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28 September 2002, 11:06 am
Things get Tighter at the Top!
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©Walter Cooper

Mumm 30 World Championship
Annapolis, Maryland

We've really got a regatta now! Yesterday's action tighted up the spread with the top three boats only one point apart each.

Printel Wind and Alina are still one and two respectively but Steadfast has moved up in the ranks and is now third, only two points back from the leader. Today could be the deciding day, stay tuned!

Race 7

The day started off foggy with low visibility but the sun started to break through. The breeze was approximately 7-9 knots and clocking towards the SE. The committee set the course about 3/4 of a mile north of Thomas Point Light, with the windward mark again towards the eastern shore of the bay. There were boats over early for the start with the committee boat end extremely favoured so the Race Committee called a general recall and used this opportunity to reset the course.

The gun for the restart sounded at 10:50 am after the committee squared the line. Most of the fleet started towards the pin end with 5 or 6 boats OCS and headed back to recross the line.

Notorious was the first around the windward mark followed by Alyssa Ashley and Foreign Affair. The boats had a smooth ride for the first leg, the water was flat and the breeze consistent although light. Most boats came up the right side of the course. Fourth around was Paydirt followed by Furry Creatures and Go Figure. The leaders were further back in the pack with Printel Wind and Steadfast in the middle, Alina rounded in 9th.

The sun came out and the clouds started burning off as the boats approached the first leeward gate. Notorious, Alyssa Ashley and Foreign Affair were still the top three boats followed by Breakout and Go Figure. Just as the last boats rounded a horn sounded signally a course change as the wind continued to clock around to the SE and build to 10-12 knots with more wind lines coming in.

The Race Committee reset the windward mark and offset mark for the last rounding. Boats that went right made up lots of ground with the majority of the fleet around and heading for the finish. The leaders again chose the right. Notorious, Alyssa Ashley and Foreign Affair were neck and neck heading to the finish, screaming downwind with about a 10 boat lead on the rest of the fleet. Foreign Affair got a huge puff just as they approached the line to take the gun followed by Alyssa Ashley and Notorious in that order. A 26 second gap separated the top three from the rest of the fleet with Alina across the line in 4th followed by Fuzzy Logic and Go Figure. Printel Wind turned in an 8th and Steadfast was middle of the fleet.

Race 8

The breeze clocked around to a heading of 170 so the boats were put in a holding pattern as the committee reset the entire course and line. Thick clouds came up from the south and the breeze built to 15 knots. The boat end of the line was favoured for the start but a general recall was called. The Race Committee put up the black flag for the restart so we had our first clean start with all boats clear. The majority of boats started mid line to the boat end of the line and half the fleet immediately headed right.

The breeze was still building as the boats approached the leeward gate. The first to round was Pegasus. What a great recovery from the previous day! They were followed by Cygnet, Dirt Balls, Illusion and Mummy so the US boats definitely took over for this leg but that can change fast. Pegasus chose the right side of the course while the rest of the leaders headed left to the windward mark.

The last windward mark rounding was again hard to call but Pegasus maintained their lead although they had a little trouble getting their spinnaker up and full. Cygnet followed them in second. Most of the boats used the left side of the course and again the fleet remained tight.

Pegasus, Cynet and Illusion were neck and neck coming into the finish screaming down the middle of the course. Pegasus took the gun with Cygnet and Illusion following in that order. There was a big gap between these boats and the rest of the fleet with Tramp the next boat across the line and Alina in fifth and Dirt Balls in sixth. Steadfast is next followed by Mummy, Paydirt and Printel Wind in that order.

Race 9

Some ugly weather began to move in so the committee made a quick turn around for the start of the last race of the day. The heading was 170 with four legs at a mile and a half long each. The water got choppy with white caps showing and the breeze built to 17 knots. The fleet was spread out across the line at the start and Cygnet was the only boat called over early.

Most of the boats went left on the first leg to get further out into the channel and take advantage of the ebbing tide. Wind was against the tide so the water was still choppy. Steadfast was the first to round followed by Pegasus working on another good race. Bold2 was third with Team Intermec and Foreign Affair following in that order. Furry Creatures tried to sneak inside of Printel Wind who held them off on the outside.

Most of the boats stayed in the middle of the course for the second leg, gybing on top of each other. The fleet really compressed. Steadfast chose the eastern gate and maintained their lead with Bold2 moving up one place to second and Pegasus in third. Foreign Affair came next, the only boat to choose the western gate followed by Printel Wind. Mummy had a broken halyard on this leg and unfortunately had to call it a day.

Boats rounded the offset and headed for the finish with Steadfast still in first, followed by Bold2, Foreign Affair, Pegasus and Printel Wind.

Dark clouds began to move in from the west bringing more breeze with it although there was still blue sky over the Eastern Shore. Boats that chose the left to chase the clouds really made out well as the breeze increased to 18-20 knots and increased. Steadfast played it well to the finish maintaining a 4-5 boat lead across the line. The rest of the fleet is flying in behind them with Pegasus coming in second followed by Bold2 and Foreign Affair in that order. Printel Wind took fifth, Furry Creatures sixth and Intl Yacht Paint followed in seventh.

Results are as yet subject to protest

Position Boat Skipper Nation R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Total
1 STEADFAST Fred Sherratt CANADA 2 4 20 2 1 2 14 7 1 53
2 PRINTEL WIND Paolo Cristofori ITALY 1 1 2 8 8 9 9 10 5 53
3 ALINA Guiseppe Abba ITALY 10 2 4 7 3 4 4 5 15 54
4 FOREIGN AFFAIR Richard Perini AUSTRALIA 5 24 5 5 2 13 1 13 4 72
5 ILLUSION John Podmajersky USA 9 6 10 3 15 5 8 3 13 72
6 UNICREDITO ITALIANO Recchi/Ubertalli ITALY 7 3 9 6 9.4/AVG 9.4/AVG 15 14 12 84.8
7 FUZZY LOGIC Thomas Papanek USA 6 5 7 18 13 19 5 25 8 106
8 PAYDIRT Kent Plunkett USA 11 25 6 9 7 17/20% 16 9 9 109
9 TRAMP Tom Ritter USA 12 27/20% 16 1 10 8 24 4 11 113
10 TURBO DUCK Bodo/Nick vd Wense USA 13 9 1 10 20 6 12 27 18 116

Frieda Wildey/ISAF News Editor
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