Sailing: Smith's luck changes with the weather

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The Independent Online
Sailing

With a dramatic change of conditions in Biscayne Bay, from sunshine and a brisk breeze to torrential downpour and squalls, fortunes swung for Lawrie Smith's bid to take the last place in the 1996 British Olympic team in the Star two-man keelboat.

He recovered from taking a penalty after hitting the windward mark in the first race to be top of the five British contenders in the first race and, despite slipping to third in the second race behind David Howlett and Glyn Charles, the average of places in the 49-boat fleet kept him well in the lead.

The tussle between the 1992 470 gold medallist, Spain's Jordi Calafat, and the British pair John Merricks and Ian Walker went marginally Calafat's way, but Merricks is testing a new hull, rig and sails and said it was so far not as quick as the old one. The improving women's pair Bethan Raggatt and Sue Carr, managed to push up to the top six.

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