Jory Twist of the host Newport Harbor Yacht Club finished first in both races Tuesday to take the lead in the Sears Trophy competition in the four-person Etchells 22 class at the U.S. Yacht Racing Union/Rolex Junior Sailing Championships off Newport Beach.
But Twist's lead in the competition is contingent upon the ruling of a protest filed after a collision during the second of Tuesday's Etchells 22 class races, the third and fourth in the series.
Twist, Orange County's only entry, was in third place going into Tuesday's races.
One of the protests involved the class' first- and second-place boats skippered, respectively, by Scott Elting of Houston Yacht Club, and Manning Montagnet of Pass Christian Yacht Club, Miss. Four boats are affected by the protest and the outcome of the ruling could have a major effect on the class' standings.
Jonathan Mosely of St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco and Sam Vineyard of Beverly (Mass.) Yacht Club collided in the fourth race.
Competition in the Laser and Flying Junior classes was completed without incident. Monday's Laser class leader, David Houser of Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego, fell to second place. First place went to Mike Hare of Houston Yacht Club.
"I didn't do so well today because I couldn't always follow the wind shifts and I got caught going the wrong way too often," Houser said. "My best leg was upwind."
Hare, sailing a single-handed Laser, won two races and was was second in another Tuesday to lead the Smythe fleet.
Hare said the conditions were perfect. "It was shifty, but not so shifty that I couldn't predict it. I was very fast downwind, but I really did well by taking advantage of the mistakes of others."
In the Flying Junior class, which went off without incident, Bill Hardesty of Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, who Monday was tied for first with Jesse Andrews, took the lead. Andrews of American Yacht Club, Rye, N.Y., took second.
"We had really good speed upwind and had a long upwind leg," Hardesty said. "And we have more experience sailing in swells and know how to handle them."
Andrews, who is sailing unfamiliar waters, said he had difficulty with the swells and lost boat speed as a result. Gately Ross, crew for Andrews, said the duo also had too much weight for the Flying Junior class.
Competitors described sailing conditions on the course as perfect with westerly winds 8 to 10 knots and flat seas.
Races continue through Friday, when the winners will be determined based upon round-robin, low-point scoring system. Winners will become part of the 1990 U.S. Junior sailing team.
Times staff writer Rich Roberts contributed to this story.