Team racing selectors choose top ten for 2001 Worlds

The old names must justify their places against some hot new talent

Tuesday October 31st 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
With the Team Racing World Championships due to take place in the Czech Republic in July 2001, the selection for the British team has already got underway. Applicants have been whittled down to the final ten helms, with the selection process not altogether clear, but seemingly based on the candidates recent successes in team and fleet racing events.
Three of the 'old guard' are in there - Stuart Hudson, Steve Tylecote and Roger Morris - who have represented the country in past World Championships. Over the weekend of the 28-29th October they proved they are still the class act in British team racing by winning the Foot Trophy on Welsh Harp Reservoir near Wembley. The team from Spinnaker SC in Hampshire fought their way through to the final, to face the second team from Spinnaker, who they beat in fierce conditions - sailed in Fireflies with four reefs in the mainsail.

Hudson is particularly strong in the Firefly, adding another National title in 2000 to the three he has won in past years. But he knows he must learn a new set of skills to be competitive in the 420, the class in which the World Championships will be contested next year. The Kiwis were the surprise winners in Dublin last year, but the favourites for the next Worlds are likely to be the Americans, who do most of their collegiate sailing in 420s.

The class that the World Championships are sailed in has perhaps influenced the selection - 420 sailor John Greenland is one of the final 10, along with a number of other young sailors who are at, or have recently left, university. Tom Hebbert and Rob Sherrington from the Cambridge team are in the frame, along with Southampton's Owen Modral, Dom Johnson and Simon Shaw. Shaw and Johnson proved their boat-to-boat skills by making it through to the last eight and sixteen respectively, in the Chernikeeff RYA National Match Racing Championships, also last weekend. Paul Kameen of West Kirby makes up the full ten, who must all now wait to hear how the selectors, headed by Chris Atkins, choose to take the process further.

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