Read keeps Lightning lead after 4 races


ANNAPOLIS -- In dying northeasterlies, series leader Bradford Read of Newport, R.I., beat 38 other top international sailors to win yesterday's 10-mile Olympic course race, the fourth in the 16th biennial Lightning World Championship Regatta.

Sailing with Read in his 19-foot classic sloop are bowman Betsy Allison, a past Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and Harwood native Terry Hutchinson, a two-time Collegiate Sailor of the Year now associated with Shore Sails Midwest in Traverse City, Mich., as tactician.

"It was a long race," Hutchinson said. "We played the middle road and got to the top mark in fourth. On the second beat, the wind was lighter and shiftier, and we got into second, but we didn't really gain any on the guy in first, which was [Ohio sailor] Matt Fisher. Then the breeze filled in again from behind on the reach, and it was pretty much a sailboat race again. On the last leg, it was more staying in the breeze line as it was dying. About 200 yards from the finish, the breeze filled back in again and we were able to pass the other boats. It was real scary. We told ourselves we were either going to win this race or come in last."

Fisher, like nine other skippers yesterday, was called over the line early at the start and disqualified. At least two of them filed for reinstatement of their finishes, and the resulting protest hearings went on well into the evening.

"We've got two more races to go," Hutchinson said. "Anything can still happen. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing."

Racing will continue out of Severn Sailing Association through tomorrow, with a possible makeup day set for Saturday if the final two races cannot be completed by that time. A worst-race throw-out will be deducted from the final scoring when the series reaches six races.

Series standings: 1) US 14296, Bradford Read, 18 pts. (6-6-5-1); 2) US 11346, David Dellenbaugh, 27 pts. (7-2-10-8); 3) US 11739, Keith Taboada, 32 pts. (4-17-7-4); 4) KC 14499, Larry MacDonald, 36 pts. (9-13-1-13); 5) US 14441, Jody Lutz, 39 pts. (12-11-11-5).

Race No. 4: 1) US 14296, Bradford Read; 2) US 14405, Greg Fisher; 3) US 14355, Bram Palm; 4) US 11739, Keith Taboada; 5) US 14441, Jody Lutz.

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