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Image: Mark Goodchild at the 2014 Worlds © David Thompson

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Image: Robin Wood on his way to winning the 2008 Billy No Mates © James Close, JEC Creative.

New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup 1996

Port Stephens, Australia

British Report

The NYCCC races were held after the [1996] Championship finished, with Sweden challenging GB (represented by Robin [Wood] Mark [Goodchild] and Simon [Allen] ) for the Cup. The rules for the Cup state that the Nation whose boat is first wins that race, and so tactics are different from normal team racing.

Simon won the first race for GB but Sweden won the second, setting up a grand finale in the wind which had risen from very light to force 4.

A number of us in the clubhouse were listening to the reports from the committee boat as we could see very little of the race area due to an intervening island. However it was made to sound a most exciting race: Robin got a good start and was first to the windward mark, followed closely by Ola Berthelsson, the leading Swede. Better speed on the reaches and run (triangle, sausage, triangle course) saw Robin hold onto his lead though he was losing a little to Ola on the beats. At the end there were just 12 seconds separating the 2 leading boats. So GB retained the NYCC and will be defending it again immediately following the next world Championship in Sweden in 1999.

Peter McLaren (GBR)

US Report

Simon Allen, Mark Goodchild and Robin Wood represent GB, Ola Barthelson, Olle Berqvist and Anders Petterson are the Swedish team.

Race l starts about ll30 in about 3 knot dying SW breeze. Good team racing with lots of circling at the start. Simon sneaks clear and by the weather mark has a several hundred yards lead. The only suspense was when the breeze drops out entirely, but Simon is already around the weather mark and heading down the reach. The breeze fills back in at 2 knots from behind and Simon is looking worried as Ola and Robing ride the wind down. Fortunately for Simon, he gets it in time to reach up to the weather mark. Thankfully, for all concerned, course is shortened at the top mark after it takes almost 2 hours to get around once.

The breeze fills in nicely, actually the kind of day that we had been sold on by Eric Dunbar and his fellow Aussies, about 15 knots out of the east, classic sea breeze conditions. Race 2 had lots of high speed circles including one with Simon trying to scrape a Swede off on the jury boat. Robin gets buried on the starting line. Anders was over early but Ola is sprung by the Swedes with Mark and Simon in pursuit. But there is no holding Ola, and he has a minute on the fleet at the weather mark. Brits close on reaches, but Ola ends up a minute and a half ahead.

Race 3: More intense high speed circles. Mark stuffs his slide and rolls to windward while jibing in front of Ola about a minute before the gun. Ola capsizes trying to avoid him, but they hit and takes about 3 inches of Mark's dance platform out. Gun goes. Olle has let Robin get to windward with free air; Ola about 40 seconds back. By windward mark, Ola is in second with Robin about 20 secs. ahead. Robin extends on reach. Ola follows him up the windward leg and cuts lead to around 17, which Robin turns into 20 at leeward mark. Ola goes left, Robin bangs right. Ola crosses behind Robin at windward mark, about 5 secs. back. Unfortunately he picks this tack to almost dip in the pool and loses about 15 secs. Again Robin extends on reach, 38 second lead at bottom. He goes right, Ola left. Ola overstands a little but despite this crosses finish line 12 secs back and the Brits successfully defend the New York Cup

Ben Fuller (USA)

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International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

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