55 races in

USA and GBR tied for lead at Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing Worlds

Tuesday September 27th 2005, Author: Jan Harley, Location: United Kingdom
The action was fast and furious as the first day of racing for the 2005 Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship got underway Monday on Narragansett Bay in a strong southerly breeze (21 knots with gusts to 31).

The field of play - set between Rose Island and Goat Island by the New York Yacht Club Race Committee - allowed the large crowd of spectators gathered on the northern end of Goat Island to see, and in some cases hear, everything taking place on the water.

Undefeated after their first two races of the day, Australia 2 faced Ireland 1 (0-2) for race 19 as foam kicked up on the racecourse midway through the morning. There was a lot of commotion at the windward mark, accompanied by loud conversation, as the teams converged with two boats virtually stopped dead in their tracks. One of the Australian boats then did a 360 the hard way - nearly deathrolling into a capsize after taking their penalty turn and losing control while reaching for their protest flag. While the incident did spread the fleet out, it was still a close race once the smoke cleared. Down the leeward leg with all the penalty turns done, AUS 2 with a 2-3-5 combination held a narrow lead over IRL 1 with a 1-4-6 as the race tightened up going into the next mark where IRL 1 rounded with a 1-4-5. Although AUS 2 was temporarily successful in slowing down the middle Irish boat, they would suffer their first loss of the day as IRL 1 improved to 1-3-5 at the finish in a race that saw tremendous action at the first mark. AUS 2 would come away from the day with three wins and four losses while IRL 1 settled out with three and three.

Quickening the pace was the addition of a third flight of umpires that allowed races to start every five minutes. By mid-afternoon, when conditions were judged too windy both for the equipment and some of the competitors, the halfway mark of round one had been passed with 55 races sailed. At the end of day one, predicted to be the windiest day of the week, GBR 2 and USA 2 were both undefeated with seven wins apiece, establishing themselves as the fastest in the conditions seen today. A shake-up in the standings could be in short order courtesy of a lighter northerly predicted for tomorrow.

Racing continues on Tuesday, September 26, at 9:00 a.m. and concludes with the awards presentation on Saturday, October 1, followed by Closing Ceremonies at the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court clubhouse. Competing are two teams each from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S.A., and one team each from Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Spectator seating has been set up north of the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa on Goat Island and Tufts University sailing coach Ken Legler is on hand providing play-by-play commentary.

Top three teams after 55 races:

USA 2 - 7 wins
Patrick Hogan & Carlos Lenz
Pete Levesque & Liz Hall
Colin Merrick & Amanda Callahan

Great Britain 2 - 7 wins
Stuart Hudson & Hamish Walker
Dom Johnson & Jen Heeley
Owen Modral & Linda Eadle

USA 1 - 6 wins
Tim Fallon & Karen Renzulli
Tim Wadlow & Ery Largay
Mark Ivey & Matt Linblad

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