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by Ian Grant on 17 Dec 2000
Wind velocity and clear front line starting positions will be the key to deciding the 2000 Telstra Cup yacht racing championships in four highly competitive classes off Sydney Heads today.

In each case the class title trophies will be decided by a careful rule infringement free race strategy and a clear wind and water start.

The title result in the Farr 40 One-design class where World champion John Calvert-Jones and his Southern Star 2 team leads the consistent Buon Giorno (Steve Ellis) by a relatively comfortable four points will be decided over two windward leeward races while the Sydney 38, IRC and IMS classes will compete over a 20 to 34 n/ml ocean race.

Grant Simmer the America's Cup winning navigator from the Australia 11 crew has played a big role in Southern Star 2 leading the battle for the intensely competitive Farr 40 One Design title.

Surprisingly Sourthern Star 2 has not won a heat but the consistent speed and near perfect race tactics employed by Simmer yesterday to allow skipper John Calvert-Jones to record a 2-2-2 has proved important.

Interest in the IRC class focuses on Neville Crichton's speed sailing New Zealand Maxi Shockwave which has overcome a huge time correction factor of 1.530 to lead the pointscore by one point over the Sydney Swan 46 Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) rating 1.144 with the small Queensland Mumm 30 Addiction (Stewart Lewis) third with her 1.090 rating.

Shockwave has the sail power in all range of conditions from light to fresh winds which she proved in yesterdays race 5 to seal the line honours trophy with a perfect score after gaining a commanding win on corrected time.

A similar weather forecast to yesterday favours Shockwave to add the Telstra Cup to her impressive list of titles including the Hamilton Island Race Week and Canon Big Boat Challenge.

Yendy's the Geoff Ross skippered 1999 Sydney-Hobart champion holds a narrow one point lead in the IMS Division over the Nips n Tux (Howard De Torres) and Loco (David Coe).

Skipper Ross who is using this short course championship to refine crew skills for the defence of the Sydney-Hobart trophy starting on Boxing Day has the edge.

The title struggle to decide the Sydney 38 class title between the Sydney Team Sail sloop Th E Business (Vaughan Stibbard) and the Victorian veteran Lou Abrahams in Another Challenge will be played out on the waters off Sydney Heads today.

Abrahams has improved his pointscore as the title has progressed however Th E Business which has won three of the six races already decided has a 2 point lead which could prove to be the title winning edge.

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