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11 March 2004, 10:06 am
Percy, Mitchell Win Day Four In Bacardi Cup
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Bacardi Cup
Miami, Florida

With the best wind of the regatta, the British team of Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL finished in first place redeeming themselves from a first day race disqualification. The 2002 World Champions took an early lead and held it through the finish line.
"We tacked across the fleet and managed to get ahead and stay ahead. Normally the easiest race is when you get in front, but that wasn't the case today," said Percy. "The fleet kept closing the gaps, but we were able to pull ahead at the end."

Tuesday's first place finishers, the Portuguese team of Alfonso DOMINGOS and Bernardo SANTOS, took second place and maintain their first position overall.

"We stayed left today and had a good downwind after the second mark our boat speed was not very good at the end, but we held the rest of the fleet off," said Domingos. The conditions were shifty, but the Skipper admitted he likes the challenge. His best Bacardi Cup finish was eighth in 2002. Australian World champions Colin BEASHEL and crew David GILES finished in third place and are currently fourth overall.

Former Olympians Mark REYNOLDS and crew Steve ERICKSON made a comeback with a fourth place finish. Reynolds is in a two-way tie with Ding SCHOONMAKER of Naples for six Bacardi Cup wins.

"It was the shiftiest, toughest day yet. The wind favored the right and the first 100 yards were really critical," said Skipper Howie SHIEBLER of San Francisco. "The leaders today came out of the right." He and his crew Will STOUT move finished in eighth place today and move into third place overall.

"We started about a third down the line while most of the leaders came from the left side of the course," said Canadian Ross MACDONALD. "Everyone's biggest fear today was would the wind die, but it just hung in there," he said.

Californians George SZABO and Mark STAUBE finished 33rd after a third place finish on Tuesday. "We went the wrong wall all day and hit a lot of holes, " said Szabo.

Many of the sailing elite who were expected to lead in the Bacardi Cup are having a difficult time with the shifty winds on Biscayne Bay. French 2003 World Champions Xavier ROHART and crew Pascal RAMBEAU, are in fifteenth overall after a 19 place finish in race four.

Swedish World Champion Freddy LOOF and crew Anders EKSTROM and five-time Bacardi Cup champion Vince BRUN and his crew Mike DORGAN were among four boats that did not start Race 4. Skipper Paul CAYARD, a former Whitbread Round the World Race winner and participant in five America's Cups is bowing out of the regatta after a 12 place finish, to go home and visit his family before the U.S. Olympic trials.

Top Ten After four Races

Pos Nation Skipper Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 POR Alfonso Domingos Bernardo Santos 7 7 1 2 17
2 CAN Ross Macdonald Mike Wolfs 3 13 5 5 26
3 USA Howie Shiebler Will Stout 26 5 4 8 43
4 AUS Colin Beashel David Giles 15 10 16 3 44
5 BER Peter Bromby Lee White 18 1 13 17 49
6 SUI Flavio Marazzi Enrico De Maria 9 4 24 22 59
7 GER Michael Koch Markus Koy 11 19 35 7 72
8 USA Andy Macdonald Austin Sperry 19 20 28 10 77
9 FIN Jali Makila Erkki Heinonen 29 17 18 13 77.0001
10 AUT Hans Spitzauer Andreas Hanakamp 8 51 2 20 81
Event Website (As Amended by ISAF)
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