Bertie is perfect stand-in
YACHTING judge Bertie de Speville put aside his rule book to show he is still a class competitor on the water by scoring an upset win in the annual Champion of Champions match-racing series in Junk Bay yesterday, writes Bruce Macdonald.
The series brings together the champions of the various racing classes in Hongkong in a once-a-year round-robin clash in one-class craft.
De Speville, representing the Flying Fifteens class, beat Henk Stijweg of the Impala class in a gripping best-of-three final, two matches to one in perfect nine-knot conditions and flat seas.
A late stand-in for the Flying Fifteens because class champion Dave Smith was ill, De Speville gave himself ''no chance''.
To make the feat even more remarkable, he drafted a scratch crew of Steve Bourne and Brian Chow together for the event.
''It's a great thrill, I really didn't expect it,'' de Speville said.