Clean Sweep for Aussies at International Canoes

1st Hayden Virtue Australia 2nd Bill Beaver USA 3rd Seth Dunbar Australia - Photograph:Nicole Harris
International Canoe

Australia have won the International Canoe Challenge Cup in a clean sweep of the World Champion, Junior World Champion and International Challenge Cup to the Aussies. Hayden Virtue of Australia is the new IC World Champion - Chris Maas (USA) the Development Canoe champion and John Robson (GBR) won the Assymmetric event.

The International Canoe Worlds were won by Hayden Virtue of Australia, second was Bill Beaver of the USA and third was Seth Dunbar of Australia.

In the Development Canoe event, Chris Maas of the USA was the winner. Second Steve Clark, USA and third Oliver Moore USA.

Best placed Brit in the Standard Canoe was Colin Brown who finished fourth. In the DC it was Alistair Warren in fourth.

After the World series the sail-off for the New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup took place between the holders, Britain and challengers, Australia.

The International competition began in 1884 with a challenge, led by Baden-Powell, for the New York Canoe Club International Cup, the oldest international trophy for small sailing craft. The rules required that the races be held in the home waters of the Holder and subject to a challenge on behalf of a club representing a foreign country. The cup is the second oldest trophy in sailing, to the Americas Cup.

Defender: UK - Colin Brown, John Robson, Simon Allen

Challenger: AUS - Hayden Virtue, Seth Dunbar, Tim Wilson

Report by Christian Knott:

They've just headed out for the start of heat one of the International Challenge Cup, it's a light 4-5 knots:

In Heat 1, Tim has a small lead over Colin with Hayden in third after the first beat - Simon Allen has caught Hayden and Colin, and it looks as though they are double covering Hayden, Tim has extended his lead half way down the second reach.

Tim has rounded the bottom mark first after sailing into a private hole, Hayden did turns (suspect some dirty UK tactics involved somehow) and is now in fourth. It is really light and shifty out there!

John Robson picked the shifts up the left and is now leading Tim by about 10 boatlengths as they round the windward mark for the run. It's UK AUS AUS AUS UK UK but it's only the winner that counts in this race!

Hayden has sailed a flyer downwind and has led John Robson around the bottom mark but as they head to windward it is anyones race with the light and shifty conditions continueing. I'm up in the tower now as the Race crews valiantly try to anticipate the swinging breeze.

At the wing mark in 3.5 knots - Hayden, John, Simon, Seth, Tim, Colin - They don't look like they've spotted the wing mark and have gone high, they've now seen it so the guys at the back could move to the front here.

Discussion is on shortening the course at the end of the next beat, but with the shifty wind, what direction to lay it!

6-9 knots it could be picking up, Hayden leads Seth around the wing mark Simon, John, Tim, and Colin

The finish line is in and it's anyones race as they beat up to windward in the light and flukey conditions.

The club has put a lead boat out to show where the finish is

The Australians have drawn first blood - Hayden has won a nail biting race from Simon Allen and Seth Dunbar

Heat 2

Simon Allen has taken an early lead, with Hayden having to reround for starting early - it is light again out there.

Still on the second reach, it's UK, UK, UK, AUS,AUS, AUS but they have just had mark readings of 0-3 knots at all marks over a space of 5 minutes.

The race committee has abandoned the race, it might sound tough to UK supporters with their boats in a clear lead but it is unsailable out there.

Heat 2 - New start

It's a steady 10-13 knots at 190 degrees, and we are looking good for some great sailing. Remember Australia needs just 1 more bullet to make history and win the International Challenge Cup.

And it's a clear start in Race 2

It's John Robson around first with Hayden second around the top mark

At the wing mark it's Aus back in front with 2 UK boats on his heels

Aus leads after first lap AUS UK UK UK AUS AUS

On the last triangle it is Hayden, John Robson, Seth then Simon, Tim and Colin

Windward mark - Hayden, John, Seth, Simon, Tim, Colin 4m between 1st and last

Last Beat Hayden, John, Seth, Simon Tim, Colin

We won, the Australians have won the International Challenge Cup!

That is a clean sweep: World Champion, Junior World Champion and International Challenge Cup to the Aussies.

Roll of Honour - New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup

1933 Uffa Fox, Roger de Quincey (UK)
1936 Roger de Quincey (UK)
1948 P V McKinnon, C D Harris-St John (UK)
1952 Lou Whitman (USA)
1955 Lou Whitman, Joe Farrugia, Frank Jordan, Adolph Morse (USA)
1959 Bill Kempner, Alan Emus (UK)
1961 Alan Emus, Graham Smith (UK)
1974 Lief Johannson, Mats Lind (Sweden)
1984 Steve Clark, Hannah Clark, Chris Converse (USA)
1988 Steve Clark, Chris Maas (USA)
1993 Robin Wood, Mark Goodchild, Mike Fenwick (UK)
1996 Robin Wood, Mark Goodchild, Simon Allen (UK)
1998 Lester Noble, Mark Goodchild, Chris Haworth (UK)
1999 Lester Noble, Mark Goodchild, John Ellis (UK)
2002 John Ellis, Phil Robin, Mark Goodchild (UK)
2005 Simon Allen, Mark Goodchild, Phil Robin (UK)
2008 Hayden Virtue, Seth Dunbar, Tim Wilson (AUS)