Bedford plays musical chairs

Sailing

The musical chairs which have beset the United Kingdom team for the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup continued over the weekend as David Bedford moved, without ever helming it for a race, from a big boat, the Group IV Seahorse, to a small boat, the Group IV Mumm 36.

Bedford, a former J24 European champion, had experience of Mumm 36 racing last year and takes over from Glyn Charles, who becomes the boat's tactician. Lawrence Mead leaves the Mumm 36, and joining the big boat as helmsman is the Cowes-based Peter Newlands.

Bedford and Newlands were in action yesterday for the final day of the Berthon Source Regatta. Newlands took advantage of Seahorse's low handicap rating to finish third in the morning race. Bedford had a good start in the afternoon before peeling off to attend a dinner for the British team.

Already packed up and finished for the day was the mid-size Group IV Astro, skippered by Harry Cudmore and steered by Andy Beadsworth, who had finished sixth out of the seven Admiral's Cup boats on parade. They were all beaten by Thomas Friese's Omen, which missed selection for the German team.

The racing was perfect for the sort of solid work-out which the UK team needs and also for the IMX 38s, who were running their European Championship as part of the regatta.

The winner was Benno Wiersma's S'Energy, with Roy Heiner in the driving seat and Aund van Bergeir steering the Dutch boat. Second was the Irish boat Prospector, helmed by Graham Bailey, and third was the British boat Runaway, owned and steered by Robin Kemp.

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