Sailing: Smith adds to crew for Whitbread

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The Independent Online
Sailing

The complexity of Lawrie Smith's assault on the Whitbread Round the World Race, which starts next year, was made evident yesterday when he announced four new British crew members for the male-crewed EF Education in Brighton.

Gordon Maguire will be a watch leader alongside the Swede Magnus Olsson, with Neal McDonald, a former International 14 world champion, and Adrian Stead, an Olympian in 1992 and '96, beefing up the squad of six top helmsmen. Steve Hayles, navigator last time on Dolphin & Youth, also joins, his role yet to be decided.

The two existing boats, Intrum Justitia and Galicia, have been modified while two new craft, designed by Bruce Farr, are under construction in Sweden and will be completed over the winter.

The Grand Mistral round the world race, postponed from September 1996 to 1997, is now unlikely to clash with the Whitbread.

By 25 votes to 10, the council of the International Federation yesterday quashed all resistance to change in the Olympic line-up for the 2000 Games. The governing body endorsed the removal of the only two- man keel boat, the Star, and sealed the elevation of the 49er skiff to Olympic competition.

The president, Paul Henderson, pushed the other nine classes - Mistral boards, 470 dinghies, Laser, Europe, Finn, Tornado and Soling - through on that single vote, leaving any hopes that the Star class could be saved after 14 Olympics, or the Hobie cat introduced for the first time, dead in the water.

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