Thursday, August 20, 2009

5O5 North American Championships

By C. Scott Marx
Race Three and Four of the 5O5 North American Championships began with cloudy skies and 12-14 knot winds out on the San Francisco’s Olympic Circle. Following Race Three and Four, yesterday’s overall leader Mike Martin/Jeff Nelson USA (2-1-1-1, 3.0 pts) continues to dominate while Mike Holt/Carl Smit (6-2-2-2, 6.0 pts.)USA, winners of Race Two yesterday, are close on their heels. In third place following today’s racing are Nick Adamson/Steve Bourdow USA (3-79/DNS-5-3, 11), followed by Jens Findel/Johannes Tellen GER (5-6-3-79/DNS, 14) finishing fourth and Tyler Moore/Geoff Ewenson USA(1-79/DNS-6-11, 18).

“We’ve been looking forward to these races for a long time,” said Mike Martin. “The Bay is a great place to compete – heavy winds and strong currents make for an ideal setting. The St. Francis Yacht Club, as always , has done a great job on the course – it’s the right length, square to the wind and the reaches are on the right angles.”

While winds abated somewhat from Races One and Two, continued choppy seas provided for exciting racing out on the bay. First off the start in Race Three were Carter Jackson/Peter Holden USA who finished 11th. Mike Martin/Jeff Nelson continued their overall lead overall throughout the majority of the race, while Mike Holt/Carl Smit kept hold on the second spot as in Race Two yesterday. Jens Findel/Johannes Tellen were third.

“I felt like George Foreman in the ring with Muhammad Ali,” said Mike Holt. “The conditions today were challenging.”

In Race Four, Katherine Long/Stephen Long USA led off the start while finishing 20th. Mike Martin/Jeff Nelson and Mike Holt/Carl Smit continued their strong performance as first and second, while the reigning champions of Nick Adamson/Steve Bourdow USA were back for another third in the series in Race Four.

“Today’s races showed clear dominance by a couple of the most experienced teams,” said 2009 5O5 North American Regatta Chair, Peter Szasz. “Our current leaders Mike Martin and Jeff Nelson have been sailing together for a long time and they just don’t make many mistakes. With the final day of North Americans tomorrow and Worlds right on the horizon for next week, we’re expecting a strong finish out on the Circle.”

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