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12 November 2003, 12:00 am
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Aruba Heineken Regatta

The top ten competition of this year's Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta is strong. Yesterday, the gap between the numbers one and two overall decreased to one point.
The British team Sunnucks/Self is still leading, followed by the Dutch Formula 18 sailors Larsen/Pols and Graat/Koene.

The competitors had to wait for wind. At half past ten, the postponement flag was taken down and the fleet left the beach for the starting line. Due to light winds, the course was short, but it still took small boats a long time to get around in the burning sun. Two Inter 20 teams, Breur/Buyse and Deutekom/De Vries, from the Netherlands were in the lead. They managed to stand the heat of the British Tornado's and finished in the first and second position, followed by Sunnucks/Self. Team Larsen/Pols stayed close and got a third place on rating after the two Nacra's Inter 20. Sunnucks: "Gunnar is very good. He's always there. I think he will win."

In the afternoon, the race committee decided to vary with an Olympic triangle course. The sea breeze was still weak, but steady. Although Gunnar LARSEN and Xander POLS belong to the younger generation, they sailed the alternative race very well. They finished 3 minutes 39 after Sunnucks and Self, which was enough for the victory on rating. For William Sunnucks it is the second time that he is participating at the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. He won in 2001 and got a free ticket for the year after, but he did not come. In that year he competed in the Tybee 500, which is similar to the Worrell 1000. At the beginning of the nineties, he campaigned in the Tornado class, but he ended up in second position in the national selections. He continued his sailing career in the long distance races. And with success, because he won the series in the last two seasons. Sunnucks: "I feel comfortable about beating Richard Allen, because I have won every time this year. Last time, we had a closer competition with him, but this year the thread is coming from Gunnar Larsen. He is a different class of sailor."

There is no racing scheduled for today, so the competitors will have time for sight seeing. The Dutch Tornado team Mitch BOOTH and Herbert DERCKSEN will give a clinic for those who like to improve their sailing skills.

Top five after 5 races and one discard:
1. Tornado / GBR - Sunnucks and Self, 8 points
2. Formule 18 / NED - Larsen and Pols, 9 points
3. Formule 18 / NED - Graat and Koene, 15 points
4. Tornado / GBR - Allen and Gummer, 19 points
5. Formule 20 / NED - Deutekom and De Vries, 22 points


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