Strong winds and the withdrawal of Gavin Brady's team from the Championships made for an eventful second day for the GBR Challenge teams at the RYA Match Racing Open
Strong winds and the withdrawal of Gavin Brady’s team from the Championships made for an eventful second day for the GBR Challenge teams at the RYA Match Racing Open. At the end of the first round, Ian Walker and Andy Green both finished at the top of their respective groups by winning every race, while Chris Main won both of his remaining races to move into fourth position and join his team-mates in the latter stages of the competition.
As group winners, Walker and Green were pitched against each other in the best of three series. Green won the first of the closely fought races but Walker took the second and third. Main also had a successful start to the knockout phase of the event, defeating Barney Chandler 2-0.
In his first race of the day Walker earned a ‘bye’ as he was due to race Brady. In order with the match rules he still had to start to score a point, Brady’s boat was then “black flagged” and Walker did not have to complete the course. Walker then raced Chris Law, with a tight tussle at the start leading to a penalty for Law. At the second windward mark, Law was once again penalised and although they crossed the finish line together, Law was still carrying one penalty, resulting in victory for Walker.
James Stagg, bowman for Ian Walker commented on the day’s racing “We’ve had some great races today and the two against Andy Green in the repechage were really exciting. The atmosphere out on the water is very positive and it is really good to see Ian Walker doing so well at the helm in his first match racing event in a long time.”
Chris Main had two close run races to finish his first round, the first was again with Law. Having sailed head to head throughout the course, the two boats engaged in a luffing duel around the last mark. Main came out ahead after a failed spinnaker hoist on Law’s boat and the GBR Challenge team finished clear ahead. Main then won a well fought battle against Mark Campbell-James by half a boat length.
Andy Green stepped confidently into the next round crossing the finish line about half a leg in front in his two races against Feldt and Cornah.