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31 May 2001, 11:38 am
Lemieux (CAN) trying to claim title for fifth time
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Finn Masters Worlds, Canada

With three straight wins, Lemieux (CAN) appears headed to his fourth Finn Masters world title.
The Finn Masters Worlds, 26-31 May, Kingston, Canada sees Canadian sailor Larry Lemieux threatening to take the wind out of everyone's sails as far as victories go.

With three straight wins, Lemieux is looking to claim his fourth Finn Masters world title in the six years he has sailed in the Masters championship, which is open to men age 40 and older.

Holland has sent a thirteen strong team to endeavour to claim the title, but at the present time it is only Hein-Pieter Okker who is the closest to Lemieux under the Olympic low-scoring system. Okker recovered from a terrible start yesterday to finish third in a race that was plagued by shifty winds. He has nine points, six back of Lemieux, who Okker considers unstoppable.

`Basically, Larry is in a class of his own,' said Okker, relaxing in a motor home set up on the eastern border of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.

`When [the wind] really blows, I think I can race with Larry. He's faster on the runs, but on the beats we're gaining on him. Overall, though, he's the best,' added Okker, who was ready to heed the advice of a countryman who suggested `locking Larry up in the container for two days' to give everyone else a chance.

The grey container the Dutch skipper was referring to is owned by P&O Nedlloyd, a transportation giant in the Netherlands and Britain. Nineteen crews from the Netherlands, Germany and Britain used two containers to bring their boats to Canada. Nedlloyd is acting as a sponsor for the sailors, saving them about $1,000 in transportation fees, according to Schippers.

The 32 boat fleet sees more than half the entries from Europe.
ISAF Secretariat / CORK
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