Andy Beadsworth, Ian Walker and the rest of the GBR Challenge match racing crew will be home in time for the start of the America’s Cup Jubilee after all - the competition at the Danish Open proved a little too hot
Andy Beadsworth’s GBR Challenge crew carried 1-3 from their first day and tactician Ian Walker knew that at least two wins were required from the second day’s racing if they were to proceed to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately they won just the one race, against Sebastien Destremau of the French Le Defi America’s Cup challenge. Le Defi and GBR Challenge are both heading home early.
The day began brightly enough with the win over Destremau but the next race pitted them against OneWorld’s rising star, one Ben Ainslie. He banged in the first nail, ridiculing his world ranking of 148, then Henrik Jensen and Jesper Feldt, both amateur match racers ranked 23rd and 26th respectively, finished off the GBR Challenge, led by Beadsworth, ranked 41st in the world.
In the quarterfinals, home advantage is creating local heroes here as Danish double Olympic medallist Jesper Bank takes a 2-0 lead over his opponent Jes Gram-Hansen, the Danish amateur. Jesper Radich, another great Dane, is sporting a 2-0 advantage also over his opponent Peter Holmberg.
The other two matches are split. The mighty Magnus Holmberg, holder of the Swedish Match Grand Prix title, has been humbled once by illbruck Challenge’s America’s Cup helmsman Morten Henriksen leaving them even after two races. Prada’s Gavin Brady and One World’s Ben Ainslie are also sharing the points.
After a delay caused by lack of breeze, the quarterfinals have restarted and will hopefully conclude today.
Chris Law made a notable return to the match racing scene after retiring two years ago. Although he missed out on the quarterfinals (he is currently fighting for ninth place against Lars Nordbjerg) he will be pleased to have taken some scalps including those of Prada’s Gavin Brady and Jes Gram-Hansen.