Beadsworth blown

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The Independent Online


If England's rugby coach, Jack Rowell, could have taken a few minutes out of his World Cup schedule to visit the Vauxhall Royal Lymington Cup on the Solent yesterday, his single most urgent piece of advice to Britain's remaining contender, Andy Beadsworth, would probably have been: "Don't give away any unnecessary penalties."

When already one down in his best-of-five against France's Thierry Peponnet, Beadsworth managed to release one of two penalties and still hang on to the lead after the 270 degree turn. He then threw everything into trying to wrong-foot Peponnet, but could not catch him out and then even lost the lead.

That was the race cooked and Beadsworth was again a penalty down in a last-ditch third race but at least he forced Peponnet to an error which nullified the disadvantage. But some untidy sail handling allowed Peponnet to start the second lap of the half-mile up-and-down course in a controlling position which carried him through to the final.

The ding-dong battle between Denmark's Jesper Bank and Ed Baird saw the American fully in control of the first race only to lose track of the swings in the puffy northerly in the second. Bank won that one and came from behind in the next race to go 2-1 up.

In a dying breeze and slackening flood tide Bank then blocked Baird at the start of the fourth race to take the series and engineer a clash of Olympic gold medallists in the final today.