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13 May 2001, 09:55 am
Lightning Strikes
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© Walter Cooper

Worrell 1000

The fleet started this evening in a Southerly breeze and made great time towards Isle of Palms
After 50 miles a cold front arrived from the Northwest. Sailing the last 18-25 miles upwind added at least an hour to the finishing times of the fleet, making a leg record impossible.

Today's leg was tricky. Everyone knew that the cold front was approaching, but when would if hit? Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston of Alexander's again mastered the fleet, protecting the inshore side of the course in case the wind shifted Northwest. The boats were running about 75 degrees on Starboard gybe, about 20 degrees above the layline to the finish. Some of the sailors thought the breeze would be stronger off-shore, so they continued on Starboard, away from the shore. Some thought the wind would shift Northwest, so they gybed to port and stayed just on the inside of the rhumbline. "We kept gybing and gybing to stay close to the rhumb line, we didn't want to go outside today," said an exuberant Brian Lambert.

Alexander's was followed by Team Castrol who also staying to the inside of the rhumbline. But Lexis Nexis finished third, sailing far outside of the rhumbline. The next 3 boats all sailed the inside of the course.

The view from the beach was erie as amber bolts of lightning flicked on and off, illuminating the approaching boats for a split second. The boats were invisible until 100 yards off-shore, but the occasional flash of lightning would allow a subliminal glimpse of the finishers. Jay Sonnenklar of Team Castrol liked the lightning,"when it flashed it kind of made it easier, we could see the other boats and the shoreline."
Zack Leonard / NewsEditor
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