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1998 Southern Ocean Racing Conference ------ red rule ------
AmericaOne's Nelson, Kostecki Finish in the Money

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (March 2, 1998) — AmericaOne's principal designer Bruce Nelson and tactician John Kostecki finished in the top three of their respective classes in the 1998 Southern Ocean Racing Conference/Cutty Sark Race Week regatta.

Nelson is the designer and sailed as the helmsman of the Nelson/Marek 43 Vim |I in the IMS class. The 43-footer, which won IMS Class 2 at Key West Race Week in January, finished third here, but lost only to the bigger boats. Nelson was pleased with the performance of the boat, which is owned by Craig Speck of Grand Rapids, Mich.

The IMS class racing was very tight, with just a few seconds often the difference between the top boats. "The two big boats in the class, Flash Gordon |I (helmed by Ken Read) and Breeze (helmed by Tomasso Chieffi), used their size to advantage to control the race course and finish 1-2 for the series," Nelson explained. "Vim |I performed the best amongst the smaller boats, winning Race 4 and finishing four points behind Breeze for third."

Kostecki again sailed as tactician aboard Windquest in the very competitive One Design 48 class. The outcome came down to the final race on Sunday. Windquest held a one-point lead over Abracadabra and Starlight, which were tied for second. America's Cup winner Buddy Melges was at the helm of Starlight and America's Cup challenger John Kolius was driving Abracadabra.

Windquest, owned by the De Vos family of Ada, Mich., was over the line early at the gun as America True, campaigned by America's Cup challenger Dawn Riley, won the start and went on to win the race. Windquest, with Morgan Larson at the helm, restarted and worked its way back into fourth to finish second overall to Abracadabra.

The competitors sailed on three race courses, two on the ocean and one inside Biscayne Bay, in a five-day, nine-race series of windward-leeward course races. Conditions varied from light to moderate to squally, with gusts over 30 knots in the exciting finale, Nelson reported.

On the Horizon
This week Kostecki is joining New Yorker to race in the Mumm 36 World Championship in Miami. Next week he will fly to Brazil to rejoin Chessie Racing for Leg 6 of the grueling Whitbread Round the World Race.


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