Sailing: British team swoop to take Commodores' Cup

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The Independent Online

Murphy's Law was in full swing for the final and deciding race of the Commodores' Cup as the Great Britain Red team, one of four representing the home country, swept to victory yesterday, while the week-long leaders from Ireland slipped to third behind the defending holders from France.

While the star boat of the week, the mid-sized, 39-foot Flying Glove, skippered by Ireland's team captain Colm Barrington, again won the mid-boat class, Jerry Otter's Exabyte2 was second for Great Britain Red and the Irish big boat, Fidessa, was behind its British rival Bear, skippered by Stuart Childerley.

The fate of an Irish team looking for their first major win in an international team competition was sealed by their small boat, Calyx, which slumped to seventh in its class, while the Great Britain Red boat, Jonathan Goring's Jeronimo, was second as his French rival, Erwan Dubois' Guyader, scored the best result of the regatta for the French team, making a last-gasp bid to hold on to the title they won in 2002.

With each place counting for double points and light airs meaning the smaller boats had to anchor against strong tides during their second night on the 160-mile course south of the Isle of Wight, Ireland's lead, established over a week of fickle winds in the Solent, evaporated.

Sam Davies reported having to put in over 130 tacks overnight as she rounded Wolf Rock off Cornwall on her second leg of the singlehanded Figaro series from Portsmouth to St Gilles Croix-de-Vie in Vendée. With 240 miles to go she was 13th in a tightly packed leading group.

Rolex Commodores' Cup, Cowes: Final Standings: 1 Great Britain Red 59.5pts; 2 France Blue 65pts; 3 Ireland 66pts; 4 Netherlands 76.5pts; 5 Great Britain Black 83.5pts; 6 Great Britain Blue126.5pts; 7 Great Britain White, France White 132pts; 9 France Red 137.5pts; 10 Team Europe 153pts; 11 Belgium 175.5pts.