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GBR Challenge Records Third Victory In A Row


GBR Challenge Records Third Victory In A Row

GBR Challenge today defeated Mascalzone Latino by 54 seconds. Having won the favoured pin end of the start line, Harrison’s team covered the Italians every move and extended on each leg of the course. The third consecutive victory gives GBR Challenge four points at the end of Round Robin One.

Skipper Ian Walker was clearly delighted with the way that the team has reacted to the early races. : “The big thing about this round robin is that we’ve showed the reliance in the team. It’s our first British America’s Cup bid for 15 years. We had two narrow losses early on but we kept plugging away and have three wins on the trot.”

The race started in 18 knots of breeze from 225 degrees, with Vincenzo Onorato’s team having the advantage of starboard entry into the starting box. After a 35 second dialup Mascalzone Latino sailed off on starboard tack, to the left hand side of the course before tacking back. Wight Lightning, with Andy Beadsworth on the helm for the pre-start, bore away on starboard and tacked. GBR Challenge led to the right hand side and gybed, with one minute and thirty seconds to go, with the Italian team following. Beadsworth bore away to increase speed before coming hard onto the wind at the pin end of the line. Mascalzone Latino started to windward, and crossed the line three seconds before the British team.

As the boats sailed off on starboard tack, Wight Lightning displayed better speed and sailed higher than the Italians, to the point where the British boat was placing affecting the flow of air onto Mascalzone Latino. The Italians tacked, followed by GBR Challenge, with the British team establishing a lead that they were never to surrender.

The first beat only involved three tacks, as both boats sailed on the leading port tack towards the layline, with GBR Challenge tacking first to allow for an easier rounding. GBR 70 rounded with a 22 second lead and hoisted a spinnaker. Mascalzone Latino initially hoisted a spinnaker, but then peeled to an asymmetric and sailed to the right hand side of the course in a bid to pass the British. The move failed as GBR Challenge sailed lower and extended the lead to 32 seconds at the leeward mark.

As the team rounded the mark, the spinnaker being collected on deck tore vertically to the head of the sail as it touched the water. The crew of Wight Lightning were left with no option other than to release the halyard and let the remnants of the dragging sail fall into the water.

On the second upwind leg, the Italians chose a more aggressive approach, engaging GBR Challenge in a tacking duel in a bid to escape the British stranglehold. GBR 70, with Ian Walker on the helm and Ado Stead as tactician, continued to tack on top of the Italian team and cover each move they made.

GBR Challenge rounded 50 seconds ahead and hoisted an aysemetric spinnaker. Whilst the Italians gybed down the run, Harrison’s team covered every move and finished 54 seconds ahead.


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