Brazil's Alexandre Paradeda and crew Flavio Fernandes won both races on Wednesday to take a runaway lead and leave rivals wondering what it will take to stop them from winning the 2002 Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship.
Through three of the seven scheduled races, the reigning world champions have finished second in fog and yesterday day won in light wind as well as in a blustery 15 knots of breeze.
"It's going to be difficult to get them,"
said Ivan Pimentel. The 63-year-old Brazilian Snipe class legend who pushed the pair to a six-second victory in yesterday's windy second race. That was after they had come from out of nowhere to beat Tuesday's winners, Randy Lake and Piet Van Os (USA) by seconds in the first race. Miami veteran Augie Diaz and crew Jon Rogers (USA) had their chance, too, leading Paradeda/Fernandes until the second downwind leg of a windy 5.5-nautical mile race on a traditional Olympic-style course, one triangle lap followed by a windward-leeward to an upwind finish.
"We had a good opportunity but we couldn't hold it at the end,"
said a disappointed Diaz, who has three third-place finishes. "We needed to be in that race. Those were our conditions. We needed to beat him at least once. We've got our work cut out now."
Paradeda, smiling broadly, said, "It was a lucky day."
His reference was to the first race, which was sailed in only 6 to 7 knots of wind after three general recalls by the over zealous 25 boat fleet. Paradeda went left, which looked to be a disaster until the wind shifted 15 to 20 degrees his way about two-thirds up the first windward leg and gave him a slingshot into first place.
Between races the sea breeze arrived from the southwest at 12 knots and built to 15 with three-foot waves. The 15 1/2-foot dinghies were diving into the troughs and surfing on the crests, as Diaz and Rogers launched themselves into a quick lead with a perfect pin-end start and then fought off one Brazilian after another. But they couldn't fight off Paradeda.
On the final beat Paradeda even gave up the favored right side to get back to the middle of the course to cover Diaz, who had gone left. "Augie is very close in the championship,"
Paradeda said. "I got there to be safe."
Then Paradeda had to meet Pimentel's late charge, all the time fighting a gear breakdown that left Fernandes to deal with a whisker pole that kept falling off its mount along the boom, making it difficult to tack.
The Brazilians have 3.5 points. Lake is next at 8.75 and Diaz has 9. No one else is currently in the running. San Diego's George Szabo/Brian Janney are fourth with 24 points, but competitors may discard their worst races after six.
Today is a lay day, with racing continuing on Friday and Saturday. Two races a day are scheduled.
Top 10 Results (After 3 Races)
||Piet Van Os