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7 August 2007, 01:54 pm
North American Title To HORTON And NICHOL
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Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL in action in Cascais

Star North American Championship 2007
Vancouver, Canada

Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) took the title at the ISAF Grade C1 Star North American Championship after an exciting final race in Vancouver, Canada. The US pair managed to hold off the challenge of home favourite and Olympic silver medallist Ross MACDONALD (CAN) to take the title.
HORTON and NICHOL held a two-point advantage after four races, but that dropped to just one point after the Americans posted a 28 in race 5 and MACDONALD and crew Tyler BJORN countered with a third. George SZABO, North American Champion in 2005, and Andrew SCOTT (USA) where just three points off the lead in third place, whilst the crews of Mark MENDELBLATT and Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA) and Brian LEDBETTER and Mark BRINK (USA) were also not out of the running.

The course for the final race 6 of the series was moved in towards the club, giving a fantastic view to the spectators gathered on the beach on British Columbia Day.

At the start all eyes were on the battle between the leading pair, with the Canadians trying to shake off their American rivals. 'Just before the start Ross made an attempt to sail us away from the line, but we were able to get under him and make it back to the line for a pin boat start,' explained HORTON.

After getting away, HORTON and NICHOL headed for the shore to minimize the affect of the English Bay current. 'We tacked up the edge dodging docks, mornings, kayakers, and dinghy sailors from three clubs. We were able to lee bow Ross a few times and push him out into the current, but this put us back a few places,' said HORTON.

SZABO and SCOTT rounded the mark in second place, a position which would give them gold, with HORTON and NICHOL battling against the Canadians seven places further back. HORTON and NICHOL switched their focus to reigning in the leaders, picking their way through, passing SZABO and SCOTT, and eventually finishing the race in second place, enough to give them the title.

MACDONALD and BJORN came in 18th but still held on to the silver medal, with bronze going to SZABO and SCOTT.

ISAF (source: International Star Class Yacht Racing Association)
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