Freddy Loof leads Star Western Hemisphere championship in Tampa Bay after day three 4/4/07

There’s no better feeling than being on the inside of a shift at the top of a leg. By the same token, your heart sinks when you’re caught on the outside.

Bermudians Peter Bromby and Bill McNiven and Norwegians Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pederson executed picture perfect starboard tack starts and the pin, tacked, crossed everyone on their hip and clearly had the lead off the line.

Americans Fotis Boliakis and Michael Nichol, Argentineans Fabian MacGowan and Federico Engelhard and Kiwis Rohan Lord and Miles Addy were just below Peter and Bill. As they reached the middle of the course, a huge left shift came through with Peter and Bill on the inside sailing 60-70 degrees higher on port tack than everyone to their right.

John MacCausland and Bob Schofield came from the middle right and got a private right hand lift within a hundred yards of the weather mark and forced Andy Macdonald and Mike Wolfs, who had played the left side of the first beat, to take their stern at the approach to the weather mark.

They rounded first and second with Peter and Bill and Fotis and Mike close behind. Eivind and Petter rounded 13th and Rohan and Miles rounded 18th. There were plenty of Olympic aspirants at the tail end of the fleet. During the next four legs the breeze built from below 4 knots to 9-10 knots and the rich got richer and those who were in the basement struggled to make gains.

The highlight of the regatta was watching Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom engage Andy Macdonald and Mike Wolfs in a tacking duel during last beat. Andy and Freddy spent a lot of time training together prior to the 2004 Olympic trials. Despite sailing their first regatta together, Andy and Mike took on the challenge and most importantly never lost sight of the layline to the finish. After nearly two dozen tacks, Freddy and Anders threw one last tack to the right and Andy and Mike headed off on starboard in a full hike to take the gun. John MacCausland and Bob Schofield sailed up the left side of the course to finish third, followed by Australians Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey and Bermudians Peter Bromby and Bill McNiven.

Freddy Loof, over twenty years younger than Andy Macdonald, admitted to Andy that he had gotten a workout during the tacking duel when he smiled and asked his friend, “Is your heart rate up?”

Results (race 3)
1. Macdonald/Wolfs
2. Loof/Ekstrom
3. MacCausland/Scofield
4. Murray/Palfrey
5. Bromby/McNiven
6. Kohlhas/Scott
7. MacGowan/Englehard
8. Melleby/Pederson
9. Zambella/Costa
10. Anderson/Morey