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Worlds leader Michael Cooper cops UFD

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British yachtsman Richard Powell snatched victory on the final spinnaker run of race five of the SB20 Worlds today, ending a boat-for-boat duel between Tasmanians Brett Cooper and Michael Cooper.

As they crossed the finish line it was Powell at the helm of Marvel first by four seconds from Brett Cooper with Aeolus and a further 10 seconds to Michael Cooper’s Export Roo.

However, Michael Cooper’s race had ended at the start of race five where race officials had handed him a UFD disqualification for a breaking the start. Nevertheless, Cooper’s Export Roo maintains the overall lead, discarding the UFD penalty of 60 points for a net score of 16 points. In race four, the first of the day Export Roo placed ninth. Results of today’s racing are provisional with several protests lodged between competitors and against the race committee’s decisions.

The UFD penalty has cut Export Roo’s overall lead from 13 at the end of day one to just five at the end of day two, with Marvel moving from tenth in standings to second with a fine day of sailing for a 2-1 result.  Third overall is another British boat, John Pollard’s Xcellent which today placed 14th and third, the 14th its drop race.

Australian SB20 champion Aeolus, skippered by Brett Cooper, had a great day on the water, winning race four and finishing a close second in race five. This, and the discard, has lifted Aeolus from 15th after day one to fourth overall. Next best Australian boat is Greg Prescott’s 2Unlimited in sixth place, today notching up a 5-7 score.

Robin Follin, the French Youth Team skipper of Take Me 5 and winner of the Pre-Worlds, had two thirds today to be seventh overall but the top French team is Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet & A (Achille Nebout) in fifth place.

Provisionally, the top ten placings after two days and five of scheduled 12 races are:

1. Export Roo (Michael Cooper, AUS) 16 points (3-3-1-9-(60UFD)
2. Marvel (Richard Powell, GBR) 21 points (10-(32)-8-2-1)
3. Xcelllent (John Pollard, GBR) 27 points (6-12-6-(14)-3)
4. Aeolus (Brett Cooper, AUS) 30 points ((26)-16-11-1-2)
5. Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet & A (Achille Nebout, FRA) 31 points2-11-7-(25)-11)
6. 2Unlimited (Greg Prescott, AUS) 34 points ((25)-7-15-5-7)
7. Give Me 5 – French Youth Team (Robin Follin, FRA) 37 points ((60BFD)-8-3-3-23)
8. EOLIFT Racings (Hugo Feydit, FRA) 62 points (13-17-5-(23)-4)
9. Binn Edair (Cillian Dickson, IRE) 64 points (8-23-4-(24)-5
10. Honey Badger (Paul Burnell, AUS) 72 points (19-1-14-8-(3).

Xcellent heads the Masters scoring, Give Me 5 the Youth division and Essence of Athena (Clare Dabner) the six Women’s crews.

Two more days of racing remain with seven races scheduled.

Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Jane Austin
1745AEST/8 January 2018

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