by Bob Fisher
On the wharf, in the rain - A wet welcome to America’s Cup World Series, San Diego, Day 1
Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Diego for the Third round of the America's Cup World Series.
Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.
Dear Diary – Day 1 - America's Cup World Series - San Diego, California, USA
'It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours.'
And so it was today on the AC World Series race course in San Diego inside the harbour where it was held for the benefit of the spectators and despite the inclemency of the weather, there was a goodly sprinkling of spectators.
What did they see? A massive recovery in the first race by Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand from DNDFL (Damn nearly dead flipping last) and DFL respectively at the third leeward gate to finish first and second. This Lazarus-like recovery was the result of going to the opposite side of the course to all the other seven competitors, picking up one shaft of breeze in the otherwise breathless conditions.
'We’ll take whatever we can get when it’s like that,' said Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson. The conditions were very difficult. 'it was almost impossible to see the wind, such as it was, on the water,' said Chris Draper, the skipper of Team Korea, 'the rain wiped out the usual tell-tale signs.'
New boy on the block, Darren Bundock, in charge of Oracle Racing No.5, formerly skippered by Russell Coutts, was full of praise for the AC-45s: 'It’s like sailing a Tornado or any responsive catamaran,' he said, 'the wing gives great power even in the lightest breezes.'
And the breezes were at their lightest, although the AC-45s displayed that they met their requirements to be capable of racing in 3-30 knots, lifting their hulls and hitting 12-14 knots in the few puffs of 6-7 knots.
The second race saw the two Tornado champions, Andreas Hagara (China Team) and Darren Bundock, stride to the front in the shorter race. 'We’ll take that win,' said Hagara, 'maybe there will be more.' The China Team lies third overall one point behind ETNZ and Artemis, who respectively finished third and fourth in the second race.
There is promise of more breeze and less rain for the second day of the Port Cities Challenge on Sunday. We all live in hope.