Fisher is winner for day in Lightning


ANNAPOLIS -- It was another day unseasonable northeasterlies of widely varying speeds, as the fifth race of a scheduled six-race series was completed yesterday in the 16th biennial Lightning World Championship Regatta.

George Fisher of Columbus, Ohio was the winner for the day among the 39 top international teams from the United States, Canada, South America and Europe. Fisher, a veteran of 43 years in the Lightning class, capitalized on a wind shift to the left on the last leg of the race.

"It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Fisher said. "We were running fourth or fifth the whole race until the last leg, when we picked up the three in front of us. We were lucky. Maybe 200 yards earlier or 200 yards later on the course and we wouldn't have done so well. I really had good crew work, though. That has been a tremendous help."

Sailing with Fisher in the regatta are Rene duPoque of New Orleans and Scott Taylor of Annapolis, a strong one-design competitor best known for his work in the Snipe class.

"We used the first two days for practice," Taylor said jokingly, explaining that the crew never had sailed together before the first race of the regatta.

"Actually, the nice thing for us is that we've had good boat speed all week, and we finally put together a good race," Taylor said.

Fisher said it was "very advantageous" to have Taylor aboard to advise him on local conditions. "He's familiar with the current," Fisher said, "and he kept me going the right way today."

The regatta jury, startling some competitors and provoking a flurry of protest hearings yesterday afternoon, reinstated all 10 of the premature starters in Wednesday's race on grounds that the Race Committee had been about 30 seconds late in posting the individual recall flag at the start.

To avoid penalizing the proper starters, however, the jury ruled that the premature starters would be scored with their respective finish positions but that the others would retain their scores as if there had been no reinstatement.

With only today's race left in the series and a worst-race throw-out to be calculated into the final scores after it is completed, Newport, R.I., sailmaker Brad Read, who is in second in the fleet after five races without a drop, retains a three-point lead after a throw-out over David Deleinbaugh of Connecticut

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