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Narrow loss for GBR Challenge

Narrow loss for GBR Challenge

31st October. In the second race of the day, GBR Challenge lost a close tussle with Prada by 16 seconds. After GBR Challenge led off the start line, Prada took the lead up but the British team recovered by the top mark to lead into the first downwind leg. Prada then overtook on the run by sailing GBR Challenge out to the limit of the layline, and held their narrow lead to the finish.

In 17 knots of breeze from 225 degrees, the boats entered the start box and immediately went into a dialup. GBR Challenge broke away to the right, followed by Rod Davis on the helm of ITA 74. Andy Beadsworth on the helm of Wight Lightning, threw a dummy tack before gybing back to the line, with Prada gybing inside to lead back to the line. Harrison’s men initially bore away before heading up and tacking to take the right hand side of the line as the gun went. Prada started at the pin end two seconds later.

On the first beat, the left hand side appeared to be favoured as Prada gained the lead and as the boats came together the Italian team tacked on top of the British team four times. However, as the teams neared the mark, the British gained and as the boats came together GBR Challenge had starboard advantage. Prada were unable to cross and Ian Walker’s crew gained the initiative to take a four second lead around the first mark.

As the boats rounded, Prada came from slightly wider into the mark and sneaked inside Wight Lightning as the boats simultaneously hoisted their spinnakers. Although the British crew were able to set their sail earlier, ITA 74 held a slight overlap and GBR Challenge were unable to gybe. On long starboard gybe, red flags were constantly raised, with the Jury replying with green flags. As the boats reached the layline, tactician Ado Stead continually claimed that the Italian team were sailing Wight Lightning beyond the proper course layline. The umpires declined his claims.

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When Prada gybed, their inside position gave the Italian team the lead. Although Harrison’s men headed up to try to gain an overlap, Prada led by nine seconds at the leeward mark.

The Italian team defended the right and their lead up the windward leg to take a14 second lead into the run. GBR Challenge threatened the lead, but Prada continually covered to earn their sixth consecutive victory.

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