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8 March 2007, 10:28 am
Defending Champion Holds The Lead
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UBS J/24 World Championship 2007
Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico

Mid-way through the 2007 World Championship Brazil's Mauricio SANTA CRUZ and his Bruschetta team are still firmly in first place, with Chris SNOW'S Bogus from the USA right at his heels.
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USA continues to hold 3 of the top 5 spots, with Mark HILLMAN (18-1-25-4-2-3) on WIP and Mike INGHAM'S Brain Cramp (7-2-16-11-8-2) claiming third and fourth place. Argentina's Tag Heuer, driven by the team of GRIMALDI and CONTESSI (16-5-3-12-25-5) dropped are in fifth position.

Day Three's first race started with light air and flat seas. Great Britain's Imarsat Hedgehog (50-12-15-9-1-18) helmed by Ian SOUTHWORTH and Chris MCLAUGHLIN took a strong early lead and held it to the finish, followed by Chris SNOW on Bogus, and Argentina's Tag Heuer in third place.

The big wind shifts of yesterday repeated themselves today as the wind clocked south just before the start of the second race. The Race Committee reset the course quickly, and the fleet had one of the best starts of the regatta so far, with only three over the line early. 18 knot winds forced the quickest boats on the first windward leg to change to small jib, but by the turn, the big sails were up again. In oscillating winds Mauricio SANTA CRUZ on Bruschetta and Chris SNOW battled for position, while Canadian John POLGLASE (71-11-57-16-41-1) on Fragata sailed to a first place finish.

2006 and 2007 Mexican National Champion Kenneth PORTER on S finished the day in 13th place.

Off the water, Sponsor Village continues to be the post-race Happy Hour spot - top notch local restaurants have been offering gourmet specialties and the cerveza has been very very cold. Wednesday's Fiesta on the Beach features a traditional Mexican buffet - time to loosen your belts, sailors!

You can follow 2007 World Championship action online at www.globalstar.com.mx.

Kathy Taylor (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Blustery conditions on day three:© Jay Ailworth/Strange Bird Photography
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