British pair get down to business

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The Independent Online

With a little touch on the accelerator, including a win in the third of the 12-race series, Britain's John Merricks and Ian Walker pushed up to second place overall in the 470 World Championships at Porto Alegre, Brazil, writes Stuart Alexander.

Racing in 15 knots after two previous attempts had been abandoned, the pair capitalised on an all-important good start. The French pair Marc Audineau and Julien Farnarier, with whom Merricks and Walker trained at Hayling Island last autumn, are leading by 5.5 points. The women's pairing of Bethan Raggatt and Sue Carr again had a bad day with a 28th and a 32nd and they are languising at 25th in the 36-boat fleet.

Nationwide television coverage of the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race will be carried by BBC2 under a deal for live transmission of the start, rearranged for 21 September, and 35 weekly programmes.