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8 May 2001, 10:01 am
Injuries On First Leg
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© Walter Cooper

Worrell 1000

Tom Weaver, the skipper of team Pyacht Men and Team Guidant's Sandra Tartaglino will be watching the remainder of the Worrell 1000 from the sidelines
Both entrants suffered injuries while finishing the Worrell's opening leg, which started in Miami.

According to race organizers, Weaver, sailing with Rick Deppe, and Tartaglino, crewing for Worrell veteran Rod Waterhouse, sustained injuries while attempting to land their Inter 20 beachcats in the heavy surf and 20-knot onshore winds. Tartaglino's injury came after her boat planted its bows into the sand and pitch-polled. During the incident, Tartaglino suffered multiple leg fractures. Weaver sustained his injury, a broken ankle, while he and Deppe were attempting to push their boat across the finish line.

Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston handed an early lead to Team Baywind, but the Floridian duo recovered to win leg 2 handily. Conditions were extremely bumpy and strategy was very tricky in today's contest.

Many of the competitors complained about the lumpy, confused seas and had difficulty tuning the boat to the conditions. A herky-jerky pitching motion with constant stabbing into waves was a common complaint. First Time Worrell 1000 racer Nigel Pitt had trouble acclimating to the rough conditions and the new boat, but as he learned to fly the hull higher he felt his speed improved. As the fleet rounded the point and was able to crack off to a tight reach it was possible to tune the boat for a more stable ride.

Lambert and Livingston showed their experience as they clearly mastered the sailing conditions and extended to a 10 minute win on the leg. After falling as low as 8th in the early going Steve Lohmayer and Kenny Pierce of Team Tybee got it going late in the race and moved into second. Lohmayer attributed their early speed problems to excessive mast rake and too much rudder sweep. The combination caused a lot of helm and made the boat hard to steer. As they came off the wind onto a reach the problem diminished and they were able to sail forward through the fleet. Reigh North and Scott Macdonald of British Columbia moved from a horrible starting position to a third place finish. The Hobie veterans will start in the 3rd slot tomorrow. Team Guidant, sailed by Rod Waterhouse and David Wallace substituting for Sandra Tartaglino hit the beach in fourth and Team Baywind rounded out the top 5.

After the frightening finish of leg 1 the fleet was spared at today's finish. The wind dropped to 10 knots while the majority of the fleet finished. The surf moderate to 4 feet and the landing was dead downwind. The breaking waves and foaming whitewater pushed the boats onto the beach causing minor rudder problems but no one spun out of control. When landing on a beach in surf the turbulent whitewater of a breaking wave can grab the rudders and turn the boat abruptly, upsetting the balance of the sail-plan and causing the boat to round up or gybe uncontrollably. The mellower surf off Jensen Beach allowed the sailors to run onto the beach sitting on the tramp, not necessitating a trapeze to keep the boat driving forward. Team PI did capsize only 1/4 mile from the finish, but they righted the boat smartly and only gave up 5 minutes in the process.
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