Sailing: Guernsey fights for attention

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The Independent Online
Guernsey has been a little stung over its position as a major sail racing destination, losing the Swan Europeans to Cowes and seeing a transatlantic race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club produce only one competitor. Then the reception for the single boat had to be cancelled as it peeled off before the finish to repair damage in Plymouth.

So the island is planning a major midsummer assault on the racing calendar by expanding the Course de Isles, which takes in the other Channel Islands and the clubs of north-west France.

The proposal is for a week-long regatta which would see club racers coming from France, England, Ireland, Wales and even up the North Sea coast, one or two classes invited to bolt on their national championships, and a grand prix pinnacle. The event, to start in June 1999, would be staged every two years to complement Ford Cork Week in even years.

This weekend the focus was on the second Frontera Grand Prix for Ultra 30s where Russell Peters beat Lawrie Smith by a point after a five-race series. This puts Peters level with Smith at the half-way point in the 1997 series.

In Kiel Week, an exit record of two sixths and a 14th pushed Shirley Robertson to second behind Denmark's Olympic gold medallist Kristine Roug in the Europe class. But a fifth, a third and first pushed Ben Ainslie up to second place in the Laser behind Sweden's Karl Suneson.

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