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18 February 2005, 12:49 pm
Perfect Conditions and OCS Calls Mark Race 6
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International 14 World Championship
Takapuna, New Zealand

With the sun shining brightly and the course set far away from any troublesome shore, the International 14s started off on Race 6 of the World Championships. The wind was blowing about 15-18 knots from the south for the start, and it gradually built to about 20 kts later in the afternoon.
It was glorious sailing, all the competitors agreed. 'It was a pretty glam day's yachting,' summarized Damian ASH, now in 17 place with his helm Victor BRELLISFORD (GBR 1517). The breeze was stable and the seas were slight.

When it was over, the impressive team of Lindsay IRWIN and Andrew PERRY in AUS 631 had their third win in six races for an amazingly low total score of only seven points. Irwin started the race going left, but tacked and crossed the middle to join the boats who had gone right. He came around the first mark in fourth, which he considered a good result for a conservative beat. 'After that,' said Lindsay, 'it was just a case of racing the boat, and the boat is pretty quick in that kind of breeze.'

One of the key moments of the race came at the start line. Race Officer Kevin WILSON could see it all happening. 'They were all lined up for the start with 30 seconds to go, and no one had given any consideration to the tide, which was still flooding in,' said Wilson. 'As the boats powered down the line they ran out of space, and the tide pushed them over early'.

Ten boats were ultimately called OCS, eight at the leeward end of the line. Five of those boats were in the top 15 in the standings at the end of yesterday; three are ex-world champions (Zach BERKOWITZ, Grant GEDDES and Kris BUNDY), and one was Ross's own son, Andrew WILSON, crewing for Alan VICKERY in AUS 633.

The day's events left the top six placeholders as follows: Irwin/Perry in AUS 631; Morrison/Rhodes in GBR 1513; Richardson/Barker in GBR 1516; Fawcett/Dobrijevic in GBR 1511; Devine/Jones in AUS 632; and local team Slater/Handley in NZL 43.

After doing the math, it appears that one of the first four will win the event tomorrow. But they can't afford to be reckless. Even with their strong lead, Irwin and Perry need to sail well. If Morrison and Rhodes were to win tomorrow's race, then Irwin would have to place twelfth or better to win overall. 'I've got to get around tomorrow and not do anything stupid,' said Irwin.

Race 7 will be held two hours earlier than the previous 6 contests, starting at 1300 hours local Auckland time.

Top Ten After Six Races

Pos Nation Helm Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Points
1 AUS Lindsay IRWIN Andrew PERRY 2 1 1 27 2 1 7
2 GBR Stevie MORRISON Ben RHODES 3 7 4 1 6 4 18
3 GBR Alister RICHARDSON Ian BARKER 7 2 3 4 9 5 21
4 GBR James FAWCETT Dave DOBRIJEVIC DNF 8 5 2 1 6 22
5 AUS Brad DEVINE Denis JONES 10 12 2 3 21 10 37
6 NZL Dan SLATER Nathan HANDLEY 4 14 8 10 3 17 39
7 AUS Roger BLASSE Andrew GILLIGAN 12 13 17 6 11 11 53
8 AUS Grant GEDDES Dan WilSdon 1 3 9 29 13 OCS 55
9 AUS Jason BEEBE Tim BERG 8 9 13 7 18 OCS 55
10 AUS David HAYTER Alan POLLITT DNF 5 11 22 26 3 67
Martha Mason (As Amended by ISAF)
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