Sailing; Owen and Scoundrel dispatch some strong competition

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The Independent Online
Sailing

STUART ALEXANDER

reports from Cowes

Bruce Owen, the former world champion, won the British Open Six Metre Championship in the Solent yesterday, steering Scoundrel to two firsts, three seconds - two of them in the final races yesterday - and a third.

But there was strong competition from the second-placed Peter Bateman in Thisbe and Tony Canning and Robert Leigh-Wood, who were third in Lion. The wind picked up to a brisk 15 knots in the afternoon, when Tom Richardson, who finished fourth overall, took Georgia first to the tape in the last race.

In the Tour de France a la Voile, a first in the prologue and a second on the first leg from Dieppe to Cherbourg marked a strong start by the America's Cup skipper, Chris Dickson, sailing Tag Heuer. The New Zealander begins today's second leg to Perros Guirec in Brittany with navigator Halvard Mabire and sail trimmer Michelle Kermerac hoping to outwit the man who beat him, Bernard Malleret on Meaume et Mercier.

Looking for an improvement is Dawn Riley, whose all-woman America3 crew, first found they were overweight by an average of 3kg each, then managed only 20th out of 26 in the prologue, and 14th in Cherbourg.

After a delayed start, the 81-strong fleet in the Dragon Gold Cup at Torbay enjoyed excellent conditions, Germany taking top three in the second race, Erich Hirt winning from Wolfgang Rappel and Markus Glas. Hirt finished second in the postponed first race to the Frenchman, Christian Martin.

n At the Nautica World Youth Championships in Bermuda, Britain's Ben Ainslie leads the single-handed Laser class while Jesie and Sally Cuthbert head the girls' double-handed Laser 2.

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