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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, December 4, 2022


After three days of closely fought battles Bertrand Pacé won three straight races over a problem-plagued Peter Gilmour to become champion of the Frenchman's Reef International Match Race. Virgin Islands skipper Peter Holmberg finished fourth.
Several delays built tension, but the French team, assisted by Carlos Skov of St. Croix, sailed flawlessly from start to finish.
The second race of the finals may have demoralized Gilmour's Nippon Challenge. Nippon's poor spinnaker set gave Pacé the lead. Dropping the sail in the water gave the race away. The only positive note was that the team retrieved the delicate sail in one piece.
In a rematch of last year’s final, Chris Law took two of three races from Holmberg to finish third.
Penalties against the Virgin Islands team cost dearly in the “petit final.” In match racing a penalty requires a time-consuming 270-degree turn. Two penalties in race two gave the closely sailed race to the British.
In the last race, a penalty at the start haunted the Virgin Islands team. Holmberg, the skipper of the Virgin Islands America’s Cup Challenge, and his crew tried to build a big enough lead to overcome the mishap, lead but fell short without enough space to execute the penalty turn. Law passed across the finish a few feet ahead.

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