Rough going for British squad

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The Independent Online
Sailing

STUART ALEXANDER

Frustrating conditions continued for the Laser World Championship at Santa Cruz, Tenerife, with a strong British squad struggling to make the best of a racecourse which featured bands of wind at 22 knots alongside areas of calm.

The best-placed Britons in a regatta being dominated by Brazil's Robert Schiedt and New Zealand's Nik Burfoot are Iain Percy, 17th out of the 142, Hugh Styles (18th), Chris Gowers (20th), Richard Stenhouse (29th) and Ben Ainslie (39th).

Some big names are set to make their comeback at the Brut British Olympic trials at Weymouth at the end of August in the Tornado catamaran class. The former world champion, Rob White, the son of the gold medallist Reg, will be challenged by the 1976 470 Olympic pairing of Phil Crebbin and Derek Clark.

Crebbin and Clark will miss Britain's Eurolymp regatta at Hayling Island today. But some other venerable names will be on parade, Kevin Sproul and Steve Irish also taking to the multihull, David Howell and Ed Leask re-entering the Finn, and Shirley Robertson in the Europe.

While the current 470 world No 1 crew, John Merricks and Ian Walker, are tuning up for the Europeans, the 1988 Olympics representative Jason Belben and the 1992 competitor, Paul Brotherton, will be in Weymouth.

Brotherton's Barcelona teammate, Andy Hemmings, has joined up with Chris Law in a strong attack for the three-man Soling ticket alongside Neal McDonald.

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