by Bob Fisher
Port Cities Challenge - America’s Cup World Series - Day 2, 13 November 2011
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 2 - America's Cup World Series - San Diego, California, USA
In a complete contrast to the previous day, there was a regular, albeit light, breeze in San Diego Bay for four races to complete the Ports Cities Challenge, the prequel to the upcoming America’s Cup World Series. It proved a triumph for Dean Barker and his crew of Emirates Team New Zealand with a 1-7-2-2 set of finishes to top the leader board.
The wind at no time exceeded 11 knots but boat speeds peaked at 17 knots in the fla water and there were many place changes, although in general the pecking order was relatively predictable. Consistency of performance provided the Kiwis with a seven point margin over Oracle Racing Spithill, who overtook Artemis in the final race.
It will not be a much-talked-about series but it did provide some excellent practice for the less experienced skippers and crews, like Yann Guichard, the skipper of the French Energy Team who completed the series with well-deserved victory. Fellow Frenchman Pierre Pennec also claimed a win for Aleph, in the second of the day’s races.
Very definitely the more experienced sailors displayed the control of the course that is so essential to avoid unnecessary loss of places and this was to prove the downfall of the China Team and Green Comm. China Team had won the second race the previous day, but made a poor showing with a sixth two sevenths and an eighth to have only Green Comm behind in the overall standings.
Perhaps the surprise of the series was the fall from grace of Oracle Racing Coutts, skippered by Darren Bundock who had one third and three eighths. Aleph edged out Team Korea by one point for fifth overall, while the Energy Team was one point behind third placed Artemis of Terry Hutchinson.
There are now two days for practice for the teams before the World Series begins in earnest. Many must make full use of the time available if they are to justify their presence to their sponsors.