Sailing: Bradamante's daring move

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The Independent Online
John Merricks and Ian Walker aboard Tim Barrett's Bradamante executed a daring move during the ninth of the 11 races in the Mumm 36 World Championships to move into equal-sixth place overall (with a protest pending), writes Stuart Alexander in Punta Ala, Italy.

Merricks and Walker steamed into a turning mark with their opponents bearing down and, though they did not have the right of way, the ever- growing confidence of the crew was in evidence as they flicked the yacht into a slot just inches wider than their boat to move up to fourth position. It flirted with offside and a possible penalty, but meant they remained in a challenging position even though they then lost a place to the man who was winning his second consecutive world championship, Tomas Friese of Germany in I Punkt. However, the fifth placing put them into equal-third going into the day's final race.

Their hopes of a podium place were upset by the Brazilian Torben Grael in heavy traffic going into the windward mark. They made an emergency tack to avoid a collision with Grael, hit the mark, had to take a penalty turn and dropped from fifth to near last. They finished 14th, and even a successful protest will leave them with a difficult job in the final race today if they are to achieve a top-five place.

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