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Itchenor Sailing Club team wins Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge 2016

by Rebecca Oldfield 5 May 2016 21:38 BST 5 May 2016
The Itchenor team wins Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge © Paul Wyeth /

Volvo Ocean Race winner, Ian Walker has led the Itchenor Sailing Club team to victory at the fourth annual Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge 2016 in Antigua.

Antiguan sunshine with a brisk breeze provided perfect conditions for the event, which forms part of Presidente Lay Day. The challenge commenced with two heats of four teams racing to make the four-boat final. This year's teams boasted a star-studded collection of sailors from the Olympics, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and World Match Racing Tour.

Double Olympian Karl James, featuring an all-Antiguan team from the Antigua Yacht Club of Shawn Malone and Bob Green secured race one. Race two was emphatically won by the Itchenor SC team, made up of Itchenor sailing club members; Ian Walker, Chris Fox and Richard Bullock.

The three-race final produced an epic battle between Itchenor SC and Stuart Childerley's young Antiguan crew known as Original Drama for the race. Itchenor SC won the two opening encounters harried all the way by Childerley's team. In the last race, Original Drama finally got the better of Itchenor SC, but Ian Walker's men came second which was good enough to win the 2016 Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge and an all-inclusive week's stay for two at the luxury Nonsuch Bay Resort.

Long-standing member of the sailing club, Volvo Ocean Race champion and double Olympic medalist, Ian Walker commented, "Basically our parents dumped a load of us in Chichester Harbour when we were still in nappies. It has been really special to catch up with old friends and to race with them at Antigua Sailing Week."

"It was a fantastic event and I'd like to thank the sponsors and Antigua Sailing Week for making it all happen. It was superb race management and we hopefully will get to come back next year to defend our title!"

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