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13 September 2003, 11:35 am
Current and Breeze Test Competitors
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Big Boat Series Presented By Rolex
San Francisco

On the second day, the 115 boats competing here for the legendary St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies were met with the same trying conditions as the previous day: Unseasonably hot weather combined with moderate wind.
After a brief delay by the race committee to wait for the wind to build, the fleet took to the San Francisco Bay and was quickly tested by the tricky current. Two races were sailed in each of three Americap II and eight one-design classes, while one race was held in the America's Cup class.

In the America's Cup class the final race of the series was held between ORACLE BMW Racing and the Alinghi Team, led by Jochen SCHÜMANN. Again ORACLE BMW Racing bested the Swiss America's Cup winner in the fleet race held along the City Front. "The sailing on the Bay has been fantastic -- good winds and smooth seas," said Chris DICKSON, skipper of ORACLE BMW Racing. "It is exciting sailing in close to the waterfront. It just doesn't get any better."

In the Farr 40 class, where America's Cup sailors, world champions and Volvo Ocean race veterans regularly mix it up, the class leader is Samba Pa Ti, the past world champion owned by John KILROY of Los Angeles, Calif., with a 3,2 today for a total of 15 points. Peter STONEBERG'S Shadow, with 17 points, is in second place. One of the day's best performances came from Barking Mad, owned by Jim RICHARDSON of Boston, Mass., the past Farr 40 world champion, who scored a 2,1 for the day to move up in the rankings to third place overall.

Richardson explained the significance of the Bay's challenging current on the tactical decisions for the fleet in the start of today's second race. "The current was flooding along the middle of the course and ebbing along the city front," he said.

"Everyone tried to get to the city front to get into the favourable current, because is works like an elevator effect for the start. We started at the committee boat and it was favoured a considerable amount. As we were coming across the starting line, I could see the boats to leeward were starting to shoot forward because of the current.

"Warpath had that advantage and was ahead of everyone else, so they could tack and cross all the starboard tack boats. We kept going straight and got into the same current, so that we were able to reel them into a tacking duel."

From there Barking Mad, which includes in its crew America's Cup sailors Terry HUTCHINSON and Dave SCOTT, both of Annapolis, Md. and New Zealanders Morgan TRUBOVICH and James BAXTER, took the fleet lead and won the race. Richardson predicted the next two days of racing will go well for his multi-national team provided the solid crew work onboard today continues.

The 1D35 fleet is small, but friendly and competitive and it shows in the fact that three boats are tied in first place with 12 points. John WYLIE of San Diego and his Tabasco started the day off well with a fourth place and just like the wind, built his fortune, to a first in the second race. Chris and Kara BUSCH'S Wild Thing took a 1,2 and Dick and Doug DEVOS'S Windquest scored a 3,3.

Handicap racing is being run under the Americap II system and the fleet is divided into three groups. In Class A, today's big winner was the Wylie 42.3 Scorpio owned by John SIEGEL of San Francisco. They are leading the class after four races, but are challenged by the Schock 40 Cita, named for her namesake Cita LITT of Newport Beach, Calif. and Paul KENT'S Farr 395 Chance.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Dana Paxton (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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