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GBR Challenge defeats Mascalzone Latino

GBR Challenge defeats Mascalzone Latino

31st October. On a windy Hauraki Gulf, GBR Challenge defeated Mascalzone Latino by one minute and 40 seconds. The British team led from start to finish to record their second victory of the second Round Robin, after consecutive losses to the superpowers OneWorld and Alinghi.

At the prestart, Harrison’s men entered from the right hand side of the box and immediately followed ITA 72 into a dial-down. After around 40 seconds of sailing straight downwind, Mascalzone Latino sailed around the bow of Wight Lightning and headed to the right hand side of the course. As the Italian team gybed around, GBR 70 tacked and headed back to the starting line with ITA 72 a boat length behind. Starting helmsman Andy Beadsworth then bore away, to position Wight Lightning ahead but to leeward of ITA 72 as the teams sailed towards the line. The British boat accelerated to cross the line one second ahead, whilst Mascalzone Latino tacked off to the right.

After one minute, ITA 72 tacked, followed by GBR 70 and at the crucial first cross GBR Challenge was over a boat length ahead. With Ian Walker at the helm, Wight Lightning continued for 15 seconds before tacking to cover ITA 72. Both boats sailed on starboard tack for 10 minutes, but when the Italians tacked the British team reacted and continued to cover up the first beat. At the first windward mark, GBR Challenge led by 24 seconds.

The wind momentarily dropped during the downwind leg, before increasing in strength to 22 knots as the teams rounded the leeward mark. GBR Challenge had extended by four seconds to lead by 28 seconds.

On the second beat, Mascalzone Latino were much more aggressive, engaging GBR Challenge in a tacking duel up the middle of the course. Harrison’s men continued to tack on top and cover the Italian team, continually forcing ITA 72 to sail in their wind. The British team extended their lead and went on to take their second point of the round robin.

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