Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Olympic medallists to make guest appearance at top team racing event

by Georgie Corlett on 24 Apr 2013
Wilson Trophy Wilson Trophy www.wksc.net
Two Olympic silver medallists are set to take on West Kirby Sailing Club’s home team plus other top teams from across the UK, USA and Ireland, as the world’s largest team racing event, the British Open Team Racing Championship for the Wilson Trophy, is hosted by West Kirby Sailing Club over Bank Holiday weekend (3-5 May).

Amongst the 34 teams entered, the hot contenders for the Trophy win include special guest entry, British Sailing Team, fronted by 2012 Olympic silver medallists in the men’s 470 class, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. The duo also have silver medals from World and European 470 Championships under their belts, and are both 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

Explaining his motivation for entering the event, Bithell says: 'The Wilson Trophy is an event I used to do as a crew when I was very young and I loved every minute. Now we are going there to improve our knowledge of the rules and how we can use them to our advantage in fleet racing.'

Despite their outstanding fleet racing CVs, the pair is under no illusion that the event will be an easy ride. Patience says: 'Given that we rarely team race, it’s impossible to tell how well we will do. I am sure we will be targeted hard by the team racing world and shown how it’s done!'

Patience and Bithell will be joined by third helm, Christian Birrell, who boasts National Championship wins in several classes, and is a former Endeavour Trophy winner.

Birrell competed at the UK Team Racing Championships also held at West Kirby Sailing Club in March and despite the weather was so enthused by the club and the competition that he was determined to come back for the Wilson Trophy with his Olympic friends. He says: 'When I was invited to do UKTRA, I became a total convert to team racing. I’ve always listened to friends talk about the excitement in the build up to the Wilson Trophy and the tales which follow, and now I get that excitement!'

This talented trio forms the back-bone of the six-person team, with Lib Manser, Bethan Carden and a ‘special guest’ completing the line-up as crews.

The British Sailing Team will face particularly fierce competition this year, as the home team and current ISAF Team Racing World Champions, West Kirby Hawks, seek to defend their 2012 trophy win. Other contenders include the current UK National Team Racing Champions, Spinnaker Auspicious; as well as Royal Thames Yacht Club, Southampton Male Voice Choir, Grafham Sailing Club, Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Forth Hoosiers and two other local West Kirby teams.

From overseas, New York Yacht Club’s team has traditionally presented a strong challenge and is predicted to do so again this year. A team from Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Pistols, should also feature in the mix, along with three strong Irish teams representing Royal Cork, Royal St George and Howth Yacht Clubs.

Also competing will be several university teams, including recent BUSA winners, Bristol. Two school teams are also taking part in the form of RYA Youth Team Racing Champions, Magdalen College, and Schull Community College from Ireland who won the Under 21 category at the Wilson Trophy last year.

With so many top sailors vying to earn those all-important places in the quarters, semis and ultimately, the final, all eyes will be on West Kirby as the teams battle their way through the event’s Swiss League format.

Commodore of West Kirby Sailing Club, David Taylor, says: 'West Kirby Sailing Club is delighted to welcome our Olympic medallists to take part in this year’s Wilson Trophy. The Wilson trophy is renowned for its very special atmosphere; and this is a fantastic opportunity to come and watch some of the world’s finest sailors in action and to cheer on our Olympic heroes. This year promises a truly thrilling line-up.'

The Wilson Trophy is the largest event of its kind in the world; now in its 64th year, the three-day team racing extravaganza takes place in the unique amphitheatre formed by West Kirby’s Marine Lake.

With a premium on boat handling and close-quarters tactics, races are short and action-packed, taking place just metres away from the shore. The promenade and sea wall form ideal vantage points for spectators, with live commentary and grandstand seating, and flights of equally-matched colour-coded Fireflies, making the action easy to follow.

Racing takes place over three days, beginning at noon on Friday and at 8am on Saturday and Sunday. The finals are scheduled to commence at 2pm on Sunday. Wilson Trophy website
Ancasta Botin Fast40 660x82Protector - 660 x 82RS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup challenger playoffs trophy and trunk
Louis Vuitton is proud to present the brand new trophy, and its trunk, to be awarded to the winning team The path to the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton in Bermuda has taken its five challengers - Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France - and Defender, Oracle Team USA, winner of the 34th America’s Cup, around the world.
Posted on 24 May
Crystal ball-gazing for the Rolex Fastnet Race winner
The outcome of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event will depend on the weather. The outcome of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event will depend on the weather: A brisk start should favour the big boats; a light start and lively finish the smaller ones.
Posted on 24 May
Volvo Ocean Race unveils ultimate leadership programme
Launching in the edition after 2017-18, the Global Team Challenge will form the centerpiece of the on-water part This race will provide the ultimate challenge for amateur sailors, including those with no prior experience, giving employees a unique experience of offshore and ocean racing, under the highest standards of training and management, but nonetheless in conditions close to those faced by the professionals.
Posted on 23 May
Star alarm at the Europeans in the skiffs and cats
First registrations in the classes came in early, and well-known names from overseas are already on the starting lists. First registrations in the classes came in early, and well-known names from overseas are already on the starting lists.
Posted on 23 May
Marion Bermuda Race to the Rock
Entry closes for the 40th anniversary and 21st biennial Marion Bermuda Race this Saturday, May 27, 2017 Entry closes for the 40th anniversary and 21st biennial Marion Bermuda Race this Saturday, May 27, 2017 and all information required on the entry forms must be completed by then. Entries now stand at 51 yachts. The start of this blue-water classic is June 9 from Marion, The race finishes in the midst of America’s Cup activity in Bermuda some four or five days later.
Posted on 23 May
12 Metre Class announces Waypoint Regattas in Road to Worlds Series
he International 12 Metre Class (ITMA) has released locations and dates for the Road to the Worlds Waypoints Series The International 12 Metre Class (ITMA) has released locations and dates for the Road to the Worlds Waypoints Series, a three-year international 12 Metre (12mR) yacht competition starting in May of 2017 and culminating with the July 2019 12 Metre World Championship in Newport, R.I. Teams racing at specific Waypoints-designated events in Northern Europe, Southern Europe and the Americas
Posted on 23 May
Volvo Ocean Race to strengthen historic connection with Southern Ocean
The changes include a commitment to race activity in every calendar year and a proposed non-stop lap around Antarctica The race has launched a Host City tender process for three editions after the upcoming 2017-18 race – with a commitment to there being race activity of some kind in each and every calendar year. That marks a clear evolution from the current situation, which features a gap of over two years between races.
Posted on 22 May
World comes to Portsmouth for Clipper Yacht Race crew allocation
Safety was the core of the opening message from both Sir Robin and Clipper Race Director Mark Light. Along the way, the fleet of twelve 70-foot yachts will cross six oceans and stop in ports in six continents.
Posted on 22 May
Antigua Bermuda Race - A thousand miles of emotions
Over 200 sailors from nine different countries attended the Crew Party held at Copper and Lumber Store Hotel The Antigua Bermuda Race organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week is a new fixture in the offshore sailing calendar. Supported by Bermuda Tourism and Gosling's Rum. Well over 200 sailors from nine different countries attended the Crew Party held at the historic Copper and Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard
Posted on 22 May
Keith Whittemore claims J/24 US National Championship
Of the nine races completed at the J/24 US National Championship, Keith Whittemore’s Tundra Rose won five of them. Of the nine races completed at the J/24 US National Championship, Keith Whittemore’s Tundra Rose won five of them. Four races were completed on Sunday, but after tallying a one, two, one in the first three, Whittemore and crew of Shelby Milne, Brian Thomas, Kevin Downey and Mark Rodgers could head for shore as Champions at their local Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle.
Posted on 22 May