GBR Challenge is first IACC home...

...in the Hoya Round the Island Race ahead of High Voltage and France 2

Saturday June 16th 2001, Author: Gerald New, Location: United Kingdom
The British America's Cup team sailing GBR 44 finished in a time of 4 hours, 23 minutes and 43 seconds to lead in the International America's Cup Class (IACC).

Second IACC boat in was Eddie Warden Owen helming High Voltage, the former Il Moro de Venezia IV, in 4 hours, 52 minutes and 4 seconds followed by France 2 in 5 hours, 40 minutes and 49 seconds.
It was GBR 44 that crossed the line first of the Big Boat fleet, seconds after the 10am gun was fired. Having established an early advantage, the team powered ahead and continued to stretch their lead over the older ACC yachts that struggled to sail as close to the wind or as fast as the 2000 generation yacht.

Although the big boat fleet crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron line on a close reach in 10 knots of breeze, within half an hour GBR 44 was hard on the wind that had risen to 16 knots. At this point the team had caught up with some of the back markers from the earlier starts, and by Yarmouth, the team were tacking through a substantial fleet. GBR 44 rounded the Needles lighthouse at 11.05 in a large swell.

Helmsman Andy Beadsworth and navigator Derek Clark headed out to sea on a tight reach to gain clear water, before hoisting a reaching spinnaker as they came around the back of the Island. From there, the team powered through the fleet, overtaking many of the yachts that had started two hours earlier.

Skipper for the day, Stead was clearly delighted with the team's performance. "It was a really good day for us, and we're really pleased to have finished as the second monohull. In particular, the reaction we received from the public as we passed about 70% of the other yachts, was very positive."
The GBR Challenge time compares with the new monohull record, set by Mike Slade's 90ft maxi Skandia Life Leopard, of 4 hours, 5 minutes and 40 seconds.

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