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8 March 2006, 09:06 am
Seven-Time Champion Back In The Lead
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Bacardi Cup 2006
Miami, Florida, USA

Two time Olympic gold medallist and seven-time Bacardi Cup Champion Mark REYNOLDS (USA), sailing this week with Swedish crew Christian FINNSGARD, took the overall lead at the 2006 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta in Miami, USA, with a twelfth place finish in Tuesday's third race.
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Sailing out of San Diego, California, REYNOLDS currently shares his record seven Bacardi Cup titles with legendary Star sailor Ding Schoonmaker of Naples, Florida.

BEADSWORTH To The Fore

Andy BEADSWORTH and crew David CARR of Great Britain won Tuesday's race, well ahead of second place finishers Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU of France. With yesterday's performance and a third place finish on day two, ROHART and RAMBEAU, the 2005 Star World Champions and number one ranked Star tandem in the world, move from seventh to third in the overall standings.

Joseph LONDRIGAN and crew David GILES (USA) of Springfield, Illinois, finished less than a boat length behind ROHART in third and move to 14th overall.

The Overall Standings

REYNOLDS holds a slim three-point lead in the overall standings, moving just ahead of John DANE and crew Austin SPERRY (USA), a father and son-in-law tandem that sails out of Gulfport, Mississippi. First overall after two races, DANE and SPERRY drop to second overall, just one point ahead of ROHART and RAMBEAU.

A total of 14 boats were black flagged and disqualified on Tuesday for early starts. The casualties included Marc PICKEL and crew Ingo BORKOWSKI of Germany and two-time Bacardi Cup Champion Peter BROMBY and crew Bill MCNIVEN, the overall third and fourth place teams respectively going into today's race.

Tough Course

Tuesday's race was sailed in winds that escalated from 15 to 25 knots out of the Northwest and followed a combination triangle and windward-leeward course on the waters of Biscayne Bay. The former Olympic-style course is not sailed regularly in the Stars, and the addition of two reach marks caught many of the sailors by surprise.

'We had to make special preparations at the last minute, but we were fortunate that we have the training to do those tough reaches,' said FINNSGARD.

Sailing with very good speed, BEADSWORTH started in the middle of the fleet, as DANE and REYNOLDS led a large group that elected to attack the right side. After rounding the first mark in second, BEADSWORTH was successful in gauging wind shifts and found clear water to lead the fleet rounding the gybe and leeward marks. He lost most of his ten boat length when he was unable to leverage strong right hand pressure on the final run, but held off a charging ROHART and LONDRIGAN to the finish line.

'We ran the last half of the race very conservatively, taking the small opportunities,' said BEADSWORTH, a two-time Olympian, who began sailing Stars in January 2005.

'You need consistency, good speed and a little bit of luck to win this regatta,' he added. 'The Bacardi Cup is rich in tradition with a list of past winners that is very illustrious. The competition and all that surrounds it attract more of the top sailors than even the World Championships. I would say you're wrong to compare it to the Worlds.'

Defending Bacardi Cup Champions Mark MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA) finished eighth yesterday and currently rest in ninth place overall. The 2004 Bacardi Cup Champions Afonso DOMINGOS and crew Bernardo SANTOS of Portugal finished tenth on Tuesday and are fourth 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 Class 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, Andy BEADSWORTH and David CARR came out on top in yesterday's race:© Alex GORT
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