Worrell 1000

Spectators on Wrightsville Beach was as the three teams in the Worrell 1000 Reunion Race start the leg to Atlantic Beach on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

Team Australia lost for only the second time in nine legs of the Worrell 1000 Reunion Race on Wednesday, but still maintained a large overall lead with three legs remaining.

The catamaran race ends Saturday afternoon at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

Wednesday's leg from Wrightsville Beach to Atlantic Beach was the tightest so far, with only 11 minutes separating the three teams.

Team TCDYC managed a 1-minute, 9-second victory over Australia on the leg after Australians Rod Waterhouse and Beau White had to beach their boat to secure spinnaker rigging. When that failed, the two had to finish the leg under jib and mainsail, not getting the same speed as they would by flying the kite.

Team Cat in the Hat was third.

Team Australia still has an overall lead of about 5½ hours.

The start of today's leg from Atlantic to Cape Hatteras was moved up to 8:30 a.m. so that ground crews would have time to meet ferry schedules to the island. Given the route ground crews must take, and the great sailing conditions, it's very possible the teams could beat them to the beach.

This leg could be a screamer, with west winds at 12 mph at the start, turning to the west-southwest and building to 15-20 mph.

Team Australia quickly jumped into the lead this morning and was the first team to put out the spinnaker.

One potential point of concern on this leg will come early when the teams have to sail around Cape Lookout. While not as treacherous Hatteras' Diamond Shoals, the cape can get pretty gnarly in the right conditions.

Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844, lee.tolliver@pilotonline.com

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