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9 March 2006, 09:08 am
DANE And SPERRY Regain Overall Lead
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Bacardi Cup 2006
Miami, Florida, USA

The father and son-in-law tandem of John DANE and crew Austin SPERRY (USA), won Wednesday's fourth race at the 2006 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on the waters of Biscayne Bay, Miami, USA to retake the overall lead heading into the final two races of the regatta.
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With many of the overall leaders faltering on day four, DANE and SPERRY regain the top spot. They had lost the overall lead on Tuesday with a 17th place finish, and hope to be able to drop that race in their quest for what would be the first Bacardi Cup for both sailors.

DANE and SPERRY were among a large group of boats that elected to attack the left side of the course on yesterday's first run. Shifty 18-20 mile per hour winds and choppy waters carried the duo to an early lead rounding the windward mark.

SCHEIDT Shows Up

Once out in front, DANE and SPERRY leveraged strong winds again on the left side to build a commanding ten boat length lead at the second mark, substantially ahead of their nearest competitors, Poland's Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and crew Dominick ZYCKI, who finished fourth on Wednesday and climb to third in the overall standings, and the Brazilian team of Robert SCHEIDT, who has dominated Laser sailing for more than a decade, and his crew Bruno PRADA.

On the final run, the Brazilian team led a group of three boats to within two boat lengths of DANE and SPERRY, and finished second, moving them to fourth overall. Three-time Olympian Jali MAKILA and crew Erkki HEINONEN of Finland finished third as the Polish team dropped to a fourth place finish.

'We were on the right side yesterday, but the wind filled in on the left, so we missed the first shift and had to fight our way back from the middle of the fleet,' said DANE. 'Today, we thought there would also be more breeze to the left and protected the left side of the course. Turns out that was the place to be in both velocity and direction.'

REYNOLDS Slips Up

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mark REYNOLDS (USA) and crew Christian FINNSGARD (SWE), the overall leaders going into the fourth race, finished 27th yesterday and fall to fifth overall, while the Portuguese team of Afonso DOMINGOS and Bernardo SANTOS, the 2004 Bacardi Cup Champions, finished ninth and climb to second overall.

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.

Jesus RODRIGUEZ (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Afonso DOMINGOS and Bernardo SANTOS are keeping the pressure on the leaders:© Alex GORT
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