Added 3rd lap gives Berge second shot at win in Santa Maria

June 11, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

For Race 5 of the Santa Maria Cup Women's Match Racing Championships on the Inner Harbor yesterday, race officials added a third lap to the windward-leeward course.

The change enabled Melinda Berge of Baltimore to turn an almost certain loss into a victory and equal Bermuda's Paula Lewin with a 5-1 record at the end of the second day of racing.

Judy Lugar of Canada, sailing against Berge in the fifth set of races, failed to note the course change and sailed beyond the leeward mark to the finish line before realizing her mistake.

While Lugar sailed on, Berge rounded the leeward mark and made great gains on the last leg to windward.

"It was Sandy's [Grosvenor] call," Berge said afterward. "She told us not to raise the jib until the last second and not to give anything away."

Grosvenor, a member of Berge's crew, said she had a feeling that Lugar's team might have missed the course change, because a similar thing had happened to her.

"That was the biggest lesson I learned from my first Santa Maria Cup, because it happened to me," Grosvenor said. "I just had a feeling -- and it turned out to be right."

Karen Johnson of Canada made the same mistake against Diane Burton of Annapolis, and Burton was able to overcome a pre-start penalty and a poor start to win by a fair margin.

The third match of the first race yesterday (Race 2 overall) paired Burton and Berge, both of whom were winners in the first race of the regatta on Thursday.

Berge, who pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Race 1

against Lewin, got out in front against Burton and led around the first leeward mark.

On the leg to windward, however, Burton got the better of a tacking duel, took the lead and held it.

In the second set of races, Burton led Nancy Graham of St. Petersburg, Fla., to the top of the last leeward leg and the pair sailed tightly down the leg, with Graham toward the inside of the course.

Less than 100 yards from the finish line, Burton gybed in an attempt to cross ahead of Graham, but the St. Petersburg skipper, with right of way, had enough speed to thwart the move and force Burton to round up while she proceeded unimpeded to the finish line.

After six races in the seven-race round robin, Burton's record is 3-3 and she is tied with four other skippers in second place.

The top four skippers at the end of Race 7 today will advance to the semifinals.

Round robin (seven races) Race 2

Judy Lugar def. Nancy Graham; Paula Lewin def. Stephanie Wendolleck; Diane Burton def. Melinda Berge; Karen Johnson fTC def. Katie McDowell.

Race 3

Berge def. Wendolleck; Graham def. Burton; Lewin def. Johnson; Lugar def. McDowell.

Race 4

Berge def. Johnson; Lewin def. Lugar; McDowell def. Burton; Graham def. Wendolleck.

Race 5

Burton def. Johnson; McDowell def. Wendolleck; Lewin def. Graham; Berge def. Lugar.

Race 6

Lewin def. Burton; Lugar def. Wendolleck; Berge def. McDowell; Johnson def. Graham.

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