Green feels blue over penalties

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The Independent Online

Two penalty calls added up to a soggy opening day for Britain's Andy Green in the Australia Cup here yesterday. His British Racing Green crew of Julian Salter, brother Guy, Jim Turner and Tony Mutter looked decidedly blue as they stepped ashore at the Royal Perth Yacht Club to with a record of one win and three losses.

"With 22 races to sail in the qualifying double round-robin for the four places in the semi-final there is plenty of time to pull back," said Green, whose last chance this is to earn the world ranking points he needs to ensure an invitation to the Match Race World Championships at Split, Croatia, at the end of May.

"It was especially annoying to lose to Magnus Holmberg [of Sweden] in the opening race as we were ahead and a penalty up. But that turned into a loss because of an umpire call against us for what I think was a questionable right of way."

The local veteran Gordon Lucas, then squeezed a win by just four seconds over Green, but "the win against Bjorn Hansen [of Sweden] saw the game plan coming together better."

The final race was against the Steinlager victor, Bertrand Pace, skipper of the French America's Cup team, who fouled Green in the pre-start manoeuvres.

"We thought he should have been given a red flag penalty as this gave him the advantage at the start," said Green. "If he had been required to do the penalty straight away the result would probably have been different."