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18 April 2004, 04:38 pm
Three Way Tie With One Race To Go
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Star Spring Championship of the Western Hemisphere
New Orleans

With one race to go at the Southern Yacht Club, there is a three-way battle for first at the ISAF Grade 1 2004 Star Championship of the Western Hemisphere.
Andy LOVELL, George SZABO and Mark REYNOLDS are all tied for first place with eight points after five races.
On Saturday, Reynolds and crew Will STOUT came in first, their best finish of the competition thus far, with Lovell coming in second and Szabo finishing third.

"It all comes down tomorrow with one race left," Lovell said. "We had trouble finishing again in the last run heading downwind. But we changed something on our boat about halfway down the last leg, and that allowed us to hold on to second."

"The change we made today might not even be a factor tomorrow, because we're expecting a different wind direction,"
said Magnus LILJEDAHL, Lovell's crew who won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2000. "It's a nice position to be in to have a shot at winning the event on the last day. Just that in itself is an accomplishment with the level of competition in this race. Andy has as much talent as anyone I've ever sailed with, and he'll win the Olympics one day."

Reynolds, who has won three Olympic Medals, has two seconds and two thirds in the previous four races.

"Will's setting up the boat well for going downwind, and today we were able to catch Andy in the last leg and hold on for the win," Reynolds said. "Andy's beaten us off the start almost every race, but luckily we've been able to play catch up."

After five races Lovell and Liljedahl are in first place because they currently own the tiebreaker, which is determined on how many first-place finishes the sailor has, then how many second-place finishes and so on.

But, if all three finish in the top three today, the winner of the sixth and final race determines the winner of the Championships. The winner receives a silver star to represent their continental championship, the second-highest honour in sailing, ranking behind the gold star, which symbolizes a World Championship.
Chris Stromboe (As Amended by ISAF)
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