New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup 1993
San Francisco, USA
After a very windy World Championships in San Francisco the New York Canoe Club International Cup was held on the last day. There was to be an 8 miles course, windward leeward with a final windward leg to the finish. The series is decided on the best out of three races, with the races decided not on a team points score, but by the nationality of the race winner. The competition on paper was formidable. The defending team consisted of the joint second place finishers in the worlds, Lars Guck and Steve Clark, together with 4th place finisher Eric Chase. Between them they had won 4 of the 7 races at the Worlds. However the British team was headed by the new Champion Robin Wood, who had won the other 3 races, together with Mark Goodchild and Michael Fenwick.
The first race started in 12 knots of wind - lighter than any of the Worlds races, and with flatter water in the lee of Angel Island. At the start the Americans pinned down the Brits, Robin Wood in particular, and Lars Guck broke free to take a commanding lead and then the race. One - Nil
In race two the British team came out fighting, and Mark Goodchild took Guck right out to the side of the course, allowing Robin Wood to get clear air and water. He took full advantage and went on to win, with his team mates taking second and third. One each.
All then on the final race. The course was moved out of the lee of Angel Island, and the wind had picked up to some 20 knots. After nervous pre start manouvering Wood and Fenwick capsized within seconds of the start, and it seemed as if it was all over, as Guck headed off at high speed with Clark covering Wood. Wood eventually got through Clark on the last beat, but Guck was still well clear. He tacked for the line, but too early, and found a hole in the wind. Wood continued towards the land and found a favourable lift. Guck was headed, had to put in two more tacks, and so Robin Wood took the gun and brought the venerable silver jug back to the UK.
Jim Champ, based on reports from Peter Wells and Graham Mackereth