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Southern Ocean Racing Conference

John Kostecki Reports

March 2 — Kiwis Win Again

Numbers, chartered by Team New Zealand, held off late-hour challenges by Swing and Infinity to win the IMS Class 1 division in Miami. This is the Kiwis' second victory in as many outings as they prepare for the Admiral's Cup in England next summer. The Russell Coutts-led team won at Key West Race Week in January.

Infinity, with AmericaOne designer Bruce Nelson at the helm, won the first two of three races on Saturday and was in position to unseat Numbers, which is being chartered from John Risley of Nova Scotia. But Numbers won the last race on Saturday and finished third in Sunday's race, giving the Canadian boat a three-point advantage over Swing, sailed by Peter Gilmour and crew from the Nippon Challenge.

Infinity finished third, after recovering from a collision in the first race. Bruce Nelson did a great job helming the boat while the owner, John Thomson, was out of town. Bruce left Miami today to fly to New Zealand for the Etchell 22 New Zealand Nationals, and Thomson took over the driving duties.

Titan, which I sailed aboard as tactician, finished well down in the fleet after being disqualified in Race 1 for hitting Infinity during a port/starboard incident.

Saturday was another nice day here in Miami, following the 30-knot winds that canceled Friday's races. We got three races off in 15- to 25-knot winds. It was a sunny and warm day, with great sailing conditions.

Jameson, with Chris Larsen driving, clinched the Mumm 36 class on Saturday, and Tom Stark's Rush clinched the Corel 45 Class, as well.

Final Standings, IMS Class 1

1. Numbers    Taylor 49  3-1-2-1-2-4-1-3       13.25 pts.
2. Swing      Farr 46    1-2-1-4-3-3-3-1       16.25 pts.
3. Infinity   N/M 49     YMP-YMP-3-2-1-1-5-4   26 pts.

For complete results, visit the SORC website.

Feb. 28 — Racing Cancelled Due to High Winds

Racing was cancelled on Friday as wind strength and waves heightened on the SORC race course.

Principal race officer Mike Thompson logged winds of 26-30 knots, with higher puffs, amid 10-foot seas. He cancelled the racing before the boats left the docks.

Racing in these conditions would have been an exercise in damage control, rather than a day of good competition, Thompson said.

For complete results, visit the SORC website.

Feb. 27 — Kiwi Crew Sails to Front of Fleet

We had another day of breeze in Miami, with winds 20-25 knots. The breeze produced huge waves, which where fun to surf on the downwind legs.

Numbers, which is being sailed by Russell Coutts and a Team New Zealand crew, had a great day, with a second and a first in the second day of racing off Miami Beach. This moved the Kiwis into first place after four races.

Swing, sailed by Peter Gilmour and a Japanese crew from the Nippon Challenge, is one point behind after first- and fifth-place finishes Thursday.

Titan, which I'm sailing aboard as tactician, was disqualified in the first race after hitting Infinity, and finished fourth and sixth in Thursday's races.

Infinity, with AmericaOne designer Bruce Nelson at the helm, returned to the race course for third- and second-place finishes. Infinity received average points for the races missed the first day. Seagoon is out of the racing following a bent mast in the first race.

Current Standings, IMS Class 1

1. Numbers 	Taylor 49	3-1-2-1		6.5 pts.
2. Swing	Farr 46		1-2-1-4		7.5 pts.
3. Idler	N/M 45		2-3-5-2		13 pts.	
4. Virago	Custom 48	4-3-6-5		18.5 pts.  
5. Infinity	N/M 49		RET-DNC-3-2	21.5 pts.
6. Titan	N/M 46		DSQ-5-4-6	23 pts.
7. Seagoon	Farr 47	DNF-DNC-DNC-DNC		32 pts.

Two races are scheduled each day through Saturday, with one race scheduled on Sunday.

For complete results, visit the SORC website.

Feb. 26 — Regatta Starts With a Bang

The 56th Annual Southern Ocean Racing Conference began today in Miami Beach, Fla., and is scheduled to run through Sunday. AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki is crewing aboard the Nelson/Marek 46 Titan, owned by Tom Hill of Puerto Rico, in the IMS Racer Division.

The regatta began, literally, with bang for Kostecki and the crew aboard Titan. Here's how he described the incident:

Titan T-boned John Thomson's Nelson/Marek 49 Infinity on a port/starboard situation on the first beat of the first race today. I was sailing on Titan (tactician) and Bruce Nelson was steering Infinity, as Thomson was away on business.

We went to dip behind Infinity, which was on starboard tack, and misjudged the dip and hit Infinity near the chain plates. Infinity had a large hole in the side of the hull and had to withdraw for the day. Titan had minor damage and continued racing.

Winds were 20-23 knots, with very large seas. Sailing in our class are Russell Coutts on Numbers, which won Key West Race Week last month. The recently announced skipper of the Nippon Challenge, Peter Gilmour, is steering Swing, a Farr 47 owned by Shigeyuki Suzuki of Japan.

Swing took the early lead with first- and second-place finishes in today's two races, followed by Numbers, which had third- and first-place finishes.

Seagoon, a Farr 47 owned by David Horwitz of South Africa, inverted its mast in the second race today and may be finished for the regatta.

Two races are scheduled each day through Saturday, with one race scheduled on Sunday.

For complete results, visit the SORC website.


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