Kolius squeaks by Fry in final round for victory COLUMBUS CUP

October 11, 1992|By Nancy Noyes | Nancy Noyes,Contributing Writer

Texan John Kolius defeated the Nippon America's Cup Challenge's Robert Fry swept the best-of-three final round of the 1992 Cadillac Columbus Cup regatta yesterday.

In the consolation petit final round, France's Bertrand Pace also topped rival Brad Butterworth of New Zealand in the first two contests of the day, eliminating the need for a third-flight tiebreaker.

Winds were light and variable, and racing in the Patapsco River was postponed until about 2 p.m., when accompanied by a light southerly breeze the competitors began a four-legged windward-leeward race.

In the final match, Kolius won the start over Fry by about three boat lengths, and as the two boats split tacks, with Fry heading up the left side of the course while Kolius went right, Kolius was able to increase his lead substantially at the first mark.

Kolius' lead was still secure until the final run to the finish when Fry gained dramatically. Kolius held off his rival in a close finish when his downwind angle would not allow him to finish without an additional jibe to the line.

In the first petit final round, Pace had an early lead, but Butterworth, who had been able to pass him up the first leg as Pace found a windless hole, took the lead at the first mark.

Butterworth continued to lead until the two boats split to opposite sides of the next upwind leg; Butterworth's choice of a hard left-hand side line cost him the lead, while Pace, on the right, regained the lead and held and expanded it through the rest of the race.

In the second flight of the final round, in winds which had settled in at about 8 knots from the southwest, Kolius again won the start and opened up a significant lead, which he never relinquished.

In some of the most exciting sailing of the day, the start of the second petit final match saw Butterworth draw a penalty in pre-start maneuvers. He was able to force Pace to duck below the transom of the committee boat at the gun, giving himself a large enough lead off the starting line to make his penalty turn without letting Pace get ahead of him.

Butterworth was still leading at the first mark, but Pace gambled coming downwind by going off alone to the right side of the run. His gamble failed, and at the third mark Butterworth led by more than a minute.

On the final beat, Pace went left into shallow water to avoid an adverse flood current and found a better breeze; by the top mark he had gained an 18-second lead over Butterworth, which he stretched out to win the race by 26 seconds.

1. John Kolius, United States; 2. Robert Fry, Japan; 3. Bertrand Pace, France; 4. Brad Butterworth, New Zealand; 5. Gary Jobson, U.S.; 6. Chris Law, England; 7. Dawn Riley, U.S.; 8. Kevin Mahaney/Doug Kern, U.S.

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