Santa Maria semifinals even

OUTDOORS

June 12, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

The semifinal round of the Santa Maria Cup Women's Match Racing Championship got under way in light winds and lighter rain yesterday, and after two sets of races the four finalists are even.

The balance of the best-of-five semifinals and the championship match will be sailed today.

"Everything has gone well this week," said regatta executive director Scott Steele. "We have four teams in the finals who have been [in the Santa Maria Cup] at least once before.

"They all have the experience and it shows in the racing."

In the first semifinal race, between top-seeded Melinda Berge of Baltimore and Judy Lugar of Canada, Berge seemed in control through 2 1/2 laps of the windward-leeward course. But in the final half a leg, Lugar slipped past Berge to win.

Paula Lewin of Bermuda, meanwhile, was winning easily against another Canadian, Karen Johnson.

In the second set of semifinal races, most of which was a drifter in winds that shifted from southerly to easterly and back again, Berge beat Lugar and Johnson beat Lewin.

"Based on what happened today, I have great expectations for Sunday," Steele said. "I expect each race to come right down to the wire."

The last of the round-robin races to determine the semifinalists and their seedings appeared to be fairly easy for Lewin and Berge.

Lewin beat Katie McDowell of Barrington, R.I., leading at each mark of the course.

Berge had similar success with Nancy Graham of St. Petersburg, Fla., and drew the No. 1 seed for the semifinals because she beat Lewin on Thursday.

Lugar made the semifinals by beating Diane Burton of Annapolis in Race 7. Burton, especially aggressive in prestart maneuvers, made a bad start and trailed throughout.

Johnson completed her round robin by beating Stephanie Wendolleck of San Rafael, Calif., who did not win a race in the regatta.

Johnson was awarded the third seed in the semifinals because she beat Lugar in Race 1.

Racing is scheduled to resume today at 10 a.m.

Semifinals

(best of five)

1. Berge vs. 4. Luga

Lugar def. Berge; Berge def. Lugar

2. Lewin vs. 3. Johnson

Lewin def. Johnson; Johnson def. Lewin

Final round-robin standings

1. Melinda Berge, Baltimore, 6-1

2. Paula Lewin, Bermuda, 6-1

3. Karen Johnson, Canada, 4-3

4. Judy Lugar, Canada, 4-3

5. Diane Burton, Annapolis, 3-4

6. Nancy Graham, St. Petersburg, Fla., 3-4

7. Katie McDowell, Barrington, R.I., 2-5

@4 8. Stephanie Wendolleck, San Rafael, Calif., 0-7

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