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Stars & Stripes Level Series

Stars & Stripes Level Series

14th November. Stars & Stripes today levelled the quarter-final with GBR Challenge at 1-1. In the second race of the best of seven series, the Americans established an early lead up the first beat and then protected their advantage throughout the race to record a 77 second victory.

With a 10 knot breeze from 200 degrees, GBR Challenge entered from the starboard end of the line. As USA 77 bore away deep into the box, Wight Lightning sailed deep and the boats went into a dial-up. After 40 seconds, Team Dennis Conner sailed away to the left hand side before gybing back. USA 77 sailed downwind, with Harrison’s men close behind. Initially it looked as if Harrison’s men would hold Stars & Stripes out to the right hand side of the box, but the British team sailed to the middle of the line. GBR 70 built speed to the line as the gun went, with USA 77 crossing at the committee boat end.

Both boats sailed away on starboard, with USA 77 benefiting from being on the inside of a right hand shift. Stars & Stripes, to windward, sailed GBR 70 out towards the layline before tacking and taking an early lead. As both boats sailed towards the mark, a header seemed to give the advantage to GBR 70 as USA 77 was unable to lay the mark. However, the wind continued to clock around, and both boats were forced to tack twice. Team Dennis Conner rounded the first mark 19 seconds ahead.

The first run was a long drag race on starboard, with the wind building to 15 knots from 215. Initially, Wight Lightning made inroads into the American’s lead, but Stars & Stripes pulled away to have a 26 second lead at the leeward mark.

A short tacking duel ensued at the bottom of the second windward leg, as the young British team attempted to engage Team Dennis Conner. After four tacks on GBR 70, Stars & Stripes continued to the right hand side of the course, allowing the British team to continue to the left. When the Americans came back to the left, the lead had been doubled.

USA 77 then covered Wight Lightning around the course to protect their lead and level the score in the series.

Wight Lightning (GBR-70) Bow Matt Cornwell Mid Bow Mark Sheffield Mast George Skuodas Pit James Stagg Pit Runner Jonathan Taylor Trim upwind Ian Budgen Trim downwind Simon Fry Grinder Starboard Guy Reid Grinder Port Greg Searle Mid Grinder Jim Turner Main Trimmer Chris Mason Navigator Jules Salter Aft Grinder Chris Main Strategist Andy Beadsworth Skipper Ian Walker Tactician Adrian Stead 17th Man Peter Harrison

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