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1 April 2003, 09:53 am
Day One
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African Optimist Championship
Port Elizabeth

Monday was the fist day of racing at the 3rd IODA African Championships, here in Port Elizabeth. The morning weather was overcast with a light but stiffening westerly wind as the sailors launched for the first race of the regatta.
Three races were sailed, as the Westerly breeze built and this developed into some tough sailing conditions with numerous competitors struggling to finish the later races.

Cam Cullman of the USA won the first race, followed by Sam Waterson and James Largier, both of host country South Africa. Sam then continued with a win in the second race, sailed in around 23 knots of breeze, with Phillipa Baer and Aaron Larkens making it a full house for South Africa in the top three.

By the third race, the wing was averaging 26 knots, gusting higher, and the fleet had been depleted to just 30 boats with many of the younger sailors having headed for shore. Justin Onvlee of South Africa had a great race to cross the finish line first, only to find that he had been over the line at the start, leaving Phillipa Baer to win the race, followed by Morgan Wilson of the USA. Aaron Larkens recorded another third.

With the wind continuing to blow, many of the competitors were brought in on rescue craft with boats either in tow or tethered to buoys. Unfortunately, three boats dragged their combined mooring and a major search of the area was mounted to locate the missing boats. Thankfully they were later located, much to the relief of their skippers and regatta organisers alike.

Racing ended for the day, with Race 4 scheduled to begin at 10am on Tuesday morning. Winds are expected to remain moderate to fresh. Phillipa Baer (RSA) leads the results table, tied with Sam Waterson (RSA) on 7 points. Cam Cullman (USA) and Aaron Larkens (RSA) are 3rd and 4th , repectively, tied on 11 points, while Morgan Willson (USA) makes up the top 5.

Top Ten Results (After 3 Races)

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 Total Cat
1 RSA Baer, Phillipa 4 2 1 7 Female
2 RSA Waterson, Sam 2 1 4 7 Male
3 USA Cullman, Cam 1 4 6 11 Male
4 RSA Larkens, Aaron 5 3 3 11 Male
5 USA Wilson, Morgan 7 6 2 15 Female
6 RSA Largier, James 3 11 5 19 Male
7 RSA McNeill, Rudy 8 13 7 28 Male
8 RSA Jones, Robert 12 7 16 35 Male
9 RSA Stirk, Brett 14 8 13 35 Male
10 RSA McClarty, Alexander 17 9 10 36 Male
Robert Wilkes
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