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7 March 2006, 09:33 am
DANE And SPERRY Take Overall Lead
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Bacardi Cup 2006
Miami, Florida, USA

The father and son-in-law tandem of John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA), sailing out of Gulfport, Mississippi, won Monday's second race at the 2006 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on the waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami, USA. With a third place finish in Sunday's first race, the victory assures them the overall lead going into the third day the regatta.
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DANE and SPERRY trailed Marc PICKEL and Ingo BORKOWSKI (GER) by about a boat length following the third and final mark of the double windward-leeward course. Both teams were several boat lengths ahead of their nearest competitors heading towards the finish line.

Crucial Gybe

DANE elected to gybe starboard towards the finish in the hope of securing the better angle, while PICKEL chose the more consistent, albeit conservative, approach of remaining on course. The move proved decisive for DANE and SPERRY as they edged PICKEL and BORKOWSKI by less than a foot, according to race committee chairman Craig PRANDINI.

'We ran a pretty conservative race and listened to our coach, Larry SOUTER, who gave us a lot of very good weather input. He's the reason we stayed competitive today,' said DANE, 54, a 2008 Olympic hopeful in the Star with crew SPERRY, 27.

'We sailed side by side with PICKEL all the way down the final run, then gybed away towards the starboard end of the finish line because we thought that would be the better angle; we figured we didn't have anything to lose since we had some space between us and the other boats. PICKEL just didn't gybe and got the slower angle,' DANE added

The Overall Standings

San Diego's Mark REYNOLDS (USA), the two-time Olympic gold medallist who sails this week with Swedish crew Christian FINNSGARD, finished fifth Monday and retains second place overall following his day one victory. PICKEL and BORKOWSKI rise to third overall, after finishing ninth on day one, while Bermuda's Peter BROMBY and crew Bill MCNIVEN, sailing in their first regatta together in more than 20 years, move to fourth overall with finishes in fourth and seventh place on day one and day two respectively.

2005 Star World Champions Xavier ROHART and crew Pascal RAMBEAU of France finished third on consistent gains throughout the race and currently rank seventh overall. Defending Bacardi Cup Champions Mark MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA) finished eleventh yesterday and currently rest in 15th overall. Recently crowned Star South American Champions, double Olympic gold medallist in the Laser Robert SCHEIDT, and crew Bruno PRADA (BRA), have moved up to 16th overall, after they atoned for a disappointing first race score of 34 with fourth place yesterday. Meanwhile another Olympic Champion moving to the Star, 1996 Finn gold medallist Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL), sailing with crew Dominik ZICKY, slumped to 25th yesterday to drop to eleventh overall, after an impressive sixth place on day one.

REYNOLDS Struggles With Wind

REYNOLDS said he had a nice start but could not figure out what the wind was doing. He said he was trying to keep up with Andy HORTON and Brad NICHOL (USA) who charged from the start and aggressively sailed the course leading all the way. HORTON and NICHOL did cross the finish line first only to find out they were black flagged at the start line along with six other boats.

More than 90 teams representing 19 countries are competing in the 79th Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta, one of the most competitive and highly anticipated Star events in the world.

The Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta is co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Centre, both based in Coconut Grove, and is sponsored by BACARDI U.S.A., Inc.

Janet MAIZNER (As Amended By ISAF). Image, John DANE and Austin SPERRY lead overall after their win yesterday:© Alex GORT
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