Gilmour runs out of time

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The Independent Online
Sailing

STUART ALEXANDER

Greg Peck, of Falmouth, won the top prize, the Gold Roman Bowl, in Britain's biggest yacht race, the Round the Island, making best use of a north-westerly breeze that promised so much, but left so many of the 1,260 boats struggling.

In the absence of any of the big grand prix multihulls, it was to the monohulls that everyone looked if records were to be broken in Saturday's chase around the Isle of Wight, particularly Oceans 1, the Whitbread 60 skippered by the America's Cup helmsman, Peter Gilmour.

Gilmour was first over the line, but his 5hr 54min time was well outside the record and not enough to save him on handicap, even in Class One, where Camp Freddie won. Second was Keith Miller's Swan 46, Crackerjack, with the 12-metre Crusader brought home third by Richard Matthews. Class Two went to Harry Evans' Alvine IX and Class Three to Pat Blake's Reflex.

Mike Slade's maxi Longobarda went aground south-west of Goose Rock by the Needles. The crew were lifted off as a precaution. Derek Waiter's Spirit of the North retired after hitting the same obstruction.

In Tenerife, the expectations of a strong British squad at the Laser World Championships have not been fulfilled after four races in difficult conditions.

The fleet is split in two to find qualifiers for the gold and silver fleets but on a combined basis, after four races, Britain had no competitors in the top six, the best being Hugh Styles at eight, followed by Chris Gowers (14th), Iain Percy (21), Gareth Kelly (48), Ben Ainslie (53), Richard Stenhouse (55) and Andrew Oddie (57).

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