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J24 World Championships - Americans dominate day 1

by Graham Smith on 27 Aug 2013
Howth Yacht Club, Co. Dublin, Ireland; Monday 26th August 2013: Tim Healy’s Helly Hansen from Newport, Rhode Island (centre right) on day one of the BMW J24 World Championships at Howth Yacht Club where 40 crews from ten nations are competing on the course area between Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island. David Branigan/Oceansport
On day one of the J24 World Championships at Howth Yacht Club, near Dublin, Ireland, American crews led the way in both races.

After a two-hour delay for wind, the 40-boat fleet finally got away for the first race in a light but testing easterly breeze. First blood went to Tony Parker and his crew from Annapolis who experienced the Howth waters a week earlier at the Irish National Championship.

Fellow American Keith Whittemore from Seattle, who also sailed in the Irish event, followed him home in second place while defending World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil finished third, ahead of leading UK entry Ian Southworth.

American crews again led the way in the second race, with line honours going to former North American Champion Travis Odenbach from Rochester, with Whittemore second again and Santa Cruz taking another third spot. Newport’s Tim Healy took fifth to make it three US boats in the top five.

After two races, Whittemore leads the overall rankings by two points from the Brazilians, with Britain’s Ian Southworth (with a fourth and seventh) third. Leading Irish boat is ‘Stouche’ (Darrer/Murphy) from the host club, whose 10th and eighth place finishes have put them seventh overall.

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