Sailing; Smith and Charles turn to calculator

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The Independent Online
Sailing

STUART ALEXANDER

The fight between Lawrie Smith and Glyn Charles for the Star class place in Britain's Olympic team turned into a matter of mathematics after the third race of the Bacardi Cup in Miami yesterday.

Charles was 54th and Smith 55th as the previously strong winds turned light, but both will discard those scores as their worst result. That means, in turn, they will now have to count the less damaging of the two scores they had previously discarded when eight races, two in this regatta and six in January, had been completed.

So while Charles had apparently increased his lead by one place, in fact he will now have to count a previous 23rd place, Smith a previous 18th. That means Smith gains a net four points and reduces Charles' lead from 13 place points to nine.

With a possible three races to go, Smith needs to post a score, on average, five points better than Charles in each race to secure the place in Savannah.

Three firsts from three starts made Brazil's Claudio Cardoso master of the testing conditions off Dubai yesterday and set him up as favourite to take the gold medal in the Hobie Cat 16 World Championships. With the fleet cut down from 300 to a final 56, there should be just three races today to give Cardoso a prize that has been so close to his grasp but has always eluded him.

The main threats to Cardoso come from William and Lucinda Edwards, of South Africa, and Mark Laruffa of Papua New Guinea, crewed by Liz Wardley. The only Britons left in the competition, Matthew Eeles and Philip Hilyard, are lying 33rd.

HOBIE CAT 16 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Dubai) Final standings after 13 races (out of 16): 1 C Cardoso and F Monterio (Bra) 36.75pts; 2 W and L Edwards (SA) 43; 3 M Laruffa, L Wardley (PNG) 48. GB: 33 M Eeles, P Hilyard 142.

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