British boys on song

GBR Challenge could make semi-finals of Omega Seamaster Cup

Thursday June 6th 2002, Author: Nigel Cherrie, Location: Italy

GBR Challenge up against Alinghi

Andy Beadsworth and the GBR Challenge match racing team are poised for a place in the semi finals of the Omega Seamaster Cup in Italy.

After three days of racing in some of the most remarkable boats to be used for match racing and pitting themselves against the likes of Team New Zealand and the Alinghi America's Cup syndicates, the British boys are potentially one match away from the final four.

Beadsworth has Adrian Stead calling the shots, his Olympic Soling crew Richard Sydenham on the mainsheet with Chris Main assisting and sorting the runners, Ian Budgen trimming, Jim Turner, Ian Weighell and Guy Barron grinding and sorting the pit and Mel Coleman on mast with Matt Cornwall up on the bow.
The teams' race on 53ft Open class style hull - flat bottomed beamy, with their 230sqm of sail area upwind doubling to over 500sqm downwind.

GBR Challenge lost to Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker in a preliminary best of three series after making a mistake in the pre-start in race one, but winning the second and hinging the result on race three. "We managed to win the start but up the beat couldn't quite cross on port, they managed to dial us down and we tacked too close so were penalized. We didn't recover, so lost 2-1," explained Beadsworth.

After this, the wind conditions and gear breakages meant that the format changed to one-off races rather than best of three.

In the next match against the French Le Defi syndicate, Beadsworth and the Blighty boys managed to control the whole of the pre-start through spot-on crew work in 16-18 knots of breeze to take a two boat length lead they never relinquished.

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