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11 September 2006, 10:48 am
Big Guns Jump The Start
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International 14 World Championship 2006
Long Beach, California, USA

As the host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's own Howard HAMLIN and crew Euan MCNICOL of Australia won the first race of the International 14 World Championship, followed by Katie NURTON and Nigel ASH (GBR), other big names took a big hit for crossing the starting line early in the two lap, twelve nautical mile race.
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The ten guilty boats among 71 entries included past champions Robert GREENHALGH (GBR), Roddy BRIDGE (GBR) and Grant GEDDES (AUS), along with US Nationals runners up Tina and Trevor BAYLIS (USA) and Archie MASSEY (GBR), captain of Britain's International 14 World Team Racing Champions, victorious team last Friday.

All will discard the 72 points they received for their indiscretions on Thursday following the fifth of seven races, but that is the only throw out allowed.

MASSEY said, 'There will be a tactical change the test of the week. Our starts will be more conservative.'

Winners Surprised

None knew for sure they had jumped the gun until they heard only silence instead of a finish whistle from the race committee boat - and HAMLIN, trailing MASSEY by about two minutes, said he did not realize he had won until MASSEY failed to receive the winner's horn.

'The guy that went across first didn't get a [sound] and we did,' HAMLIN said.

MASSEY actually started fine, but he had crossed the line during the final minute of the starting sequence in violation of the 'I' flag posted by Principal Race Officer Mark TOWNSEND that requires boats to go around one end of the line if they are over at any time.

TOWNSEND does not like to order general recalls when offending boats can be identified - and he said photos of Sunday's start supported their calls.

MASSEY said, in retrospect, 'We weren't over at the gun, but we were probably over at 45 seconds [earlier] and then went back [across the line to start].'

They just did not return properly around one end of the line. George NURTON, his crew, said, 'It's very hard to see just where you are, so we weren't sure.'

NURTON is the brother of Katie NURTON, Sunday's runner up for whom the overall result was bittersweet.

'I have to tell you,' she said, 'when we were building these boats a year ago I was saying how good it would be to be first and second around the first mark of the Worlds.'

Looking On The Bright Side

Later, when Race Chairman Chris ERICKSEN told MASSEY, 'Tough luck' during the post race social hour, the Brit replied, 'Yeah, but the beer's here, and it's cold.'

Racing continues daily through to Saturday, starting at 1430 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and at 1300 on Wednesday and Saturday.

Notably, MASSEY found the light wind he preferred Sunday - about six knots tops - but saw it go to waste. The recent pattern has been for the sea breeze to fill in starting at about 1430.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 Pts
1 USA Howard HAMLIN Euan MCNICOL 1 1
2 GBR Katie NURTON Nigel ASH 2 2
3 USA Kris BUNDY Jamie HANSELER 3 3
4 GBR Michael LENNON Jon BLACKBURN 4 4
5 USA Samuel 'Shark' KAHN Paul ALLEN 5 5
6 USA Kris HENDERSON Matt NOBEL 6 6
7 CAN Fred EATON Jason LEMIEUX 7 7
8 GBR James FAWCETT Dave DOBRIJEVIC 8 8
9 AUS Lindsay IRWIN Andrew PENNY 9 9
10 GBR Ian TURNBULL Adam OVINGTON 10 10
Rich ROBERTS (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Archie MASSEY and George MURTON were one of ten crews OCS on day one:© Rich ROBERTS/underthesunphotos.com
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