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9 February 2005, 09:50 am
Thin Ice Wins On Corrected Time
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2005 Pineapple Cup
Montego Bay, Jamaica

With the entire fleet of 16 boats safely in port after a record-breaking Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race, the smallest boat in the fleet has ended up as the overall winner on corrected time.
Stuart HEBB's (Coral Gables, Fla.) Aerodyne 38' Thin Ice finished the 810 mile course from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica shortly after 07:00 (local time), approximately three days and seven hours after it started and a full day after most of the larger boats had finished. The eight-man Thin Ice team, which also won its class (PHRF B), included 2004 Olympic gold medallist in the men's 470 Kevin BURNHAM (Miami) and Olympians Sven and Calle COSTER, brothers from The Netherlands who are also 470 sailors.

The small-boat experience served the crew well, but Burnham also gave credit to navigator Roy MEBERS (Charleston, S.C.) for helping them make it through an 'intense' race. 'Our kite just blew to pieces on the first night,' said Burnham. 'The spreader was in the water, and the boat was pegged over, going downwind sideways for a while. None of us had sailed together before, so we all experienced a big learning curve.' It was Burnham's fourth race to Jamaica. 'It was the best for sure; it doesn't get better than that.'

Tom HILL's Puerto Rican entry Titan 12, which finished the race yesterday, will go down in the books as the race's new record holder. The Reichel/Puch 75 shaved almost 13 hours off the previous record set in 2003 by Zephyrus V for a new benchmark of 2 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.

According to Titan 12's tactician Peter ISLER (San Diego, Calif.), the wind blew hard out of the north, at 22-30 knots for the first 200 miles. The boat was sailing under a double reef and with a #4 headsail.

'The Wind Gods blessed us,' said Isler, a three-time veteran of the race. 'I had been studying the wind for a week ahead, and the breeze was better than the best I had hoped for. When we passed Eleuthera, I knew that we were already a half hour ahead of the record.'

Isler added that the boat carried its spinnaker for almost 600 miles. 'Tom HILL is over the moon. You can retire from this race after this one,' Isler joked. 'It is the best we'll ever have.'

The Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race is jointly hosted by the Storm Trysail, Lauderdale and Montego Bay Yacht Clubs.

Barby McGowan (As Amended by ISAF
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