Worrell 1000

Worrell 1000 Reunion Race leader Team Australia, with team members beau White (L) and Rod Waterhouse (R), are out on the trapeze to get the most speed out of their boat on the leg from Surfside Beach, S.C., to Wrightsville Beach, N.C. Australia won the leg that took place on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

With the end in sight and a seemingly insurmountable lead, Team Australia continued to put the hammer down on the competition in the Worrell 1000 Reunion Race.

Rod Waterhouse and Beau White have led the entire race since its start in Hollywood Florida and showed no signs of relinquishing the top position. Australia won Tuesday's leg from Surfside Beach, S.C., to Wrightsville Beach, N.C. — the race's first leg sailed into the wind — in 6 hours, 21 minutes and 12 seconds.

Cat in the Hat from Florida, which has won one out of the eight legs, was a distant second at 7:43:23, followed by Team TCDYC of Texas in 7:56:23.

Despite winds out of the northwest that ranged indiscriminately from 3 to 20 knots, Australia managed to get both sailors on the trapeze during most of their tacking up the beach. Australia took an inside like around the often dangers Frying Pan Shoals at Cape Fear, a move that paid off with much faster sailing speeds.

Today's approximately 70-mile run to Atlantic Beach will start with northerly winds ranging from 10 to 18 mph, making for another zig-zag run up the beach.

Australia increased its overall lead of about five hours over Cat in the Hat and 11½ hours over TCDYC to a margin of nearly 6½ and 19, respectively.

Team Australia is taking aim at the Worrell 1000 record overall time of 71:32:55 set in the last race in 2002 by Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston, sailing for Team Alexander's on the Bay. That race was started at Miami Beach, making their run about 24 miles longer. Team Australia has an overall time of 48:49:07 heading into today's leg.

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

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