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28 July 2001, 01:24 pm
Four Races Completed
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photo:Mary Huntsman

International Lightning Class World Championships

Four races have been completed at the International Lightning Class World Championships in Marsala, Italy. Here is a race four report by competitor Dave Sprague (CAN 14174).
"Not a nice a pretty site". That was how my crew Brian summed up our last weather leg on the 4th race today. After a nice start near Larry MacDonald who got a great start and a slow but steady first leg it all came apart on the last leg and we ended up 32nd.

However any day like today out on the water with a nice 10-18 mph wind in bright sunshine and sailing amongst some of the worlds best sailors (and being able to read their
numbers ) is better than a day in the office any time.

The 4th race got of to a slow start with a recall and a current pushing us back from the line. There was a sag on the line and only one boat was caught over early. Larry Macdonald punched out from the line and had a nice start leaving us in his dust. As for the rest of the leaders I have little idea what happened as I was trying to figure out to get the boat going. In the end Bill Faude won it with Nota second. I have no idea how they did it other than they were better than the rest of us at spotting the small shifts in a choppy sea and by sailing faster and smarter.

The racing is great with a relatively stable wind at least nothing like the shifty stuff most of us sail on in the inland lakes. Wind has been within 5-15 degrees all day. There is a current that seems to be quite variable in different parts of the course (that is why we managed to hit the weather mark - not stupidity on my part - honest).
It is wonderful sailing against people from all over North, South America and Europe. You hear a wide variety of yelling at the crew in a multitude of languages. Crossing a boat is a challenge when you have no idea if they are saying "go ahead" or "if you come across I will cut you in half". The joys of different languages! You just go and pray. Protests seem to have been few with most aimed at asking for redress.

The racing today finished with a sampling of local wine and sandwiches for all the crew while we waited to hose down the boats. All in all a great day despite the race results.

Dave Sprague&News Editor
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