Sailing: Conner's finished business

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The Independent Online
GAELIC wit and wisdom combined yesterday to give Clyde 2000 an emphatic win in the third and final race of the British Formula One Grand Prix at Inverkip.

Mike McIntyre called the tactics for the Hibernian, Harry Cudmore on the helm, to give them second place overall and a prize of pounds 20,000. The boat was also promoting the envisaged role of the Clyde as a world centre for yacht racing by the year 2000.

But wins in the first two races on Friday and Saturday meant that Dennis Conner had only to finish the 15-leg, 11-mile course to take the first prize of pounds 40,000. Conner was fourth behind Germany's Bernie Beilken, whose Beck's Bier was steered to second yesterday and third overall by John Bertrand, one of Conner's tacticians on Stars & Stripes earlier this year.

Third yesterday, but an unhappy fourth overall, despite picking up pounds 10,000 of prize-money, was France's Marc Pajot in Defi Francais '95.

As the next regatta on the circuit is in his home city of San Diego, Conner will be keen to keep up the momentum. Conner's right-hand man, Bill Trenkle, said: 'We need the money to fund the campaign.' There are still only four of the identical 52ft 6in yachts on a tour which completes its four-venue programme in Sydney next January.

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