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USF, Eckerd women reach sailing finals

Sailing

USF, Eckerd women trail in TITLE EVENT

Dartmouth leads Boston College by five points, 72-77, after the first six races of the women's final of the College Sailing Spring National Championships on Wednesday off St. Petersburg on Tampa Bay. USF St. Petersburg is 12th (112 points) and Eckerd 13th (115) in the field of 18 teams to qualify for the championship.

A lack of morning wind forced the cancellation of the six semifinal races. Eckerd (third place) and USF (sixth) had earned enough points in earlier racing to finish in the top nine that advanced to the finals.

"We finished semis great," Eckerd coach Kevin Reali said. "We will need to eliminate costly mistakes like penalties and bad starts. The last set of the day, Races 5 and 6, went much better. If we can control our mistakes, then we will improve."

Six finals races in the A and B divisions were completed, with racing scheduled to continue today near the Sunshine Skyway bridge around noon. (standings, 5C)

More sailing: A group of sailing experts released 37 recommendations they say will increase safety in the America's Cup, which is set to take place on the wind-raked San Francisco Bay this summer. Among the recommendations are equipping crews with body armor, hands-free breathing apparatus and high visibility helmets. The group also suggests a flexible start time for the race, based on wind and projected tidal flows, wind limits and a safe buffer zones around course boundaries and obstructions. The recommendations come after a member of the Artemis Racing crew died when the catamaran he was on capsized during a training run on May 9.

Tennis

More ailing men bail on French

Seventh-ranked Juan Martin del Potro and two Americans became the latest men's players to withdraw from the upcoming French Open.

Del Potro said he has not fully recovered from a respiratory virus. Brian Baker withdrew because he is not healthy enough after a recent operation on his right knee, and Mardy Fish is unfit because of heart problems.

U.S. Open champion Andy Murray pulled out Tuesday because of a chronic back injury.

Nice Open: American Sam Querrey reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in France, beating Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-5, 6-3. Querrey plays Edouard Roger-Vasselin next. Robin Haase ousted Tampa resident John Isner 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

Et cetera

CYCLING: Giovanni Visconti won the 133-mile 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia to Vicenza and Vincenzo Nibali retained his overall lead of 1:26 over Cadel Evans.

Horses: The British Horseracing Authority banned Irish jockey Eddie Ahern for 10 years for violating corruption rules. Ahern, 35, was guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to bets placed on five horses between September 2010 and February 2011. Owner Neil Clement was banned 15 years for charges linked to the same races.

Soccer: A day after New York City FC was born, former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna was named director of football and tasked with putting together the on-field staff and roster for MLS's 2015 season. … Players and officials from Roma and Lazio met with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in a peace initiative before the Italian Cup final between the two bitter rivals.

Paul Perry, Times correspondent; Times wires

USF, Eckerd women reach sailing finals 05/22/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:44am]

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