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25 July 2002, 12:58 pm
How to Beat *Fleur*? Its Still a *Mystery*
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8 Metre World Championship
Helsinki

The Canadian eight-metre "Mystery" helmed by laser champ Terry Neilson did improve from fourth to second place at the 8mR Worlds continuing off Helsinki, Finland...

Still, he could not reach French Dragon and Moth champ Jacques Fauroux, whose "Fleur de Lys" again won the race by a lead of several minutes.

Talking to Jacques´ son and co-designer Nicolas, we got a whiff of the secret French lily. "She is an evolution of our earlier eight-metres Dora and Aluette. We made her a little lighter for better speed in the 6-40 knot wind range expected in Finland. Also her keel is fitted with winglets", said the young engineer. Then what about your faultless dip-pole jibes? "Well, we have sailed a lot together, the sailing master, my brother and father, so we work well together. This is really a family kind of operation. But if you gain a boat length on every well-executed tack and jibe, you will pull ahead quite a lot over a 3 ½ lap, 16 mile course".

Third spot was taken by "Gefion", sailed by Pierre-André Bonjour, for new owner, jeweler Benoit de Gorski. Pierre now seems to have figured out how to sail this jewel of an 8-metre. The Ed Dubois design had a hammerlock on the World Cup, winning it in the years 1988-1991, 1994 and 2000. Fourth was the Pelle Petterson-designed "Yquem" and fifth "Dora", a predecessor to "Fleur de Lys".

The perky little wooden "Spazzo" made an uneven performance. She managed to round in the lead after the first beat, gaining a bottle of champagne at the daily prize-giving, but on the run a crew member decided to bodily test the temperature of the Gulf of Finland. Picking the swimmer up cost the Germans ten places, but she managed to claw back to sixth place thanks to excellent windward speed. This baby of Julianne Hempel is something to watch out for when she gets organized, believe me. "Ordnung muss sein", as the Jerries are fond of saying.

In the Sira Cup, the beautiful blue 8-m "Bona" from Italy took her second daily win, with Dr. Giovanni Mogna at the helm. As "Bona" also qualifies for the Cartier Cup, she had a double win. This Baglietto-designed yacht was originally built for the Kiel Olympics in 1936. "I spent 2 ½ years in renovating her from stem to stern", said the friendly Mr. Lavazza, who is in Finland to keep the boat in good shape. "Then I built a new wooden mast", said he, while mending the broken tiller extension. Incidentally, the Baglietto yard supplied a number of fast wooden motor torpedo boats to the Finnish Navy in WW II..

Wednesday's race was run in a medium southwester, but the chop still rolling in from the Baltic was difficult to master. The regatta continues on Thursday, and the Race Committee plans to run two races, thus clawing back to the original time schedule.

Results (After Two Races)

Position Skipper Nation 1 2 Total Points
1 Jacques Fauroux FRA 1 1 2
2 Terry Neilson CAN 3 2 5
3 Manuel Stern SUI 2 4 6
4 Wilfried Beeck GER 4 6 10
5 Pierre-Andree Bonjour SUI 8 3 11
6 Peter Groh SUI 5 7 12
7 Giovanni Mogna ITA 6 8 15
8 Alexander Falck FRA 12 5 17
9 Sadruddin Aga Khan SUI 7 11 18
10 Bertel Paulig FIN 11 8 19
Henry Ericsson/News Editor
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