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1998 Miami Olympic Classes Regatta ------ red rule ------
Kostecki Closes to Within One Point of Leader; Sets Up Showdown for Final Day

Carter Perrin Reports

MIAMI, Florida (Jan. 30, 1998) — John Kostecki, the tactician for AmericaOne, scored a first and a second in today's two races to close to within one point of race leader Tony Rey and set up a showdown in the fourth and final day of racing in the Soling Class of the 1998 Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.

The high pressure that has caused light winds was still right at home on Biscayne Bay. Morning winds of 10 to 12 knots had the competitors' hopes up, but by game-time the pattern of 4 to 7 knots returned. Light northwesterlies and plenty of powerboat wakes from the long weekenders shaped the course. The committee managed to get off two good races in trying conditions before being forced to abandon the third when afternoon heating killed the breeze entirely.

In race one, Kostecki, with crew Steve Calder and Carter Perrin, got off the line in good shape and quickly tacked to port. Working the right side of the course, we got into the lead pack and rounded the first weather mark in fourth behind Bill Abbott, John Finch and Jeff Madrigali.

Holding check down the run, we stayed in the pressure, then passed all but Abbott up the beat. A good set and an early jibe away on the final run put the team ahead and led to a first race win.

In the second race, Kostecki worked hard to stay in the lead pack in extremely shifty winds. We stayed in a close fourth and made our move on the final run.

Rounding just behind Madrigali and Finch, we sailed lower and faster into a controlling position on starboard. Halfway down the run, Madrigali was to windward of Finch and tried to jibe and cross both boats on port. Finch was forced to bear away and almost jibe. Finch protested and Madrigali quickly did a 720-degree turn to exonerate his penalty.

Kostecki controlled Finch into the finish to score a second place, just behind the winner and regatta leader Tony Rey. The regatta is now a two-horse race between Tony Rey/Dean Brenner/Tom Burnham and Kostecki/Calder/Perrin.

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