Bella Mente holds slight lead in Key West regatta

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) Minneapolis skipper Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente, has a slight lead over Numbers in the IRC 1 class entering Friday’s final races at the five-day Quantum Key West sailing regatta.

Following Thursday’s two races, Numbers, skippered by Gunter Buerman of Highland Beach, Florida, was tied with Bella Mente, but a tiebreaker rule gave Fauth the edge.

Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris of Framingham, Massachusetts, is in third.

During Wednesday’s first race, Bella Mente grounded on a shipwreck.

Afterward, tactician Terry Hutchinson persuaded officials that Bella Mente shouldn’t be penalized because the wreck was not on their chart. But early Thursday, the other two crews had the decision reversed, proving the wreck was charted and pointed out an event official had cited the obstacle at a pre-race meeting.

Bella Mente relinquished a sizeable advantage.

Online: Quantum Key West,