Hawks move into pole
The relentless pace of the racing schedule at the 2011 Wilson Trophy for the British Open Team Racing Championship continued on the second day, with the first races of the day getting underway shortly after 0800. Despite the earliness of the hour, the ferocity of the team racing action was undiminished, with the cool morning air echoing to the sound of competitors shouts and umpire’s whistles. With the breeze steadily increasing from 10 knots for the early races up to just short of 20 knots by around 1100, the call was sensibly made to make the change down to smaller sails.
Overnight leaders, Oxford & Cambridge, the only team to make it through yesterday undefeated, started the second day with a comfortable win over Woonsocket Rockets, but then went on a four race losing streak, falling in quick succession to Dream Team, BUSA Lads, Southampton Male Voice Choir and Buns & Ammo. In contrast West Kirby Hawks put on an impressive display to defeat Wessex Exempt, NYYC Team Extreme, Spinnaker, BUSA Lads and Woonsocket Rockets - leaving them top of the table at midday.
Early in the afternoon though West Kirby Hawks suffered a defeat by Spinnaker after a very tightly fought match. This win for Spinnaker was their third of the day, and further wins against Dream Team, Southampton Male Voice Choir, and Oxford & Cambridge moved them up to second overall with 8 wins after 11 rounds. Also on 8 wins were BUSA Lads and Buns & Ammo, with Oxford & Cambridge, NYYC Team Extreme, Southampton Male Voice Choir and Royal St. George Knights, all on 7 wins, rounding out the top eight at that point.
The battle for the top eight continued to rage throughout the rest of the afternoon with West Kirby Hawks continuing to hold a slender one win advantage over the rest. Behind them the rankings were so tight that as the afternoon wore on the matches became more and more frenetic. By late afternoon however, the standings were becoming a little clearer. The Hawks were still on top with 12 wins, ahead of second placed Buns & Ammo who had strung together a series of well timed wins (including a defeat of the Hawks) to take them to 11 victories in total. BUSA Lads and NYYC Team Extreme both shared 10 wins with Spinnaker and Wessex Exempt also tied on 9 wins. In the fifteenth round of the event, a win for the Hawks over Southampton moved them on to 13, but soon after a key match against NYYC Team Extreme saw the American team eke out a narrow 2,3,4 win, to bring their tally up to 11 wins and move them up to second overall.
When racing ended with the completion of Round 16, the Hawks had moved on to 13 wins and second placed NYYC Team Extreme had also advanced to 12 wins. Buns & Ammo, BUSA Lads, and Spinnaker finished the second day on 11 wins, ahead of Southampton Male Voice Choir on 10 wins. Oxford & Cambridge and Dream Team, completed the top eight, each with 9 wins.
With only a few more rounds now likely before the final day’s lunchtime cut off, the clutch of teams all tied on 9 wins, Woonsocket Rockets, Ungrateful Colonists, RSGYC Knights, Wessex Exempt, Southampton 1, West Kirby SC and Super Troupers, will know that they need to outperform in the morning to secure a place in the elimination rounds.
Racing at the 2011 Wilson Trophy for the British Open Team Racing Championship comes to a conclusion on Sunday 8th May, with a morning of Swiss League followed by the elimination rounds culminating in a Grand Final between the top two teams.