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29 April 2005, 03:05 pm
COATES Wins J105's
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Bermuda International Invitational Race Week 2005
Hamilton, Bermuda

Tom COATES (USA) won the B.W. Walker Memorial Trophy as champion of the J105 Class in Bermuda International Invitational Race Week sponsored by Bacardi. COATES, who missed the title and came second in 2004, scored six bullets and one third place to take the title.
All week COATES and his crew put in a flawless performance. Taking time from celebrating his victory COATES said 'We've really enjoyed ourselves and I can say that we will do everything we can to return here next year. It's a wonderful place, and it's my kind of sailing'.

COATES and Canadian John McLEOD, who finished second, shipped their 34 foot yachts from Florida after competing in winter regattas there.

After a two hour delay while sailors waited for a storm charged front to pass, the Course Alpha committee finally got racing started for the keelboats. The wind started out shifty and light; but when some of the classes were on their last leg or nearing their last weather mark, a 35 knot squall and 90 degree wind shift hit the fleet.

Just as some of the Etchells and J105s were crossing the finish line Race Chairman Jay HOOPER abandoned the race. Competitors in all classes later protested both the decisions (to change the course for the J105 class and later to abandon the race), as it had confused other classes, but HOOPER's decision was upheld by the international jury. HOOPER said he did what he believed was best for all concerned.

Racing for the Etchells, J24 and IOD will resume on Friday and the prizegiving will be held on Friday evening at The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

The Bravo course fared better Thursday and the Snipes and Lasers got in six races as they were somehow able to dodge the squalls that blew away the bigger boats.

With one race left in each class Michael and Nina IRGENS lead their Snipe fleet with 18 points, followed by Ray PITMAN and Pricilla DUFFY with 28 points. Leo MURPHY and Watt DUFFY trail them with 29. Stephen and Monica IRGENS are one point back at 30. Friday's race will decide second through to fourth place.

In the Lasers it continues to be a battle between Malcolm SMITH and Brett WRIGHT. SMITH leads 16 to 21 going into the final race on Friday. Sara Lane ADDERLEY follows in third with 30 points.

Lasers will also sail one race on Friday.

Talbot Wilson (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The race week draws to a conclusion in Bermuda:© Talbot Wilson Photos
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