In Thursdays racing action, conducted in moderate, eight to 10-knot breezes, Rod Johnstone preserved his lead in the Masters Division by taking two bullets to log a total score of four. He now stands one point ahead of North in second, followed by Leweck in third with one point, and Musto in fourth with none. Musto allowed that hes a little disappointed about his poor showing thus far, but said hes nonetheless having fun. It was his son and business partner Nigel who had the most reason to complain. It appears the young Musto came ill-equipped to the event and has had to wear duct tape on his fingers in lieu of sailing gloves. Does anyone in the family know where some sailing gear might be had?
Among the so-called Junior Divison, the leaderboard is becoming a little tighter as two-time Olympic medalist JJ Isler maintains a slim, one-point margin. On Thursday, each of the four competitors scored a bullet. Peter Holmberg and Russell Coutts share second place with two wins apiece, and Paul Cayard sits in last place with one win. According to onlookers, Isler, with her husband Peter doing the honors in the cockpit, is sailing aggressively and very well.
Leading the competition for the Team Trophy, the Johnstone-Holmberg duo has rolled up a substantial lead with six combined victories. According to event organizer John Glynn of The Bitter End Yacht Club, "These two have been the most active as a team, sailing with each other in every contest. The other competitors have been a little more spotty. I guess you could say that Rod and Peter have bonded, because they decided early on that each would do everything he could to help the other, and its paying off."
Regarding the competition, Glynn said that the lighter conditions made for close races that averaged 20 to 26 minutes in duration. It got so close in fact, that at one point during a rabbit start in the Masters Division, Keith Musto and Tom Lewecks boats touched rigs. "They had some non-sailors among the guests on board, and that must have been really exciting for them." According to Glynn, close competition doesnt mean that the on-the-water umpires are throwing their flags all the time. "Actually, the umpires havent had to make many calls, and they havent had too many of their calls challenged, which is interesting. I think thats because Triple Racing limits the boat-for-boat confrontations. You just cant concentrate on one other guy because then the third player gets away. Its just what Russell and Paul were saying at cocktails last night. They said this is the most fun type of racing theyve done in a long time."
Glynn expects the intensity to increase on Friday. He thinks that the competitors will take it up a notch because "everything begins to matter more at the end of the event."
Competition clearly isnt the only focus at the SailNet Pro-Am Regatta at The Bitter End Yacht Club. The organizers decided to rearrange the schedule at the last minute on Thursday so that Paul Cayard could take his son fishing for lobster. And apparently one of the things that has kept Russell Coutts from joining his teammate Tom Leweck on the water during the Masters races is having fun with his family on shore. Stand by for a final update on Monday here at SailNet.
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