Sailing: Conner's cunning rewarded

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The Independent Online
DENNIS CONNER'S prowess in picking the best way up a beat to windward had its reward with victory in the first race of the British Grand Prix for the Formula One circuit of 52-footers yesterday, writes Stuart Alexander.

Held on the Clyde in an 11-15 knot breeze, Conner was beaten off the line by France's Marc Pajot, then took the right-hand side of the course with Germany's Beck's Bier. As Bernie Bielken's yacht is helmed by Conner's tactical strategist in this year's America's Cup, John Bertrand, the competition was keen.

Conner's Stars & Stripes was first to the windward mark followed by the local favourite, Mike McIntyre and Chris Law, in Clyde 2000, Pajot in Defi Francais '95 and Beck's Bier. That was also the order at the finish. The three-race series continues today from Inverkip, with the finale tomorrow.

BRITISH FORMULA ONE GRAND PRIX (Clyde): 1 Stars & Stripes (D Conner, US); 2 Clyde 2000 (M McIntyre Scot); 3 Defi Francais '95 (M Pajot, Fr); 4 Beck's Bier (B Bielken, Ger).