucas; Law bt Heiner; Gilmour bt Isler; Davis bt Baird. Standings (top four go into semi-finals): Davis won 15, lost 3; Isler 12, 6; Gilmour 10, 8; Law, Heiner, Baird 9, 9; Peponnet 8, 10; Lissiman 7, 11; Lucas 6, 12; Holmberg 5, 13. (Law reached semi-finals on a tie-break).