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5 October 2006, 08:09 am
Kiwis Dominate Day Four
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Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship 2006
San Francisco, California, USA

Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL) stole the show on day four of the ISAF Grade W Wells Fargo Private Bank Star World Championship, leading the rock star fleet around each mark to finish first and take top spot on the leaderboard. Rohan LORD and Miles ADDY (NZL) took eleventh place and tie PEPPER and WILLIAMS for the lead.
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Sailors were presented with the most challenging day thus far in the competition with grey skies, flat water, occasional rain and the lightest of air. The start was delayed while the St. Francis Yacht Club Race Committee was forced to move marks to adjust for some significant shifts. The breeze never realized more than eight knots from the west with lows three to five knots during racing - tricky sailing even for the local guys.

Title defenders Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA) took second place in race four, Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR) picked up their performance for a third (later to become a 16th after a Z flag penalty), with Jim BUCKINGHAM and Mike DORGAN (USA) taking fourth place. Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA), who became the world number one crew in yesterday's release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, took fifth.

Former long time leaders of the Rankings, Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE), are continuing their comeback and sit comfortably in tenth overall.

Starts Proving Crucial

With much at stake in this competition, there have been some serious disappointments during the starting sequence. Yesterday saw a general recall at the first start and the second a Z flag start. A number of teams were over early and penalized, subsequently knocking back some of top guys. Notably, PERCY and MITCHELL, whose request for redress related to an over early on day three was denied; yesterday they received a Z flag penalty, dropping them to 31st overall. Overnight leaders Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) also received a Z flag penalty resulting in a 32 score and sending them from first to sixth overall.

Bill BUCHAN, USA Olympic Gold medallist in the Star in 1984 and sitting in 25th overall commented, 'It was trying today. We were third at the first mark and on the first run I lost patience trying to stay with the two in front of us so decided to split and it cost us dearly. We were wallowing with the rest for much of the race but caught a little westerly that came in near the finish so we ended on a high note in the 20's. It could have been a lot worse - finishing in the 20's is good in this fleet!'

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Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno
PRADA lie fourth overall
© Chris RAY/www.crayivp.com

Atypical San Francisco Conditions

Veteran Star sailor John KOSTECKI (USA), in a coaching role this regatta was on the docks at the St. Francis Yacht Club at day's end. 'It's been unusual this week with the weather. It's not typical for San Francisco so there's been no real local advantage unfortunately,' he laughed. 'But you're still seeing all the good guys at the top.'

Head of International Jury, Ralph ROBERTS, commented, 'The biggest thing is that San Francisco is losing its image as a heavy weather venue. Everyone measured in their heavy weather sails because it purportedly never blows under 20 knots here. It's just been challenging for everyone however this is the best fleet I've ever seen. While it's been difficult, at the same time this contest is made for those who are training for Beijing.'

Quotes From The Boats

Mark PICKEL (GER), 16th overall with crew Ingo BORKOWSKI:~
'We had a tough beginning in the first two races and we're doing pretty average. It's just been trying to get the shifts better on the first beat. Conditions here are tough. We're quite happy with our result today, we just ran out of pressure before the finish and lost five places.'

Iain MURRAY (AUS), eleventh overall with crew Andrew PALFREY:
'We could have started better. There've been lots of starts and we've been a little conservative on our starts and as a result behind all race. It's all about getting it right on the first beat and we haven't been consistently doing that. We'll try to be more aggressive over the next few days.'

Rick PETERS (USA), 21st overall with helm Rick MERRIMAN:
'We could have done better and gone faster. We're still working on our program. I sailed my first Star Worlds here in '92 and used to be good! Everyone is stepping up. I wore a dry suit for the first time in my life today. It's punishing out there, when you do something wrong you get seriously slapped.'

Top Ten
Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 NZL Hamish PEPPER Carl WILLIAMS 1 20 4 1 26
2 NZL Rohan LORD Miles ADDY 3 2 10 11 26
3 FRA Xavier ROHART Pascal RAMBEAU 14 5 5 2 26
4 BRA Robert SCHEIDT Bruno PRADA 6 4 13 5 28
5 SUI Flavio MARAZZI Martin KOZACZEK 4 1 14 15 34
6 USA Andy HORTON Brad NICHOL 2 9 1 ZFP 32 44
7 USA Jim BUCKINGHAM Mike DORGAN 13 23 19 4 59
8 SUI Daniel STEGMEIER Beat STEGMEIER 18 3 18 ZFP 32 69
9 POR Afonso DOMINGO Bernardo SANTOS 29 7 29 6 71
10 SWE Fredrik LOOF Anders EKSTROM 33 13 12 13 71

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

Michelle SLADE (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS rounding the leeward gate:© Jan PEHRSON/www.janpehrson.com
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