SAILING; Williams storms in as Law pays penalty

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BRITAIN'S BEST were upset in Falmouth yesterday as reigning champion Ian Williams came down the road from Exmouth to deliver a sharp reminder to the two hot favourites in the BT/RYA National Match Racing Championships.

The 21-year-old Bristol University law student first beat three-times champion Andy Beadsworth as the organisers tried to give momentum to a heavy programme by whittling the remaining 16 down to eight in light winds. Beadsworth later complained that seaweed around both rudder and keel had led to his downfall.

But the world No 2, Chris Law, created his own downfall, incurring a penalty in the pre-start manoeuvres against Williams. Law came from behind to establish a lead, tried with little time to exonerate the penalty on the finish line, and promptly incurred another one for not dropping his spinnaker correctly. He then picked up a third, apparently for a further foul after Williams had already crossed the finish line.

Not that Williams went unbeaten. His next opponent was Leo Dixon, who hung on to beat him by half-a-length.