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27 September 2006, 09:01 am
One Day To Go
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IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship 2006
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

With one day to go, the balance of power shifted at the IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, in the B1 division yesterday, with Norway taking the lead after eleven races. New Zealand and USA-Florida remain top in the B2 and B3 divisions respectively.
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After Sunday's racing was cancelled due to predicted gale force winds and big seas, the teams competing out of the New York Yacht Club were back on the water for day's three and four of racing.

The vision classification of the skipper determines in which division each four person team is competing with the totally blind B1s and the vision impaired B2s racing New York Yacht Club's fleet of 23' Sonars, and the least vision impaired B3s racing in Sail Newport's J/22s. Regatta rules mandate that only a blind sailor can steer, while the other blind crew trims the sails. Verbal information provided by two sighted guides allows the blind skipper and crew to tactically position the boat as it navigates the race course.

The big changes have occurred in the B1 division where Norway - formed of Thomas JOHANNESEN, Jostein STENEVIK, Stian SOLTVEDT and Jon LYSTRUP - clearly enjoyed yesterday's pristine skies and ten knot westerly to move into the overall lead ahead of New Zealand. USA-Massachusetts, the leader since day one, is now third overall.

Other Leaders Stay Top

In contrast the overall standings in the B2 division are unchanged, with New Zealand - led by skipper Paulien EITJES with Dick LANCASTER and sighted crew Gary SMITH and Scott BURLING - showing the form that has brought them so much success in the division to lead from Great Britain, with USA-Massachusetts in third.

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Norway has assumed the lead in B1
© Michael LEVITT
For B3, USA-Florida - helmed by J.P. CREIGNOU with Jan BARTLESON and sighted guides Colin PARK and Patty FORRESTEL - maintains its grip on first. Defending champions Great Britain are second, whilst New Zealand has passed USA Massachusetts to move into third.

The concluding races to decide the World titles take place today and will be followed by the closing ceremony at the conclusion of the day's racing.

Sponsors of the 2006 IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship are Best Western The Mainstay Inn, The Carroll Center for the Blind, the Rhode Island Sailing Foundation and The Sailing Foundation of New York. Also, Harken, Koch Eye Associates, Narragansett Beer, Nasiff Fruit Company, Newport Specialty Foods, Newport Tent Company, Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic, Herreshoff Marine Museum, Crystal Spring Water Company, Seaman's Church Institute, Rolex Watch U.S.A., North Sails, Nautor's Swan, Newport Community Band at Salve Regina University and J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. The championship is organized by the NYYC, IFDS, Blind Sailing International and US SAILING.

For all the news from the IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship CLICK HERE.

New York Yacht Club (As Amended by ISAF). Image, USA-Florida in B3 remains comfortably in first:© Michael LEVITT
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