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29 April 2005, 12:38 pm
American Win
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Mermaid Match Racing Championship 2005
Seaview, Isle of Wight, Great Britain

Mason WOODWORTH (USA) repeated his victory of a year ago to take the honours in the ISAF Grade 3 Goddards Mermaid Match Racing Championship 2005. An international list of entrants assembled at Seaview, Isle of Wight, Great Britain to contest the title over the weekend of 23-24 April.
Amongst them were Olympic medallists in 49er, Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR), who just entered the ISAF World Match Race Rankings last month thanks to victory at the RYA National Match Racing Championships - Qualifier 1.

Due to light winds on both days the full programme was curtailed and only the nine round-robin flights were attempted, the last of which had to be abandoned as the morning wind died away on the second day. By then WOODWORTH had triumphed over all but the France's Pierre-Antoine MORVAN. Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR) had also lost to the French boat, and to the all-ladies boat helmed by Josie GIBSON (GBR). MORVAN had lost to Christian HAMILTON (GBR) and to John GREENLAND.

MORVAN encountered unfortunate problems in the final race - due to the strength of the spring tide as the wind dropped - and they saw their chance of second place disappear as they started with two penalties. In taking the first one, which must be immediate, they got entangled with a boat in the next race as it entered the box, the tide taking both towards the pin end mark. That disqualification, with all the other races abandoned promptly thereafter, reduced their average points and put CAMPBELL-JAMES into second place. MORVAN and his French crew returned home with third prize.

This event, using the club's Mermaid keelboats, started the season for the Sea View Yacht Club.

Victory for WOODWORTH in this ISAF Graded event could mean another sudden rise up the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, after he jumped from 84 to 36 in the rankings released on 23 March 2005. The next rankings will be released on the 4 May.

Richard Prest (As Amended By ISAF).
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