Sailing: Britain aim to be great again

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The Independent Online
'LET everyone know we are here, we are in the game and we are serious,' said Britain's captain, Graham Walker, who has had to lose a stone and a half to make the weight. He believes his team is as strong as it has ever been going into the first race today of the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup.

He may be right, but while nine British teams have won top prize in the 18 previous Admiral's Cups, the opposition has also been growing stronger.

'The feeling in the group is very confident,' Walker said last night as the three boats, the skippers and crews made final adjustments. 'We know it's tough to win but we can do it. There are no weak teams out there among the seven with three boats, so it really is wide open.'

Walker has made the difficult decision to bring in Chris Law as helmsman on Indulgence, making Eddie Warden Owen, already skipper, also tactician in place of John Boyce, though Boyce may slot in for some races.

'We will put out the strongest team on each boat for each given race,' Walker said. 'There won't be that much, but some subtle changes can be done.'

Stuart Childerley, skipper of the two-tonner, is confident that the boat, the former Unibank, has the speed to challenge the fastest, Italy's Larouge and Ireland's Shockwave.

Glyn Charles is determined that, by sailing their own race and keeping clear of trouble, he and Adrian Stead, in his first major outing as tactician, can exploit to the full the downwind edge which he believes GBE International has over the opposition.