None of the three battling Britons competing in Bermuda's Colorcraft Gold Cup have made the quarterfinals but the margin of defeat was encouragingly, if tantalisingly, close
GBR Challenge’s starting helmsman Andy Green and Britain’s veteran match racer Chris Law have both been knocked out before the quarterfinals in down-to-the-wire matches at the Colorcraft Gold Cup match racing tournament in Bermuda. The youngest competitor, 21-year-old Briton Mark Campbell-James, also dropped out.
Andy Green, racing against Prada rival Gavin Brady, took the first race of the best of three series, only for Brady to strike back in the second race and then take the third to move within a race of the quarterfinals. Green emerged for the fourth race with all guns blazing, forced Brady into collision with the committee boat during the prestart and rocketed round the track to even the scores at 2-2.
In the decider, Green’s aggression backfired and he picked up a penalty, leaving Brady free and clear to pick a path upwind. On the second beat, Green attacked but Brady’s cover was impenetrable and he extended his lead to 30 seconds. Green split gybes on the final leg and picked up some breeze that took him to within two boatlengths of Brady but it was the Prada sailor that crossed the line and entered the quarterfinals.
Chris Law had a combative match against former Young America helmsman Ed Baird. The first race saw Law clip Baird’s transom during the prestart and the Briton was docked half-a-point for his transgression. Baird went on to win but Law was still awarded his remaining half-point to leave the score Baird 1:0.5 Law.
Law rallied, taking the next two races, before Baird claimed the fourth. Once again discretion proved the better part of valour and Law’s pugnacious style saw him red-flagged, forcing him to turn immediately and allowing Baird to slip through into the quarterfinals.
Britain’s remaining hope, the 21-year-old former Student World Match Racing champion Mark Campbell-James, was dealt with by illbruck’s America’s Cup helmsman Morten Henriksen, going down 3-1 and formally ending British involvement in the event.
Top local qualifier Peter Bromby entered this stage with a 6-0 record and, having met Dennis Conner, has still yet to drop a race. Mr America’s Cup was sent packing after Bromby won three straight races and the Bermudan was generous with his praise afterwards: “I’d like to say thank you to my crew. They put in a great effort and we were able to overcome Dennis. I look forward to Friday.”
Current Swedish Match series champion Magnus Holmberg, linked with the Swedish Victory America’s Cup syndicate, prevailed over America’s Andy Horton 3-1 and Peter Holmberg, here with Oracle Racing, dispatched the US-based Kiwi Scott Dickson to take another quarterfinal spot. Jes-Gram Hansen won the decider in a see-saw battle against compatriot Lars Nordjberg and he too goes through.
Although their leader is packing his bags, Team Dennis Conner is still involved in the shape of former Stars & Stripes helmsman Kenny Read. He beat Germany’s Markus Wieser with a race to spare and also goes through.
The quarterfinals are scheduled to take place tomorrow, sadly without British involvement.