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J-Class World Championship - Hanuman and Topaz are winners

Hanuman open up their leading margin at the J Class World Championship in Newport RI to three points ahead of the consistent Lionheart.

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Hanuman lead across the finish line at the conclusion of a thrillingly tight first windward-leeward of the day.

But so closely were the chasing pack snapping at their heels that they dropped to fourth on corrected time.

Topaz won their first race ever when they held off Velsheda by just seven seconds, while Lionheart's margin for third over Hanuman was just two seconds.

Since being launched in 2015, Topaz has only raced at the Saint Barth's Bucket regatta in the Caribbean twice, in 2016 and this year, before competing at both the Bermuda J Class events in June.

There was not as much doubt in the second contest.

After breaking clear of Velsheda which were overlapped with them at the first windward mark, Hanuman gradually eked out their lead to finish one minute and 17 seconds ahead of the championship's sole 'original' J Class.

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Topaz blotted their copybook when they had to take an expensive penalty on the first beat of the second race for tacking in front of Lionheart, going on to finish sixth,

Hanuman's crew work was slick, pushing their sail handling technology to the maximum. Hanuman in particular successfully run with a furling headsail and with a dousing sock on their massive spinnakers.

In this fleet Hanuman's three point lead is nothing, winners of the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta and the America's Cup J Class Regatta Lionheart, are poised in second and Velsheda lie third, having been second and first at the first turn of today's races.

For Thursday, the third racing day of the first ever J Class World Championship, the forecast is for lighter airs before the breezes are set to strengthen once more for Friday and Saturday.

J Class World Championship after 3 races

1st Hanuman 1 4 1 - 6 pts
2nd Lionheart 3 3 3 - 9 pts
3rd Velsheda 6 2 2 - 10 pts
4th Topaz 4 1 6 - 11 pts
5th Svea 2 5 5 - 12 pts
6th Ranger 5 6 4 - 15 pts

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G New
24 August 2017 7:01 GMT


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