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Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour

by John Roberson on 7 Sep 2000
French skipper Bertrand Pace, who currently heads the scoreboard for year one of the
Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour, has signed to sail for Team New Zealand, when
they defend the America's Cup in 2003.
Pace has battled all season for the top spot on the scoreboard with Team New Zealand
skipper Dean Barker, and holds an eleven point lead with just the final event to sail.

The eighth and last event on the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour 2000, is the
Colorcraft Gold Cup, to be sailed on Bermuda's Hamilton harbour at the end of October.

Pace and Barker are the only two skippers who can win this year's Swedish Match
Grand Prix Sailing Tour, so the trophy and the US$50,000 first prize will go to a Team
New Zealand skipper, who ever wins.

Pace has had a number of offers for the next America's Cup, but has chosen to join
Team New Zealand, and is moving to Auckland with his family in order to satisfy the
strict Cup nationality rules.

Famous for his broken English, the Frenchman commented, "I am very pleased, excited
to join the defence, Team New Zealand do me so proud."

Team New Zealand see match racing ability as critical to the defence of the America's
Cup, and in signing Bertrand Pace have strengthened their hand considerably.

Dean Barker, who flew to France at the weekend to finalize the deal said, "our in-house
racing is the most important part of Team New Zealand's preparation, and with Bertrand
signed on I am looking forward to the toughest challenge we can set ourselves."

Pace will work alongside young Kiwi sailor Cameron Appleton as sparring partner to
Barker, "Bertrand and Cameron need to be pushing me harder than any other skipper in
the world," added the Team New Zealand skipper.

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