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27 September 2005, 09:07 am
Big Breeze Rocks Day One
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Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship 2005
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

It was fast and furious as the action got underway at the Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship yesterday on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA, in a strong southerly breeze of 21 knots with gusts to 31. The field of play, set between Rose Island and Goat Island by the New York Yacht Club Race Committee, allowed the large crowd of spectators gathered on the northern end of Goat Island to see, and in some cases hear, everything taking place on the water.
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Undefeated after their first two races of the day, Australia 2 faced Ireland 1, who were on a 0-2 record, for race 19 as foam kicked up on the racecourse midway through the morning. There was a lot of commotion at the windward mark, accompanied by loud conversation, as the teams converged with two boats virtually stopped dead in their tracks. One of the Australian boats then did a 360 the hard way - nearly deathrolling into a capsize after taking their penalty turn and losing control while reaching for their protest flag. While the incident did spread the fleet out, it was still a close race once the smoke cleared. Down the leeward leg with all the penalty turns done, AUS 2 with a 2-3-5 combination held a narrow lead over IRL 1 with a 1-4-6 as the race tightened up going into the next mark where IRL 1 rounded with a 1-4-5. Although AUS 2 was temporarily successful in slowing down the middle Irish boat, they would suffer their first loss of the day as IRL 1 improved to 1-3-5 at the finish in a race that saw tremendous action at the first mark. AUS 2 would come away from the day with three wins and four losses while IRL 1 settled out with three and three.

Quickening the pace was the addition of a third flight of umpires that allowed races to start every five minutes. By mid-afternoon, when conditions were judged too windy both for the equipment and some of the competitors, the halfway mark of round one had been passed with 55 races sailed. At the end of day one, predicted to be the windiest day of the week, GBR 2 and USA 2 were both undefeated with seven wins apiece, establishing themselves as the fastest in the conditions seen today. A shake-up in the standings could be in short order courtesy of a lighter northerly predicted for tomorrow.

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Strong winds made for
spectacular racing on day one
in Newport
© Dan Nerney
Racing continues today at 0900 hours local time and concludes with the awards presentation on Saturday 1 October, followed by Closing Ceremony at the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court clubhouse. Competing are two teams each from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S.A., and one team each from Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Spectator seating has been set up north of the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa on Goat Island and Tufts University sailing coach Ken LEGLER is on hand providing play-by-play commentary.

For more images from the first day of racing go to the New York Yacht Club website.

In addition to title sponsor Grey Goose, supporting sponsors are North Sails, Vanguard Sailboats, Ribcraft Inc., Ronstan, Sailing World and Sentient Jet Membership. Suppliers are American Lighthouse Foundation, Bagel Boys, Barry Motors, Challenge Electronics, Conanicut Marine Services, Crystal Spring Water Company, Heineken, Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa, International Yacht and Athletic Club, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Jailhouse Inn, Jamestown Ferry, Newport Harbor Hotel, Newport Lobster Company, Newport Tent, North Flags, R.I. State Yachting Committee, Rolex Watch U.S.A., Sailing Foundation of New York and Team One Newport.

For a complete list of all the news from the Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship CLICK HERE.

Jan Harley. Image, Early series leaders GBR 2:© Dan Nerney
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