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9 September 2006, 07:05 am
Britain Win Team Title
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International 14 World Championship 2006
California, USA

Britain ruled the waves, such as they were, without waiving the rules. Indeed, in the Team Racing Championship kickoff of the International 14 Class World Championship regatta Friday the UK's four-boat team played the game to perfection in sweeping all eight races.
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'I thought we'd win because we had a fairly strong team for our Nationals,' captain Archie MASSEY said afterward, 'plus the American and Canadian teams didn't have all their top people out.'

Nor, of course, did the Brits, whose three past world champions competing here-Rob Greendhalgh, Roddy Bdridge and Martin JONES-chose to save their boats and bodies for the seven days of fleet racing starting Sunday in the ocean off Sunset Beach, as did other top entries.

The team matches were held inside the breakwater on flat water, and the wind was only 5 knots before building to 10 near the end of racing-not the liveliest conditions for these frisky little boats.

In team racing, a team's boats attempt to observe and exploit right of way rules to advantage to obstruct the progress of rivals, while teammates sail away. Here the British, Canadians, Americans and Japanese teams sailed a double round-robin around a course with successive legs of an upwind beat, a reach, a downwind run, another reach and a final beat to the finish.

Britain scored 6-0, Canada and the U.S. 3-3 and Japan 0-6. Canada advanced to the best-of-three title round against Britain on a tiebreaker. Then Britain blitzed the Canadians, 2-0, with MASSEY leading the way.

As for the team racing tactics, team member Ian TURNBULL said, 'Archie was doing a lot. He was the guy who knew what he was doing and telling us where to go.'

MASSEY said, 'We also had one practice day, which was one more than anyone else.'

One of his skippers, Katie NURTON, said, 'We have three or four people that have done a lot of team racing-all under Archie's instruction.'

One of the Canadian boats was unable to sail the finals because the skipper had to pick up his wife at the airport, so MASSEY agreed to drop one of his own boats to make it a three-on-three contest, which didn't make any difference.

What will it mean once the fleet racing starts?

'It doesn't mean too much,' MASSEY said. 'If the wind stays light the Brits will do a little better because we have the bigger sails.'

Supporting sponsors for the International 14 World Championship are West Marine Products, Ronstan, North Sails, Glaser Sails, Irwin Sails, SailingProShop.com, Magic Marine, Acqua di Gio Georgio Armani, Shackle Dog and Labatt's.

TEAM RACING RESULTS

Championship: Great Britain (Archie MASSEY/George NURTON, Charles TAVNER/Edward CLAY, Katie NuRton/Nigel ASH, Ian TURNBULL/Adam OVINGTON) def. Canada (Andrew YATES/John CURTIS, Chris LEIGH/Nick SEARLE, Christian PAYEY/Billy GOODERHAM, Leith SHENSTONE/Christian DESCHAMPLAIN), 2-0.

ROUND ROBIN

Great Britain, 4-0;
Canada and U.S. (Paul GALVEZ/Guillo de la BARRA, Brad Ruetenik/Patrick MURRAY, Ted ROGERS/Tim BURKS, Kurt LAHR/Chris GANNE), 3-3;
Japan (Kenichi HAGIWARA/Satoshi ISHIDA, Takashi FURUGAKI/Yasunobu YANAGISAW, Kensuke KITA/Takao WASHINO, Yoshihisa FUJII/Tasuhito KAWANISHI), 0-6.

Rich ROBERTS (As Amended by ISAF), Image: USA's Kurt Lahr (47) drives between Japanese rivals © Rich ROBERTS
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