SAILING : Patriot Holds Lead, but Faster Boats Are Closing

The larger, faster boats that started later were starting to pass the smaller, slower classes in the 37th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii Tuesday.

Jerry Montgomery's 40-foot Patriot from Alamitos Bay Yacht Club started last Wednesday and was still the pacesetter with 1,300 nautical miles to go in the 2,225-mile race but ran into light air and logged only 111 miles in the 24 hours preceding Tuesday morning's position reports. A flock of Friday starters figured to sweep past in the next two days.

Closest behind were Neil Barth's Excel 53 Persuasion from Newport Harbor YC at 1,377 and Hasso Plattner's Reichel/Pugh 50 Morning Glory from Kiel, Germany at 1,380--sailing within sight of each other in the IMS-A class--and Thursday starter Warspite, Kevin Meechan's Wylie 42 from Waikiki YC, at 1,379.

Bob Lane's Medicine Man, a Friday starter, perhaps noting Patriot's predicament, dived far south away from the direct course to Diamond Head, seeking stronger trade winds, and was 1,407 miles from the finish.

The ULDB 70s, last to start on Saturday, continued to make the best speed, with Roy Disney's Pyewacket leading John DeLaura's Silver Bullet by less than a mile with 1,523 to go.

John Kerslake's Kingfish, a Santa Cruz 40 from St. Francis YC, dropped out with a broken headstay, leaving 39 boats in the race.

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