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24 May 2006, 02:59 pm
Aussies Lead The Way
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Star Western Hemisphere Championship 2006
Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Australia's Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY were quick off the mark at the start of the ISAF Grade C1 Star Western Hemisphere Championship in Annapolis, USA to top the leaderboard after the opening exchanges. Double Olympic gold medallist Mark REYNOLDS and crew Hal HAENEL (USA) lead the home challenge, just one point behind in second place.
The first day of racing for the Western Hemisphere Championship was under sunny skies, but with a cold, gusty northwest wind of 15 knots with the temperature around 15˚C. The US Navy's Blue Angels jet acrobatic team were flying over the course practicing for the US Naval Academy's Commissioning Week (graduation) celebration.

The first race was a two mile, four leg windward-leeward course set at 325 and changed to 335 for the second upwind leg. Bacardi Cup winners John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA) were first around the windward leg of the first leg, after having stayed to the left side of the course, taking advantage of the lessening ebb current at the top of the leg. Following them were REYNOLDS and HAENEL, Maurice O'CONNELL and Ed PEEL (IRL), MURRAY and PALFREY and Arthur ANOSOV and David CAESAR (USA).

At the leeward gate, DANE and SPERRY were still leading, MURRAY and PALFREY were second, and O'CONNELL and PEEL third. DANE and SPERRY played the middle left of the course, but being rightish was paying this leg, and Jim VANDER MOLEN and Mike WOLFS (USA) were first at the second windward mark. Following them were the Aussies, REYNOLDS and HAENEL, DANE and SPERRY. This order held to the finish, except with REYNOLDS and HAENEL and DANE and SPERRY exchanging places.

REYNOLDS Takes Race Two

The second race brought lighter, but still gusty winds with larger shifts up to 45 degrees. This time it was REYNOLDS and HAENEL who took the bullet, again with MURRAY and PALFREY second, whilst Peter MCCHESNEY and Mike JONES claimed third.

After the opening two races in the 42 strong fleet, the top two have a six points gap between them and VANDER MOLEN and WOLFS in third. Six races a are schedule, with one discard to count after the fourth race.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 Pts
1 AUS Iain MURRAY Andrew PALFREY 2 2 4
2 USA Mark REYNOLDS Hal HAENEL 4 1 5
3 USA Jim VANDER MOLEN Mike WOLFS 1 10 11
4 IRL Maurice O'CONNELL Ed PEEL 10 4 14
5 USA John DANE Austin SPERRY 3 13 16
6 USA Arthur ANOSOV David CAESAR 9 7 16
7 USA Rick MERRIMAN Rick PETERS 15 3 18
8 USA Peter MCCHESNEY Mike JONES 7 12 19
9 USA John MACCAUSLAND Shane ZWINGLEBERG 14 6 20
10 USA Erik LIDECIS Michael MARZAHL 8 14 22
International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Day one leaders Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY:© Jan WALKER
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