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25 September 2002, 05:19 pm
News article - Style G 5057
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Soling World Championship

The first two races got underway in 12-15 knots from the northeast. The first race saw big waves and minimal oscillating shifts between 25 and 35 degrees.

Dave Curtis (USA), Stu Walker (USA), and Bill Abbott (CAN) all opted to start at the committee boat and the latter two tacked immediately to port expecting a slight veer. When it appeared Abbott who had worked out ahead, and Walker crossed everyone but Curtis - and Abbott soon crossed him. John Gochberg (USA), pointing extremely high, caught Walker as they approached the weather mark and this order continued into the second beat as the front four pulled away from the rest of the fleet.

Abbott extended his lead all around the course and won by 200 yards with Gochberg second (but OCS and out), Curtis third, Walker fourth, and Dave Franzel, came up the last beat very fast to finish fifth.

Race 2
The wind died at the end of the first race and shifted to 45 degrees. Abbott and Walker thought this was temporary, took off from the port end of the line, and immediately ran into a 15 degree lift. World Champion Gustavo Warburg (ARG) played it correctly, taking an immediate port tack and crossed the fleet with ease. But Curtis was close astern and these two battled for the lead therafter. The wind varied thereafter over about 20' and between 10 and 5 knots with major changes in position occurring on every leg.

Abbott managed to recover to fourth after rounding the first mark in the mid-teens. Don Cohan, who had been sixth in the first race was sixth again, and moved into fourth place with 12 points, one ahead of George Wossala (HUN), and two ahead of Walker.

Overall standings after 2 races:
1. Curtis 2, 1
2. Abbott 1, 4
3. Warburg 7, 2
Stu Walker/ISAF Secretariat
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