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4 October 2006, 08:09 am
HORTON And NICHOL Enjoy The Breeze
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Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship 2006
San Francisco, California, USA

A breezier day brought plenty of action to San Francisco Bay on day three of the ISAF Grade W Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship. Home crew Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) took the overall lead after a bullet in race three.
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A delayed start while the breeze kicked in was worth the wait to see a solid eleven to twelve knots at the gun. After two general recalls, the Z flag was raised and at the third start, eight teams were called over early. Protests were subsequently filed and are under review by the jury. The westerly breeze was steady during racing at 14-15 knots.

Olympic Test Event winners HORTON and NICHOL took first, ahead of Marc PICKEL and Ingo BORKOWSKI (GER), to move into the overall lead. 2004 and 1992 Olympic gold medallist Mark REYNOLDS and 1992 gold medal winning crew Hal HAENEL (USA) took third, followed by Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL), in fourth. Defending World Champions Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA), took fifth.

REYNOLDS described the race, 'We had a good start, tacking very quickly to the right. It was a little better to go right but not much. We lost the Germans on the second beat who then went more south on the second run, while HORTON went back to the right as the wind shifted. We missed both shifts on the second beat but were able to stay in the top three. Those guys are a little faster than me downwind.'

REYNOLDS went on to add, 'We did a lot better today. We're pretty happy with our speed. We just didn't sail very smart on the first few days but today was steady in comparison. It's not easy in this fleet. You need a combination of good starts and going the right way. There are no big gains or losses to be made, it's more subtle.'

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Taking it round the mark it race three


At the end of racing Nicolas ROSAS (ARG) was on the dock at the St. Francis Yacht Club furiously pumping water from the boat he and Juan KOUYOUUMDJIAN are racing. Hit on their port aft quarter off the start by Bill BUCHAN and Erik BENTZEN (USA), the Argentineans took on a huge amount of water as the race progressed, upsetting their result.

KOUYOUUMDJIAN commented, 'We were losing places at the end as we had too much water on board on the last beat. Still, today was a lot easier than other days. The current was playing more in the first beat and first run than later in the race but we're finally beginning to understand it here.'

How Things Stand

HORTON and NICHOL's win moves them up from fourth to first place overall, three points ahead of the Rohan LORD and Miles ADDY (NZL), who were tenth in Tuesday's race. Flavio MARAZZI and Martin KOZACZEK (SUI) fall from first overall to third after they finished 14th yesterday, one behind Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA). SCHEIDT and PRADA now lie fourth overall, one point ahead of ROHART and RAMBEAU.

Elsewhere the trend for high scoring has continued. Olympic Champions Torben GRAEL and Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA) are still yet to post a single figure score after a 15th yesterday, whilst medallists at the last four Star Worlds Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR) lie way back in 41st overall after compounding their poor start by going OCS yesterday.

Commented PERCY, 'We were caught over the line which surprised us as we've done a hundred of these starts. We went around the first mark, which was very busy, in third and were sailing well. It's been the first race where we've had solid breeze. We needed some good top third positions after the tricky conditions of the past few days.'

Quotes From The Boats

Austin SPERRY (USA), 13th overall with helm John DANE:
'We've been feeling good. Our boat speed hasn't been the problem. Everyone's so good, they're all across the line ten to 15 seconds apart, it's easy to have a 20th place.'

Luca MODENA (ITA) 18th overall with crew Michele MARCHESINI:
'We had a medium to good start and tried for sailing in clear air. We approached the right side of the course, just in front of us were the Irish and they were over early so we were clear up the first beat, we had a good downwind and got away from the rest of the fleet to be in the top ten. We decided to play to win to on the second beat so trimmed for more wind which was our mistake as the wind dropped and we lost space from the leader but were able to solidify our sixth place position. It was more difficult to trim upwind than down. I congratulate my crew for suffering me today, it was a good race.'

Frederico ENGELHARD (ARG) 19th overall with helm Fabian MAC GOWAN:
'Today we had a bad start as we were at the committee boat end where everyone was. We tried to work on the heavier winds as we are accustomed to light. We were in the middle of teams we knew were good in high wind so that felt great. We're improving day by day. We're here to learn more about sailing in heavy wind. The first day was light and good for us. At this level this is the best racing I've ever seen!'

Anders EKSTROM (SWE) eleventh overall with helm Fedrik LOOF:

'We've been taking the wrong side. We're not sailing the way we should be. We liked the breeze today and the regatta's not over yet. We just need three more good results and do a good job. It's really a tough fleet if you look at who is here.'

Top Ten
Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 USA Andy HORTON Brad NICHOL 2 9 1 12
2 NZL Rohan LORD Miles ADDY 3 2 10 15
3 SUI Flavio MARAZZI Martin KOZACZEK 4 1 14 19
4 BRA Robert SCHEIDT Bruno PRADA 6 4 13 23
5 FRA Xavier ROHART Pascal RAMBEAU 14 5 5 24
6 NZL Hamish PEPPER Carl WILLIAMS 1 20 4 25
7 SUI Daniel STEGMEIER Beat STEGMEIER 18 3 18 39
8 USA Mark MENDELBLATT Mark STRUBE 25 8 16 49
9 AUS Iain MURRAY Andrew PALFREY 7 30 17 54
10 USA Jim BUCKINGHAM Mike DORGAN 13 23 19 55

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

Michelle SLADE (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Flavio MARAZZI and Martin KOZACZEK lie third overall:© Chris RAY
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