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J-Class Worlds - Hanuman and Lionheart tied for lead

With owner driven Lionheart winning Thursday's first contest and Topaz the second, Hanuman is now tied for the lead of the J-Class World Championship with Lionheart after 5 races.Hanuman -

Lionheart were only three points behind regatta leaders Hanuman going into Races 4 and 5 of the championship.

The team lead by Bouwe Bekking won the first windward-leeward and then battled to third place in a second race which saw Hanuman, skippered and steered by Kenny Read, dramatically penalised during the top mark approach of the second beat.

Hanuman's resulting fifth costs them their clear overall lead in the no-discard championship series which completes Saturday and it now sees them tied on 13 points with Lionheart, winners of both significant J Class regattas during the America's Cup in Bermuda in June.

Half of the six boat fleet have now scored a race win so far. Topaz's second race victory of the regatta promotes them to third overall, four points off the lead.

Click image for a larger image

Lionheart won the first race of the day, contested in 9-10kts of SW'ly breeze. Along with Svea they gained on the right, chasing Hanuman around the first windward mark.

Lionheart executed a smart gybe set and came in from the left of the downwind to make an equally tidy gybe drop and establish themselves on the preferred right.

They lead Hanuman through the finish line by 21 seconds with Svea holding on to third all the way through the race.

The Lionheart afterguard patience was slightly tested by their arch-rivals on the first beat of the second race.

On a right favoured upwind Bouwe Bekking and the Lionheart crew had to sit pinned by Hanuman until both title rivals lost out significantly to the pack on the right, Lionheart rounding the top mark in sixth.

But Lionheart's opportunity came around when Hanuman fouled.

Taking full advantage of their place gain they pressed hard and smart down the last run, pipping Svea to third on the approach to the finish.

It was a better day for the mighty Ranger holding fourth overall, returning a 3, 2, to keep them ahead of the newest team on the blocks, Svea but only on countback.

J-Class 2017 World Championship Overall leaders after five races, no discard

1st Hanuman 13 pts, (1,4,1,2,5)
2nd Lionheart 13 pts (3,3,3,1,3)
3rd Topaz 17 pts (4,1,6,5,1)
4th Ranger 20 pts (5,6,4,3,2)
5th Svea 20 pts (2,5,5,4,4)
6th Velsheda 22 pts (6,2,2,6,6)

Race 4
1 Lionheart
2 Hanuman
3 Ranger
4 Svea
5 Topaz
6 Velsheda

Race 5
1 Topaz
2 Ranger
3 Lionheart
4 Svea
5 Hanuman
6 Velsheda

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