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GBR Challenge Likely To Face Stars & Stripes

GBR Challenge Likely To Face Stars & Stripes In Quarter Finals

2nd November 2002. A win for regatta leader Alinghi this afternoon resulted in the Swiss team confirming their number one position, with GBR Challenge guaranteed sixth position. Despite winning the right hand side of the start line, the Swiss America’s Cup team showed superior speed around the course to take a win by one minute and 26 seconds.

With seven points from the two round robins, the first British America’s Cup team for 15 years now faces a likely quarter-final match with Team Dennis Conner. Sweden’s Victory Challenge, assured fifth position, have the choice between racing Le Defi Areva, Stars & Stripes and GBR Challenge. Early indications are that the Swedes will select the French, leaving Harrison’s team to face Stars & Stripes.

This afternoon’s match started in 18 knots from 260 degrees. After the dialup, Alinghi were the first team to break to the right, pursued by Wight Lightning. The British team matched Alinghi’s manoevres and came up to windward to protect the right hand side with 90 seconds to go. Alinghi were forced to bear away to kill some time towards the line as the British team tacked to take the right hand side.

Alinghi continued to the left hand side for 30 seconds before tacking onto port. As a drag race developed, the Swiss team showed better speed to increase the gauge between the boats and take control of the match. The Coutts / Butterworth afterguard then kept an eye on the British team to cover Wight Lightning up the remainder of the beat.

At the weather mark, Alinghi had a 38 second lead. The teams bore away onto a long port gybe and Coutts’ men again extended to be 54 seconds ahead at the leeward mark. Again the Swiss team protected their lead to leave the British team too far away to threaten them on the final run.

Wight Lightning (GBR-70) vs Alinghi
Bow Peter Thomas
Mid Bow Mark Sheffield
Mast George Skuodas
Pit James Stagg
Pit Runner Jonathan Taylor
Trim upwind Mal Parker
Trim downwind Simon Fry
Grinder Starboard Guy Reid
Grinder Port Ian Weighell
Mid Grinder Mark Covell
Main Trimmer Richard Sydenham
Navigator Jules Salter
Aft Grinder Chris Main
Strategist Andy Beadsworth
Skipper Ian Walker
Tactician Adrian Stead
17th Man Julia Harrison-Lee


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