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16 November 2006, 09:17 am
World Champs Lead The Way
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Silver Investor Solutions Star North American Championship 2006
Miami, Florida, USA

World Champions Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL) made a perfect start to the ISAF Grade C1 Silver Investor Solutions Star North American Championship in Miami, USA, with bullets in both opening races out on Biscayne Bay.
It was a tough first day on the water for the 79 Star crews competing due to the tremendous competition in nearly perfect conditions. Two races were sailed in 10-12 knots out of the southeast, in sunny skies and warm water.

PEPPER and WILLIAMS led at every mark to win the first race in style. 2004 Olympic silver medallists Ross MACDONALD and Mike WOLFS (CAN) came in second ahead of John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA).

HORTON And NICHOL Fight Back

After getting blocked off at the start in the first race, Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) fought back strongly in race two.

'In between races we reassessed our tactics and our boat set up and made some good changes,' explained the American duo. 'On the first attempt at a start of the second race we felt much faster. We decided to start more in the middle and work the shifts. We had a great start and executed our plan, rounding the first mark in first. The wind built as we sailed downwind and the lead pack made it to the leeward gate at once.'

'Upwind, Mark REYNOLDS [(USA)] went hard left, Hamish PEPPER went hard right and we went up the middle. At the top of the course, PEPPER had made huge gains and was able to cross us and round the mark in first. Down the run we decided to hold with the pack of boats closest to us. PEPPER, jibed out early, sailing downwind all alone in the lead. We continued to work the left and were the first in the pack to jibe out. We made great gains on PEPPER but in the end Hamish PEPPER was able to hold us off.'

Kiwis Lead By Six

In the overall standings, PEPPER and WILLIAMS have a six point lead over Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA), who were 5,3 for the day. MACDONALD and WOLFS are third after finishing eighth in race two. World number one crew Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) are fourth ahead of Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL). Luna Rossa helm James SPITHILL (AUS), who has teamed up with Olympic gold medal winning crew Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA), scored DNS in race one before posting a 15th in race two.

Today should be interesting with a cold front coming through Miami that will bring more wind for the end of the week.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 Pts
1 NZL Hamish PEPPER Carl WILLIAMS 1 1 2
2 FRA Xavier ROHART Pascal RAMBEAU 5 3 8
3 CAN Ross MACDONALD Mike WOLFS 2 8 10
4 BRA Robert SCHEIDT Bruno PRADA 7 6 13
5 POL Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ Dominik ZYCKI 11 4 15
6 GER Marc PICKEL Ingo BORKOWSKI 9 7 16
7 USA Andrew MACDONALD Brian FATIH 4 19 23
8 USA Mark REYNOLDS Skip DIEBOLD 12 11 23
9 USA John DANE Austin SPERRY 3 21 24
10 USA Andy HORTON Brad NICHOL 25 2 27

For all the news from the Silver Investor Solutions Star North American Championship CLICK HERE.

Andy Horton and Brad Nichol (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS lead in Miami:© Chris Ray/www.crayivp.com
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