- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Despite his yacht grounding on an uncharted, underwater obstacle, Minneapolis skipper Hap Fauth and his Bella Mente crew continue to lead the IRC 1 class at the Quantum Key West sailing regatta off the Florida Keys.

Tactician Terry Hutchinson said the Wednesday grounding damaged the boat’s keel. The boat finished last in two races, but officials gave Bella Mente a “redress,” averaging points of the first four races to give the boat 1.25 points for both Wednesday races.

Even though Numbers, with Gunter Buerman of Highland Beach, Florida, at the helm, won both races, Bella Mente holds a 4.5-point lead entering Thursday and Friday’s final races. Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris of Framingham, Massachusetts, is in third.

Hutchinson said the crew will work through early Thursday to repair the damage.

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Online: Quantum Key West, http://www.premiere-racing.com

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