Tough for Strang

SAILING
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The Independent Online
SAILING

BY STUART ALEXANDER

The relief was shortlived for Helena Strang, the Swedish former European J24 champion, when she managed to avoid the horror draw against the world's top-ranked match racer, Peter Gilmour of Australia, at the start of the Vauxhall Lymington Cup today after being granted redress for suffering damage in the qualifying rounds.

Instead she will now face the current world champion, France's Bertrand Pace, in a revised format which sees eight qualifiers matched against eight seeds, each racing a best of five knock-out instead of the more traditional round-robin.

Britain is strongly represented although two of the squad, Andy Beadsworth and Eddie Warden Owen, clash in the opening round. Stuart Childerley meets Germany's Marcus Wieser, Chris Law squares up to Denmark's Anders Myralf, Glyn Charles takes on Frenchman Thierry Peponnet, and the winner of the 1994 national championship, Ben Vines, races the experienced American Ed Baird.

The 16, who will race in the RYA's fleet of First Class 8s in the western Solent, are completed by two gold medallists, Denmark's Jesper Bank against France's Luc Pillot, and a third Dane, Jes Gram-Hansen, who now faces Gilmour.

The event also forms part of the new Faberge-Brut Grand Prix circuit, the first of which was won by the Dutchman Roy Heiner in San Francisco at the end of April. But Heiner was unable to accept the Lymington invitation because of a commitment to sail a Mumm 36 in Belgium, so the likelihood of Faberge having to pay out the $250,000 (pounds 157,000) bonus it has offered any skipper winning three of the five events is reduced as Heiner would have to win two out of his remaining three, a rival three out of four.

In Mallorca, Pierre Fehlmann made it three wins out of three for the W60 Merit Cup, formerly Brooksfield, in the latest leg of the UAP Round Europe Race from Marseilles.

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