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26 September 2004, 06:28 pm
Campbell's Lead Hangs In The Balance
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Melges 24 North American Championship
Detroit, Mi

The second of three days racing at the Melges 24 North American Championship in Detroit brought mixed conditions, mixed fortunes and plenty of exciting racing.
Overall Argyle CAMPBELL from California hangs onto his lead from Britain's John POLLARD while Brian PORTER of Wisconsin moves up into third just ahead of fellow Cheese Head Tom FREYTAG, Virgina's Travis WEISLEDER, Chuck HOLZMAN of Michigan and Joe WOODS from Britain.

The forecast was for a day of strong winds and at the start of race five it looked as if the weather gods would deliver. Racing got underway as scheduled at 10am in 14-16 knots from 320 degrees. The wind built throughout the race to 18-20 knot puffs giving the crews some fantastic fast reaching and the spectators a couple of spectacular broaches to enjoy. Regrettably the wind did not hold and the North Star Sail Club's race management team did an excellent job to get races six through eight completed in winds that varied constantly from 4 to 10 knots and 290 to 330 degrees.

Throughout the day Brian PORTER had blistering speed and this was perhaps best demonstrated in the sixth race when he had to return after an OCS and rounded the first mark in 22nd place. At the subsequent mark roundings he climbed to 15th, then 8th and eventually crossed the finish line 5th. A win in race five and 3rd and 6th places in the last two races of the day moved him up from fifth to third on 24 points. John Pollard had a great day taking two 1sts a 6th and a 10th to end up with 21 points and second overall. For Argyle Campbell it was definitely a mixed day. He opened with a 2nd, consolidated with a 3rd but then had a nightmare in race seven ending up on the wrong side of a finish line ruck in 19th place. A 4th in race eight was just enough to hold his lead by 4 points.

Tom FREYTAG was the day's best performer with a 3, 4, 1, 7 scoreline and he now sits in fourth on 27 just ahead of Chuck Holtzman of Michigan who finished 4, 6, 2, 12 over the day and counts 33 points. Travis Weisleder also found himself OCS on race six and as he trailed the entire fleet round the first and second mark he must have been praying for just a tiny bit of Porter?s speed and luck. His fortunes changed on the second lap but he was still only able to pull up to 15th. After an 8th in race five and a 9th in race seven he must have been relieved to pull back with a 2nd in race eight and now sits with 45 points in sixth just ahead of Joe Woods who took an impressive 2nd in the light and tricky race six to add to his 9, 4, 13 score for 52 points overall.

Two final races are schedule for today and with just 10 points separating the top four places the spectator boats will be filled to bursting to see whether Argyle Campbell can hold his nerve against such stiff opposition.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Fiona Brown (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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