BT agrees three-year deal

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The Independent Online
Prize-money, a new venue for the final, and a more difficult route for those who previously had been seeded, are part of a new format for the BT National Match Racing Championship, writes Stuart Alexander.

A three-year deal means that the six regional qualifiers will be at Torquay, Rutland, Strangford (N Ireland), Edinburgh, Derwent and Bewl. In the final, which has moved from Southampton in September to Weymouth in October, three from each qualifier, including those who might previously have been seeded, will be joined by the national women's and youth champions and two from a universities regatta, plus two wild-card entrants.

Chasing the pounds 2,500 first prize will be the defending champion, Andy Beadsworth, who represents Britain in the Soling at the Olympic Games next year. The runner-up receives pounds 1,250, with a further pounds 3,000 being shared by the rest of the top eight.