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27 July 2001, 02:50 pm
Team Sled and Juan Grimaldi Tied for lead on Last Day
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photo:YAMAZAKI Taketoshi

J24 World Championships

Racing on Thursday presented the fleet with some interesting challenges. The Race Committee had to wait until well after 12:00 before the prevailing south westerly settled in enough to start the 7th race of the series.
With a clean start out of the first sequence the fleett split to both sides of the course. Team KJ from Japan managed to establish a lead at the windward mark that was never relinquished throuh-out the entire race. The rest of the fleet however had to deal with a seris of windshifts that saw spinnakers and genoas going up and down on the same leg. Although a full five leg race was completed two of the competitors filed protests on the conduct of the race at the end of the day. The International Jury could not find within the protests facts that would justify having the race cancelled.

By the start of the second race of the day the wind had settled in from the north sufficient to set a 1.6 mile course. After one general recall the fleet did it's usual split with half the fleet picking the left side and the other half going right. The right proved to be the better choice with ES UKON and HM taking a commanding lead until the end of the fouth leg where they split at the gate. ES UKON made the better choice and was able to cross the line in first. Juan Grimaldi, showing a lot of faith in his boat speed picked the left on the last leg and drove hard enough to come from fourth to second at the finsh.

The regatta leader from Wednesday, Team Sled, had a fith and a fifteenth for the day which was sufficient to hold the lead until a visit from the onshore measurement team found that they were using shock cord as part of the traveller control lines. The International Jury, based on a protest filed by the Race Committee, held a hearing and disqualified the boat from Race 8 setting up a battle between Team Sled and the Argentine, Juan Grimaldi.



Geoff Evelyn/News Editor
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