Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Fisher's View- Watching the breeze die.' - America's Cup WS - Day 3

by Bob Fisher on 19 Apr 2013
Skipper Ben Ainslie of J.P. Morgan Bar uses a very sensitive touch on the tiller as he brings his team to victory winning the day placing first on the first day of racing at the ACWS in Naples Italy April 8, 2013

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Naples, Italy for the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Day 3: Wednesday in Naples
Thursday in Naples – Race Day One

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] Sunshine and 10-12 knot breezes endorsed the choice of Naples as the venue for the last of the America’s Cup World Series regattas – at least for the opening day, for the winds in Naples Bay have a reputation for being notoriously fickle. One old salt once expressed this graphically by altering an age-old instruction to 'See Naples and watch the breeze die.' And it did, during the races with patches of no more than four knots and huge shifts of up to 40 degrees.

The first match, between China Team and HS Team, wasn’t. The China Team just didn’t compete. In the next, there was plenty of action. Yann Guichard shut out Ben Ainslie at the start, holding BAR, the windward boat, away from the line and went into a ten second lead by the leeward gate. Guichard tacked and went left while Ainslie held on and went right.

There was more wind on the right and Ainslie, uncovered, went in front by nine seconds at the windward mark – the Frenchman paid the ultimate match racing penalty of failing to cover. Ainslie stretched that lead downwind to finish 15 seconds clear.

The second quarter-final match was every bit as exciting with the more experienced Chris Draper in Luna Rossa – Piranha totally shutting out newcomer Charlie Eckberg in Artemis at the start, going into an immediate four length lead. Then Draper failed to cover downwind and the Swedish team took over the front running, but at the next mark there was a strange move when a crewman fended off the mark!

That was passed but when the two boats came together and with Luna Rossa on starboard tack having to alter course to avoid the Swede. It was a close call and Draper maybe exaggerated the course alteration. He later admitted: 'There might have been a little Hollywood in that!' That eventually brought a penalty to put Draper in front and with very little left of the race, Draper sailed away to a 37 second victory and a place in the semi-finals.

In the first fleet race, Tom Slingsby with Oracle showed his talent to lead around the first mark narrowly from Chris Draper with Luna Rossa – Piranha. Dean Barker and the ETNZ crew were up and challenging early as they went for the leeward gate and moved up to second, eleven seconds behind Draper. Ben Ainslie’s BAR was back of the pack at this stage.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]Draper went hard right while Slingsby went offshore with ETNZ and at the windward mark Oracle tacked ahead of the Kiwis to lead by 26 seconds with Draper dropping to third ahead of Ainslie. Then Slingsby made one mistake and crossed over the boundary – the ensuing penalty allowed Barker to go to the front.

On subsequent rounds, Barker made no errors and went on to win from Slingsby while Ainslie found more pressure than his rivals to move into third place ahead of Draper with Luna Rossa – Piranha. His teammate, Francesco Bruni, was fifth with Luna Rossa – Swordfish to give the local crowd something to cheer even more enthusiastically about.

There was very little time before the second fleet race was underway and at the start Ainslie and Bruni chose the leeward end of the line and were overlapped around the first turn, but after the short downwind leg, the British skipper and his highly experienced Oracle crew, was well clear of Luna Rossa – Piranha with the Energy Team of Yann Guichard and Barker in ETNZ providing the best opposition.

Ainslie’s sailing was a joyous sight and the way he and his crew communicated was exemplary. It was not surprising therefore that J.P.Morgan BAR stretched away from the rest to finish a full minute clear. It gave Ainslie top billing for the day with a 3,1 score, just one point clear of Barker with ETNZ on 1,4, in turn one point clear of Draper on 4,2.


© This report and images are copyright to Bob Fisher, Linda Wright and Sail-World.com and may not be republished without permission

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Zhik Yachting 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016