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Mumm 36 Worlds

Consistency Pays Off for Winner Thomas I. Punkt of Germany

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Oct. 5, 1996) — In a regatta as competitive as this one, consistency is the name of the game. It paid off for Thomas Friese's Thomas I. Punkt, which won the Mumm 36 World Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club today.

Mid-week, it looked as though the German boat — skippered by New Zealand's Gavin Brady and with AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki in the afterguard — would win easily. But Tom Roche's Jameson, from Ireland, rebounded to narrow the gap, and had a chance to win going into today's final race.

Skipper Stu Bannantyne and his crew did what they had to do, winning today in a freshening breeze that built to about 20 knots on San Francisco Bay. But I. Punkt grabbed third place to win the regatta by four points.

Poor starts almost scuttled I. Punkt 's winning performance, however. "I've never had such poor starting and won a world championship. We were always playing catch-up." Kostecki said. "But we had good boat speed and crew work, and that made the difference. In several races we were able to climb through the fleet."

And with no throw-outs, consistency was imperative. "It means you can't have a premature start or DSQ, and you can't have equipment failures," he explained. "We sailed more conservatively once we had built a lead." At mid-regatta, I. Punkt had a 12.5-point lead over second-place Jameson. (Some regattas allow competitors to "throw out" their worst finish, which is not counted in the overall score.)

In the 10-race series, I. Punkt never finished worse than ninth for a record of 2-6-8-1-2-1-5-6-9-3 and 42.5 points. Jameson, however, had two 10th-place finishes for a record of 7-10-2-8-3-2-3-1-10-1 and 46.5 points.

Kostecki said that sailing in his home waters helped. "The conditions were not always typical of San Francisco, but I was pretty comfortable sailing and had a lot of confidence, and I think that made a difference."

The racing was very competitive, he added. "We'd be at the back of the fleet and sailing right next to a world champion or Olympic gold medalist."

Fifteen boats representing 11 countries competed in the week-long, world-championship regatta. For complete results, see the St. Francis Yacht Club web site.

The next event for AmericaOne sailors is the Steinlager-Logan Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Nov. 18-24. AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard and tactician John Kostecki will sail together for the first time since the syndicate was unveiled last June. American Steve Erickson, who sails regularly with Cayard, will join them, along with three Kiwi sailors.


Thomas I. Punkt Takes Mid-Regatta Lead

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Oct. 3, 1996) — Germany's Thomas I. Punkt has taken a commanding lead in the Mumm 36 World Championship being sailed out of St. Francis Yacht Club.

Skippered by the latest Kiwi wunderkind, Gavin Brady, and with tactics called by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, Thomas Friese's boat won two of the first six races, and finished second in two others, to take a 12.5-point lead over second place Jameson from Ireland. A close third is Byblos Perfumes from Italy.

The regatta has attracted many of the top international skippers and crew, including the Chieffi brothers, Tomasso and Enrico, from Italy, as well as Rod Davis, David Barnes and Erle Williams of New Zealand, Olympic gold medalist (Star class) Torben Grael of Brazil, Ross MacDonald of Canada, Makoto Namba of Japan, and Jim Brady and Morgan Larson of the U.S.

Racing continues through Saturday.

For complete results of the Mumm 36 Worlds, see the St. Francis Yacht Club web site.

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