Larson leads J-22 competition

September 15, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Chris Larson of Annapolis finished 1, 2, 5 in three races yesterday to take the lead after the first day of sailing in the J-22 World Championships.

Larson, who works for North Sails and has won regional, national and international championships in the 22-foot sloops, holds a 6.25-point lead with as many as five races left.

Three races are scheduled on the bay off the mouth of the Severn River today, weather permitting, and two are scheduled tomorrow.

"Racing conditions were very good today," said regatta chairman Melinda Berge of Baltimore, "and the racing reflected them."

With winds up to about 12 knots at times, starts and mark roundings were close and spirited, and several protests were to be heard by the race committee last night. None was expected to have an impact on the top finishers.

After preliminary races Tuesday, the field of more than 75 boats was separated into two fleets, with Larson and other skippers who qualified in the top half designated the gold fleet.

Former Navy sailing coach Doug Clark finished 2-11-2 and stands in third place, and Bill Draheim of Texas, the current national champion, is fourth with finishes of 10-3-4.

Max Skelley of Havre de Grace is in sixth place, and Annapolis sailmaker Allan Scott is in 10th.

If the championship series goes more than six races, each competing crew will be allowed a throwout race.

In the gold fleet, Bill Donald, who sailed very well during Tuesday's preliminaries but failed to qualify for the silver fleet, won all three races.

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