GBR Challenge Exits Louis Vuitton Cup Quarter Final
18th November 2002. GBR Challenge today lost the Louis Vuitton Cup Quarter-Final against Stars & Stripes, exiting the competition for the 31st America’s Cup. The young British team that has earned many plaudits and
beaten five teams since arriving in Auckland, will stay in the City of Sails with ongoing plans currently being
Harrison’s men came into the Quarter-Final with confidence, having finished higher than Team Dennis Conner after the
first two rounds, but were beaten by the extra speed that the America’s Cup veterans found in the newly relaunched USA
77. Stars & Stripes now advances to the Quarter Final repecharge along with Victory Challenge, Prada and OneWorld.
The final race for GBR Challenge in this competition started in 16 knots from 195 degrees. After crossing the startline
four seconds ahead, Stars & Stripes showed better acceleration to take the early advantage. The America’s Cup veterans then covered the British up
the first beat to lead by 42 seconds around the first windward mark.
On the first run, Stars & Stripes hoisted an asymmetric whilst the crew of Wight Lightning chose a conventional spinnaker. The move allowed the
British team to sail lower and less distance to gain 20 seconds on the downwind leg to challenge Team Dennis Conner.
The second beat was the deciding point of the match, with Wight Lightning escaping the clutches of the American veterans
to split to the left hand side of the course. With over a kilometre between the boats, if the wind had come back to the
left then GBR Challenge could have taken the lead. The wind gods chose not to co-operate, with the breeze going further
to the right, extending Stars & Stripes’ lead. Conner’s men rounded one minute and fifteen seconds ahead.
The second run started badly for GBR Challenge with a caught retrieval line tearing the spinnaker. As the British team
re-hoisted, USA 77 extended again. Harrison’s men cut the deficit into the mark, but the Americans held a lead of one
minute and thirty five seconds with one lap to go.
GBR Challenge threatened on the beat, to gain 22 seconds on the final windward leg, but the deficit was too great to
challenge on the last leg of the course. Stars & Stripes took the point by one minute and forty-two seconds, and the Quarter-final 4-1.
Wight Lightning (GBR-70) Bow Matt Cornwell Mid Bow Mark Sheffield Mast George Skuodas Pit James Stagg Pit
Runner Jonathan Taylor Trim upwind Ian Budgen Trim downwind Simon Fry Grinder Starboard Guy Reid Grinder
Port Ian Weighell Mid Grinder Jim Turner Main Trimmer Chris Mason Navigator Jules Salter Aft Grinder
Chris Main Strategist Andy Beadsworth Skipper Ian Walker Tactician Adrian Stead 17th Man Peter Harrison