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4 February 2003, 09:26 am
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2003 ISAF World Team Racing Championship
Auckland

Auckland's notorious sou'westers swept through the Team Racing World Championships today and turned the leading nations on their heads.
The two teams who have dominated world Team Racing for the last four years - New Zealand and the United States - struggled to get wins on the board as the winds gusted to 30 knots on the Waitemata Harbour.

New Zealand's top Laser dinghy sailor, Andrew Murdoch, and his sister Rebecca were given a curt reminder of how blustery it can get on their home waters.

The pair, sailing together in a two-handed 420 dinghy, led their race against the Netherlands, until they slowed in a tactical move to allow their team to catch up, and capsized in a sudden gust.

New Zealand's loss to the Dutch team was their second of the day, also going down to the young United States 1 crew.

When racing was abandoned early this afternoon, defending champions New Zealand 1, from the Kerikeri Yacht Club, had scored three wins from five races.

The day turned out worse for their archrivals, United States 2, who had been unbeaten in the first two days of the regatta, but today slumped to a 2 win-3 loss record.

None of the eight teams in the gold league got through the windy morning session unscathed, but the best performer of the day was the USA 1 team, led by Patrick Hogan, one of America's top college sailors. The team from New England notched up four wins and one loss.

The experienced Great Britain 1 is also near the top of the leaderboard with four victories and two losses.

In the silver fleet, the young New Zealand 2 team from Kohimarama Yacht Club in Auckland was unbeaten after four races, as was India 1, a team which includes world 420 champion Farokh Tarapore.

Racing began in a tricky 18 knot breeze, but when sails began to tear in the 30 knot gusts, the race committee called it a day.

Regatta organisers were not too concerned - they had managed to squeeze in 35 races during the short day and are well ahead of schedule. The world championship final will be raced on Friday (NZ time).

Day Three Results

GOLD FLEET ROUND ROBIN:

Team Wins Losses
USA1 4 1
GBR1 4 2
NZL1 3 2
USA2 2 3
AUS1 2 3
GBR2 2 1
NED 1 3
IRL1 1 4

SILVER FLEET ROUND ROBIN:

Team Wins Losses
NZL2 4 0
IND1 4 0
CZE 4 1
JPN2 2 2
AUS2 1 3
JPN1 1 3
IRL2 0 3
IND2 0 4
Jim Murdoch/ISAF News Editor
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