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12 September 2001, 10:08 am
Report After Race 8
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Canada's Cup
Lake St Clair

The attack on the United States has shocked and horrified everyone who heard the news. The disaster has cast a pall over the friendly sailing competition occurring on Lake St. Clair, Canada.
Today, the world is different. An unprovoked attack on the United States occurred, destroying the world trade center buildings and damaging the pentagon. Somehow, the small pursuits of individual men don't seem so important, and when the magnitude of the attack became apparent, the Canada's Cup Race Committee, Umpires, and contestants suspended the competition in respect for the many people affected by this event.

Prior to the point of postponement, one race was run. With winds out of 330 degrees and less than 8 knots velocity, the two boats started. The Americans grabbed the favored right side and opened up a significant lead, only to see a last minute charge by the Canadians at the first mark.

Defiant had a very poor kite set, however, and the well oiled American crew opened up a 4-5 boatlength lead. Playing the shifts, Heartbreaker opened up the lead on every jibe. The final shift of the leg, however, went to the Canadians, and they closed in again at the first leeward mark, rounding nearly overlapped with the plucky American crew.

The second upwind leg was nearly dead even, with both boats taking advantage of the oscillating winds.

Just beyond the second weather mark, Heartbreaker threw a very aggressive luff, forcing the Canadian boat past head to wind. They incurred a penalty for luffing too fast, but were able to spin down to leeward and hoist the kite first, gaining several boatlengths.

Again the Canadians stayed close, but the final upwind leg highlighted the true tactical genius of the American crew. They played the right side of the course and opened a 1 minute 39 second lead at the last weather mark. In dying breeze, Heartbreaker covered in true match-racing fashion, and the Canadians fell further and further behind. With their best effort yet, the crew of Heartbreaker handed the Canadians their worst defeat. Even after performing their penalty turn, they beat the Canadian boat by several minutes.

After the race, citizens of both countries sat in stunned silence in the Bayview Yacht Club bar, nobody speaking or drinking, and watched the horrific events of the day. A brief service will be held Wednesday morning at 0830 on the front lawn of Bayview Yacht Club to pay respect to those so terribly hurt by this tragedy. Then we will go back to work, and continue to compete for this sailing cup, but somehow, it will not be the same.

Series Score 5-3 Defiant over Heartbreaker
Luis Kahl/ISAF Secretariat
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