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6 September 2005, 10:05 am
Sensational Start To Worlds
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Etchells World Championship 2005
San Francisco, California, USA

It was almost a surprise as the 72 boat fleet was away at the first attempt in the first race of the 2005 Etchells Worlds on San Francisco's Berkeley Circle, USA yesterday. In the practice race on Sunday, there were four general recalls before the fleet sailed away on an I flag. Yesterday there was a bulge in the line between the Committee Boat and the Midline Boat and it appeared there might have been a host of boats over, but only two came back.
Fast off the line was Craig HEALEY's (USA) I Love My Wife, Jeff PAPE's (USA) No Justice, Russ SILVESTRI's (USA) Leverage and tucked in just a little back was Samuel 'Shark' KAHN (USA) helming Pegasus 1278. Glorious conditions, with 14 knots.

Most of the fleet had decided right was the place to be. However the wind built and shifted left, funneling down from the Golden Gate Bridge, as the fleet sailed up towards Angel Island.

Out on the left HEALY and KAHN were amongst the group that found the favorable 15 degree shift. HEALY was first to the top mark with impressive speed, he rolled over KAHN who under-laid the mark by a length and was almost pinned on port tack. Third behind them was PAPE and SILVESTRI, ahead of Dennis CONNER (USA).

Down the first run the fleet split across the Bay, with KAHN's tactician Jeff MADRIGALI (USA) positioning perfectly for the gybe, to lead into the bottom mark. However HEALY came back on the second beat and led round the top mark by less than a boat length.

KAHN edged underneath the leader to squeeze around the offset mark. Behind them, more than 30 seconds back, were PAPE, Tito GONZALES (USA), then SILVESTRI and Judd SMITH (USA).

As the wind continued it was surf city on the second run, with KAHN extending to a 30 second win from PAPE and SILVESTRI, on the beat back to the finish line.

It was a happy fleet that sailed into the Richmond Yacht Club Marina under spinnaker, but when the sailors strolled up to the notice board the mood change for ten of the fleet. The OCS's were Vince BRUN (USA), John JANSHESKE (USA), PAPE, CONNER, Jeff MOSELEY (USA), SILVESTRI, Jeff WARLOW (AUS), Jim CARRICK (USA), HEALEY and Jim GREGORY (USA). At this time, there have been five OCS protests lodged.

There are seven races scheduled, with six races constituting a series in the non drop series. As a result, the protests are expected to be robust.

MADRIGALI from Team Pegasus commented dockside, before the number of OCS's were unknown, 'There were a lot of boats ahead of us at the start, we were a bit nervous, we were close, but we were close enough to the boat to have a pretty good angle, so I am sure we are OK. We had a great race with Craig, it was a lot of fun, and the lead kept changing. I hope he is not OCS.' 'The defining moment in race for us was the second run. Craig ran down right on us, but Shark held him out and between us we did a really good job of adjusting the sail trim and positioning the boat just as they were about to roll us, and we held them out round the mark and that was the boat race. We might have won the first race, but this is a great fleet and it's going to be a long week.'

Top Ten After One Race

Pos Nation Helm Crew Crew Crew R1 Pts
1 USA Samuel KAHN B LEE J MADNGALI A FINGLAS 1 1
2 USA William PALMER III T CORKETT Jr. B CAVANAUGH 2 2
3 USA Jud SMITH H FRAZER A WILLS 3 3
4 GBR Stuart CHILDERLEY S RUSSELL R MARINO 4 4
5 USA Tito GONZALES B MAUK B BATZER D GONZALES 5 5
6 CAN Hank LAMMENS M LAMMENS P GOW 6 6
7 AUS Iain MURRAY M COXON A PALFREY 7 7
8 USA Peter VESSELLA S GORDON M CARTER 8 8
9 AUS Rob BROWN G GUDMUNSON B WOOKEY 9 9
10 USA Philippe KAHN F LOOF M IVEY 10 10
Event Media. Image:© Carey Kent
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