Team Denmark weathers lumpy seas, wins 3 races

October 12, 1990|By Peter Baker

With a front moving through the Baltimore area and the remnants of tropical storm Klaus further confusing the weather yesterday, Day 2 of the Cadillac Columbus Cup sailing regatta went considerably better than Day 1 -- unless you were Russell Coutts of New Zealand or Makoto Namba of Japan.

The day started well enough for each of them, with Coutts defeating Antonio Gorostegui and Team Spain and Namba out-sailing Marcos Soares and Team Brazil, but then the bottom fell out.

In the second flight of three four-race series sailed yesterday, Coutts was scheduled to face off with Larry Klein and Team USA. Namba was matched with Valdemar Bandolowski and Team Denmark.

But a funny thing happened to Namba on the way to the starting line and to Coutts on the way toward the end of the second leg of his race.

"At the start, we were almost OK," Namba said last evening. "But we were over just a little bit early and far way from the committee boat, and did not hear or see the recall."

So, Namba and Team Japan sailed on and were ordered to forfeit to Team Denmark.

Coutts and New Zealand, on the other hand, were doing well with Klein and Team USA -- until they ripped up their jib and had to withdraw.

"The racing was rough today," said Coutts. "It was excellent early. The wind was 18 to 20 knots in the first race and then dropped off a bit.

"But you have to remember these are big boats and things do break on them. They ought to have some backup sails out there on the course so that when something does break, it can be replaced."

Last year, on the last day of the round-robin series, Coutts and his crew tore a spinnaker and were forced to drop a race when the sail could not be replaced quickly.

A similar thing happened yesterday, when Japan and New Zealand, with its torn jib, were matched in the third flight of races.

New sails were sent out to the boats by race organizers, but the boat owners would not allow them to be used, according to regatta yachting adviser Gary Jobson. Coutts and Namba chose to try to wait until the rest of the races in the final flight were sailed and then to sail their race with jibs borrowed from boats that had completed racing for the day.

But by then the wind had dropped away to a relative whisper, and the Japan-New Zealand race race was abandoned.

Tentatively, the Japan-New Zealand race will be sailed today before the start of the final three sets of matches in the round robin.

Other boats had their problems yesterday in lumpy seas and the steady southeast breeze, although Bandolowski and Denmark experienced few and won their three races to remain unbeaten and atop the standings.

In the second set of races, Kin Yellott and Team Baltimore were matched with Klein and Team USA. On the second windward leg of a windward-leeward course, with the yachts rolling heavily at times in the seas off the mouth of the Patapsco River, Team Baltimore and Team USA managed to collide at the mastheads, and both yachts were disqualified.

Yellott and Team Baltimore won their other two races yesterday, defeating Pelle Petterson and Team Sweden and Gorostegui and Team Spain.

Petterson and Team Sweden have not won a race in the regatta.

Bandolowski and Team Denmark, however, are scheduled to face New Zealand in the first non-makeup match today.

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