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20 May 2006, 07:15 am
Team Racing Final
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ISAF World Sailing Games 2006
Lake Neusiedl, Austria

The team racing finals got underway at 1115 local time at Neusiedl. First up was the petit final to decide who would win the silver and then it was the final. In a best of five series for each medal decider, some of the world's best team racers were on show.
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Team Racing Petit Finals

USA3 vs USA2

Round 1 got underway at 1115 local time in 3-4 knots of wind. It was an even start, with USA2 holding an early advantage, which they maintained downwind, despite some close tactical encounters with appeals for protests heard from both teams. USA2 were penalized for rocking at the bottom of the course, allowing USA3 to get right back into the fight. USA3 held a 1,3 combination up the final beat, which they maintained to the finish despite a close tacking duel approaching the finish line which allowed USA2 to close right up.

Round 2 got underway as soon as the boats returned from the previous finish keeping the tension high. A collision between the two teams at the committee boat end of the line resulted in a penalty for USA2. A penalty for USA3 further up the first beat meant they held a 2,3 combination at the windward mark after a succession of luffing matches between the pairs. The close racing continued downwind, with appeals for protest heard from USA3 which were turned down.

Round 3 saw the teams split up the first beat with USA2 taking the left hand side and arriving at the windward mark first and second with a comfortable lead. They were never seriously challenged and went on to record their first victory in the petit finals series.

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USA2 - bronze medallists
© ISAF
Round 4 started with both teams fighting to get the upper hand, a battle that saw USA3 penalised before the start for a collision. USA2 won the start and both teams headed up the left hand side of the course. It was USA2 who capitalised on the early advantage to lead at the top mark, which they extended throughout the duration of the race to tie the match at two wins apiece.

Round 5 was to be a final round deciding race, with both teams still in contention for the bronze medal. A very close pre-start saw USA2 take an early lead with a 1,3 combination. A heated tacking duel up the first beat saw USA3 gain and it was all square again at the top mark. Appeals for protest by USA2 were turned down at the leeward mark, however up the final beat, USA2 took up the left hand side of the course and finished first and second to finish a dramatic comeback to take the bronze medal.

On going into the final deciding race, USA2 said 'the plan was to stay relaxed; it's pretty heated out there'. 'we would rather have been in the finals but we're pleased nevertheless'.

Pos Overall Team Helm Crew Helm Crew
3 USA2 Tim WADLOW Ery LARGAY Tim FALLON Karen RENZULLI
4 USA3 Pete LEVESQUE Liz HALL Colin MERRICK Amanda CALLAHAN

Team Racing Finals

USA1 vs GBR3

After a short postponement, Round 1 got underway in near perfect conditions with a building breeze from the south. With much encouragement by the spectators, the pairs engaged close to the shore, both fighting for the early advantage. A penalty against GBR3 at the start gave the early initiative to the Americans. Good slowing tactics by the leading GBR boat allowed his team mate to close the gap and the pairs were back together at the top of the course. After some close downwind action it was GBR3 who emerged from a heated battle at the last mark holding a 1,2. A collision half way up the final beat saw USA1 doing penalty turns and GBR3 sailed to a 1,3 win.

There was no delay in getting Round 2 underway, with pre-start shouts of protest from both teams. USA1 won the start in a breeze that was now building to excellent planing conditions for the 420. In the early part it was GBR3 that was in a good position as the pairs split tacks, however a port/starboard incident close to the top mark saw GBR3 taking penalty turns. This was to prove too much of an obstacle for the Brits to overcome and USA1 extended their lead to level the match at one all.

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GBR3 - silver medallists
© ISAF

There was a short pause before the start of Round 3, whilst the race committee re-layed the startline. It was another close start with USA1 holding the windward advantage at the committee boat end of the line. The British team took up the left hand side of the course and led into the top mark first and second. A tactical downwind leg was GBR3's downfall, as both boats picked up penalties allowing USA1 to take a comfortable win.

Round 4 was a match GBR3 needed to win to take the series to a deciding final race showdown, and the pre-start certainly didn't disappoint. With plenty of cheering and jeering from both team's supporters on the shore, race four started with USA1 holding an early lead. This was maintained to the top of the course where a collision as one of the GBR boats tried ducking inside at the spreader mark resulted in penalty turns for the Brits. Undetered, GBR fought back to hold the lead at a now very choppy leeward mark. GBR3 took control up the last beat, covering USA1 all the way to the finish.

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Team Racing Medallists Flower Ceremony
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As with the petit finals earlier in the day, the final of the team racing also went to a final race decider. Tensions between the teams were high as an agressive pre-start developed into a close, tactical last race. A final beat tacking duel between the teams looked like deciding the outcome, but when GBR3 gybed round to break cover, a collision with the umpire boat left the race committee no option but to order a resail, much to the dismay of the Americans.

The final race re-run started evenly with all boats taking to the left hand side of the course. USA1 holding slight advantage at the windward mark, engaged the British team in a tactical battle, resulting in a penalty against GBR3 across the spreader leg, which allowed USA1 to take control at the start of a windy downwind leg. Excellent boat handling and slowing tactics by the leading GBR3 boat at the leeward mark allowed both pairs to close up and GBR3 muscled into a 2,3 combination at the start of the final beat. A fast and furious tacking duel up the final beat saw further penalties to the GBR3 team, which allowed USA1 to take control and cross the line first and second to claim a hard fought gold medal.

GBR3 commented: 'It was a great match. I really wanted to win as I already have a world championship silver and bronze and it would have been great to complete the set. Maybe next time!'.

Pos Overall Team Helm Crew Helm Crew
1 USA1 Danny PLETSCH Carrie HOWE Caleb SILSBY Paige HANNON
2 GBR3 Steve TYLECOTE Debs KERSHAW Rob SHERRINGTON Linda EADIE
Results
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470
49er
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 16
Team Racing
Medal Races In Depth
Results As They Happen
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470
49er
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 16
Team Racing
Live streaming on Sail.TV

Final Results

Position Team Position Team
1 USA1 8 CZE1
2 GBR3 9 FRA1
3 USA2 10 GBR2
4 USA3 11 ITA1
5 GBR1 12 CZE2
6 AUS 13 AUT1
7 USA4 14 GER1

For all the news on the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image, The Final Race - USA1 (yellow) win. © ISAF
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