Britain leads Star class world championship


Britain leads the Star class world championship, one of 10 being contested off Fremantle, W. Australia, as reigning Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson have been the most consistent of the 41 with a scoreline of 4,3,5,4.

They have an 11-point lead over Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fath of the United States. The pair has put in a huge amount of preparation, but they know also that their boat needs modification ahead of the Olympic Games regatta in Weymouth next summer, for which they have already been selected to sail for Skandia Team GBR.

Life proved tougher on the opening day for another 2008 British gold medallist, Paul Goodison, who was 11th, with a fifth and an eighth in the lightweight Laser singlehander. There was also a slight upset for the women’s 470 dinghy pairing of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark as, with a 10th and a sixth, they trailed in eighth place their British rivals Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes, third courtesy of a win in the first race and a 10th in the second.

Another first in the opening race gave David Evans and Ed Powys the boost to be the top British 49er pairing, ending the three-race day in sixth. They are three places ahead of John Pink and Rick Peacock, whose third and a first was followed by a 16th which dragged them down to ninth.

Owners of the Soto 40 class and the TP52s will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Valencia to discuss how to replace the programme of racing for 2012 left floundering by the decision from Audi to withdraw from its MedCup series.

It is expected that the TP52s, which had established themselves as the premier monohull racing fleet, will support a programme which sees them piggybacking existing prime regatta weeks such as Spain’s Copa del Rey in Mallorca.

Off the Cape of Good Hope the six in the Volvo round the world race were making painfully slow progress soon after the start of the second leg to Abu Dhabi. France’s Groupama held the lead and the overall race leader Spain’s Telefonica had, at one ti e, had to anchor to avoid being swept backwards in near-zero wind, but life will change when they struggle round the corner.