Team New Zealand take control

Hotly contested Farr 40 fleet fight it out at Acura SORC in Miami

Saturday March 9th 2002, Author: Bob Fisher, Location: United States
Come the sunshine, come the surprises, and with the surprises a change in the leaderboard. This was a typical Floridian sailing day with, in addition to the sun, a shifty east to north-east breeze which peaked at 12 knots, but it was the shifts which opened up the fleet.

"It was one of those days when the sailing Gods lead you for some of the time and then abandon you completely," said Hasso Plattner whose Morning Glory cranked in one of the best scores of the day and who looked almost impregnable after two races with a first and second, but then the fortune favoured the others and he posted an eighteenth in the third race of the day.

Tony Rae, of Team New Zealand who is sailing on Morning Glory, agreed. "We thought we were great with those two results, but then 'Bang', we were out the back". He added, "This is going to be a hard championship to win. " Morning Glory is, however, on top of the scoresheet after six races, just one ahead of the previous day’s leader, John Kilroy with Samba Pa Ti.

This championship is being held in conjunction with the Acura SORC and Rae's words on the difficulty in winning are fully understood by the 20 competitors. Most of the favoured skippers have one result in the late teens and an average of over six places.

Eivind Astrup's Norwegian Steam grabbed the pin end of the start line and continued to sail out to the left on the first beat. Steam was up by the second windward mark, leading from Morning Glory and Alexis Michas' Phish Food, and on the run to the finish, Astrup kept control to win from Morning Glory with Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone third.

The breeze was up to seven knots at the start of the second race where Owen Kratz's Joss and Adam Lindemann's Twisted led the fleet from the pin end. There was a big move to go right and both boats went that way to lead from Nerone at the windward mark. On the second windward leg, there was a 35 degree shift to the left and the leading boats reached to the mark with sheets cracked.

Morning Glory was first around with a 24 second lead and there was no way that she could lose that now that the breeze had steadied at 10 knots with the course angle changed to reflect the wind shift. At the finish she was ahead of Nerone and Robert Hughes' Heartbreaker.

With the wind up to 12 knots, the third race promised to be the best of the day, and well might have been but for a right hand shift on the first beat which caught out those, like Morning Glory who had gone hard left. "We saw the shift," said Plattner, "and argued that it had to come back. It didn’t."

Dick Watts and Tom Thayer's Non Sequitur led at the windward mark edging out Bill Helming's Still Crazy and Steve Phillips' Le Renard. Morning Glory was 19th. After another round, Still Crazy led from George Andreadis' Atalanti XII and they held these places on the fast run to the finish. This result helped to keep Andreadis high among the leaders.

The Farr 40s racing on the Acura Course off Government Cut were joined today by 12 Mumm 30s. Dan Cheresh's USA320 recorded two firsts and a third place to establish the early lead in the class.

On the Sailing World Course the J-Boats, J/80s and J/105s, entered the fray, joining the IMS and PHRF competitions that commenced yesterday. George David's Idler continued his unbeaten streak in the IMS class, recording three first place finishes on the day and establishing Idler as the hottest boat of the regatta. Matching Idler's three wins was Garth Dennis' Smiling Bulldog who has only a second place blemish on the ledger in two days racing and has taken control of the PHRF 2 competition.

In J/80 racing, Geoffrey Pierini's Bada Bing answered the bell and notched a second and two firsts. Nipping at the Metuchen, NJ-based yacht's lead is Matthew Baker's Hyperdrive, only two points behind.

Day Two (Farr 40s)
Race 4:
1. Norwegian Steam Eivind Astrup (NOR)
2. Morning Glory Hasso Plattner (GER)
3. Nerone Massimo Mezzaroma (ITA)
4. Phish Food Alexis Michas
5. Barking Mad Jim Richardson
6. Atalanti XII George Andreadis (GRE)

Race 5:
1. Morning Glory
2. Nerone
3. Heartbreaker Robert Hughes
4. Phish Food
5. Virago Stuart Townsend
6. Non Sequitur Dick Watts and Tom Thayer

Race 6:
1. Still Crazy Bill Helming
2. Atalanti XII
3. Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy
4. Non Sequitur
5. Barking Mad
6. Le Renard Steve Phillips

Overall after six races:
1. Morning Glory 6-2-7-2-1-18 36 points
2. Samba Pa Ti 1-6-2-9-16-3 37
3. Atalanti XII 7-4-1-6-18-2 38
4. Barking Mad 17-3-4-5-7-5 41
5. Nerone 11-11-8-3-2-7 42
6. Norwegian Steam 3-10-12-1-9-15 50

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