American crews led the way in both races on the first day of the BMW J/24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club today (Monday 26th). After a two-hour delay for wind, the 40-boat fleet finally got away for the first race in a light but testing easterly breeze. First blood went to Tony Parker and his crew from Annapolis who experienced the Howth waters a week earlier at the Irish National Championship. Fellow American Keith Whittemore from Seattle, who also sailed in the Irish event, followed him home in second place while defending World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil finished third, ahead of leading UK entry Ian Southworth. American crews again led the way in the second race, with line honours going to former North American Champion Travis Odenbach from Rochester, with Whittemore second again and Santa Cruz taking another third spot. Newport’s Tim Healy took fifth to make it three US boats in the top five. After two races, Whittemore leads the overall rankings by two points from the Brazilians, with Britain’s Ian Southworth (with a 4th and 7th) third. Leading Irish boat is ‘Stouche’ (Darrer/Murphy) from the host club, whose 10th and 8th place finishes have put them 7th overall. For complete information, click here to visit the regatta website.