Wilson Trophy preview
Teams from across the UK, Ireland and America are preparing to battle for the prestigious 2010 British Open Team Racing Championship for the Wilson Trophy, hosted by West Kirby Sailing Club. The world class action is set to take place this weekend, with a 300 individual team-on-team races scheduled, commencing at 1300 on Friday 7 May and culminating in Sunday afternoon’s finals.
32 teams have been selected to take part in this year’s event, including four local teams. Current Trophy holders, West Kirby Hawks, will be pulling out all the stops to defend their 2009 win. Team member, Andy Cornah, said; “As a team we are feeling confident but we’re not being complacent; we know from experience how tough the Wilson Trophy is. However we have the same team as last year and have had another good season so far, winning a number of events including the UK Team Racing Association National Finals earlier this year. We hope to do our best to defend the Trophy and we’re looking forward to some great racing this weekend.”
The competition will certainly be fierce, with a number of strong teams and world class individuals making an appearance, including 2009 ISAF Team Racing World gold medallist, Pete Levesque (New York Yacht Club), three-time Musto Skiff World Champion, Richard Stenhouse (Rutland Raiders), and Ireland’s 2008 Olympic representative and current Irish Team Racing Champion, Ger Owens (Royal St George Yacht Club Knights). Top UK university and club teams will also take part.
Around 5000 spectators are expected to flock to the shores of West Kirby’s Marine Lake to view the cut-throat sporting action from just metres away. Competitors will take to the water in 36 colour-co-ordinated boats, making for a real spectacle. To explain the close tactical manoeuvring, live commentary will be broadcast across the viewing areas from a purpose-built media centre. In an innovative move by the organisers, this year’s commentary will feature live on-the-water interviews with the sailors, adding an extra exciting dimension for those watching.
Also new for 2010 will be a flight of six brand new Firefly dinghies, the purchase of which was made possible thanks to the high levels of sponsorship the event has attracted this year.