Collision seals first prize for Peponnet

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The Independent Online
Sailing

STUART ALEXANDER

While Britain's Andy Beadsworth was all done and dusted after a hugely satisfying win in the morning over the American, Ed Baird, to take third place in the Vauxhall Royal Lymington Cup, the finalists were kept waiting in the afternoon for three hours, precariously balanced at two wins apiece in the best of five.

When it finally happened, a collision settled the matter in favour of France's Thierry Peponnet over Jesper Bank, from Denmark.

Beadsworth, a late invitee who had to qualify for the main event, then disposed of three seeds over the four days, Eddie Warden Owen, Peter Gilmour and Baird. With the Soling Olympic trial in late August consisting only of match racing, the former national and world youth champion, British Universities team captain and BT national match racing champion has momentum in the area of the game that counts.

Which was more than the final offered as Peponnet and Bank saw everything go off the boil as a drop in the wind and the turn of the tide intervened.

Eventually, the last race saw Bank ahead, then Peponnet, with Bank regaining the lead on the first spinnaker run. But the breeze was varying in both directions and pressure and Peponnet managed to roll over the top of Bank on the short leg between the windward mark second time.

It was during the windward spinnaker hoist that Peponnet caught Bank out, bringing his bow up and hitting the Dane when it was Bank's responsibility to keep clear. That gave the Frenchman the $7,500 (pounds 4,800) first prize while Bank's reward was cut by half to $3,750.

Gilmour will be back in action today, at the helm of what was the first Whitbread 60 built, the former Heineken, in the Round the Island race.

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