Spinnaker on a roll

John Greenland reports from the selection trials for the Team Racing Worlds

Sunday October 6th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: United Kingdom
After four rounds of close competition at the first selection weekend for the Team Racing World Championships, held on the 5/6 October in Portsmouth Harbour, it was Steve Tylecote, Pete Barton, and Rob Sherrington, sailing for Spinnaker, leading with 13 wins.

The World Championships, to be held in 420s, will be staged between the end of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the start of the America’s Cup in Auckland next year. It is understandable; therefore, the competition was fierce.

Pre-event favourites The New Forest Pirates, Stewart Hudson, Dom Johnson, and Owen Modral, winners of all major UK Team Racing events this year, also qualify for the final weekend, four weeks from now. Though the team sailed convincingly, the high expectations prior to the weekend clearly weighed heavily resulting in a tie overall on 11 wins for second place with outsiders The Friends of Alice Lisle.

After a slightly scrappy practise weekend last month the Friends of Alice Lisle, Fiona Coates, Nigel Wakefield, and John Greenland, appeared to find form, confirming the final selection weekend is unlikely to be as clear cut as some originally thought.

Tom Hebbert, Ben Field, and Andrew Cornah sailing for the Royal Thames took the last place for the final weekend. This team again gave the more experienced teams Spinnaker and The New Forest Pirates a run for their money. The Friends of Alice Lisle also suffered when racing the Thames, failing to score a win against the young guns.

It was the two West Kirby teams that failed to make the cut for the final weekend. Though the West Kirby first team sailed well it was the southern teams, the majority of which were made up of Spinnaker members that won out.

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