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2 October 2006, 09:01 am
Kiwis Lead After Day One
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Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship 2006
San Francisco, California, USA

Star sailors had a tricky day's racing ahead of them as they were towed to the course at Berkeley Circle for day one of the ISAF Grade W Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship in San Francisco, USA. Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL) celebrated their first ever appearance at the Star Worlds by winning the opening race, whilst fellow Kiwis Rohan LORD and Miles ADDY came in third.
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Competitors waited 90 minutes in the day's grey and cold while racing was postponed due to no wind. With the start gun sounding just after 1330, the work began.

The westerly breeze proved very shifty all afternoon, ranging from as much as 13 knots to as little as five, with the pressure spread out all over the course. Racing began in an ebb, turning to a flood late afternoon.

Kiwis Impress

PEPPER and WILLIAMS took the first win of the six day series with seeming ease.

Said WILLIAMS, 'Our advantage was a good start where we were able to get clear air giving us options up the first beat. We stayed in phase with the shifts that were there and made it round the first mark in fifth. We concentrated on a clear run with clear air, and as the wind shut down we looked up the track and liked the right. We came up to Rohan (LORD) on the second beat, took the pressure down the middle, and the right just always seemed favoured to us on the last run.'

Winners of the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao, China, Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) came in second, whilst Kiwis LORD and ADDY sit in third. The Swiss pairing of Flavio MARAZZI and Martin KOZACZEK are fourth.

The Big Names

Steve GOULD and Greg SIECK (USA) were fifth, whilst eight-time Laser World Champion Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), sailing with crew Bruno PRADA (BRA) was off to a solid start in sixth. Brazilian team mates and reigning Olympic Champions Torben GRAEL and Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA) were 15th, one place behind defending World Champions Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA).

Several of the big names were off to slow starts with world number one crew George SZABO and Eric MONROE (USA) 22nd, medallists in the past four Star Worlds Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR) 35th, and double Olympic gold medallist Mark REYNOLDS and crew Hal HAENEL (USA) 43rd.

Like many, the British team of PERCY and MITCHELL took their day in stride, 'It wasn't so flash,' said PERCY, 'We went the wrong way as the left on the first beat was the killer - we had a 30 degree windshift. We were in good company though.'

That company included number two crew in the world Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE). Admitted EKSTROM, 'It was a hard day for us, we didn't do too well. Off the start we went left which wasn't good. It's just one race though - we have still have five to go.'

Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 Pts
1 NZL Hamish PEPPER Carl WILLIAMS 1 1
2 USA Andy HORTON Brad NICHOL 2 2
3 NZL Rohan LORD Miles ADDY 3 3
4 SUI Flavio MARAZZI Martin KOZACZEK 4 4
5 USA Steve GOULD Greg SIECK 5 5
6 BRA Robert SCHEIDT Bruno PRADA 6 6
7 AUS Iain MURRAY Andrew PALFREY 7 7
8 USA William FIELDS Richard BURGESS 8 8
9 SUI Christoph GAUTSCHI Jurg KONIG 9 9
10 ARG Fabian MAC GOWAN Federico ENGELHARD 10 10

For all the news from the Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship CLICK HERE.

Michelle SLADE (As Amended by ISAF). Image, The Stars World Championship gets underway:© Chris RAY
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