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14 May 2001, 05:40 pm
A Special Week In Myrtle Beach
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© Walter Cooper

Worrell 1000

Team Guidant draw inspiration from the return of injured teammate Sandra Tartaglino
They arrived 10 minutes ahead of second place Tommy Bahama and 31 minutes up on 4th place Alexander's to cut into the big lead Alexander's has been building. Tartaglino has rejoined the race as a spectator after undergoing surgery to help repair the fractured leg she suffered on the first leg. "I plan to sail next year," said an upbeat Tartaglino, "it's a way to make sure I push my rehab to get back to normal as quickly as possible."

Sail for Sight, crewed by Carl Roberts and David Lennard, were satisfied with their 3rd place finish. "Carl just wanted to beat the black boat (Alexander's), now he's happy," remarked Lennard, "we finally got those guys."

Nigel Pitt of Tommy Bahama is extremely impressed with Guidants' speed. "There was a boat we couldn't identify and then they just disappeared going so fast. It must have been Guidant, they are the only ones who have had that much speed on us."

The breeze was from the East for most of the race, but died as the leg progressed. The leaders all stayed as close to shore as possible after Cape Romain. They were able to fly the spinnaker for more than an hour paralleling the beach in the light winds. "We actually sailed inside the surfline with the spinnaker for a long time," commented Carl Roberts. He and Lennard heard breaking waves outside of them at several points in the evening. Jamie Livingston of Alexander's figures that the time they lost on Guidant was due to getting a little too far off the beach at the Cape.

The leg was extremely long and was made longer and more difficult by a wind shift just miles from the finish. At about 5 AM the wind shifted North, and what had been a tight, jib reach straight to the finish turned into a beat. Anybody who was off shore at all got hammered and was still out there at 7:24 AM. As the Northerly filled the temperature dropped and the teams that arrived in the dawn were cold.

The boats that were behind lost more time due to the windshift. Arriving 5th was Key Sailing, sailed by Kirk Newkirk and Glenn Holmes. After Key Sailing there was a big gap then a bunch arrived in a short spurt. Team Tybee, Spitfire Racing, Lexis Nexis and Team Castrol finished 6 through 9th.

The cat and mouse game of boat identification is tricky at night. Some teams try to illuminate their closest rivals to identify how they are doing while some try to sail stealth, hiding their identity. But one thing is sure. The flashlight is a safety tool when commercial ships approach at night. Alex Shafer of Tommy Bahama shined a light on his own sail to illuminate his boat as a shrimp boat approached in the early morning hours. "It seemed like he headed right at us after we made ourselves known," noted a bemused Shafer.

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