by Dan Ibsen
Following last week’s fantastic launch of the British Challenge for the Americas Cup, there has been lots of stories especially about the Team New Zealand, the protocol, funding, sponsors etc.
Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand Managing Director talks to media at a press conference at the team's base in Auckland. 13/6/2014
After a period with harsh criticism of the AC35 protocol, Team NZ suddenly came out with a message that the Cup is winnable under the new protocol.
None of the other Challengers, including Sir Ben Ainslie, have officially commented on the protocol so far, and it may seem wise not to involve in a lot of debate at this time, until everybody have had sufficient time to explore the protocol and the different amendments that already has been published, and there could be more amendments to follow.
Another thing is that there in principle not is much to discuss now the Protocol has been published, after having been agreed by the Challenger of Record and the defending Cup holder. This is the way the Cup works.
It already seems obvious that San Francisco is out of the game as host city in 2017, and it has been announced that one more city is expected to be dropped end June. Read all the continuous stories at the website.
On the national scene we saw the most sensational finish in the 13-year history of the RORC IRC National Championship played out in the central Solent.
In the tightly packed combat zone, the prize of overall national champion was decided in the ninth and final race of the series. Three yachts swapped the overall lead during the last three races. Keeping in clear air and playing the shifts were the big factors towards a top performance but maintaining concentration, in an adrenalin packed final day, was just all important.
Royal Southern ISAF Grade 2 Match Cup 2014 - When two of the world's best match-racers go head-to-head the smallest edge can be decisive - and so it proved in the final. The two top ISAF seeds at the event - Britain's four-time World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams, number two in the world, and rising Australian star Keith Swinton, number seven - battled it out under leaden skies but with a solid Solent breeze, and it was the young man from Perth and his Team Alpari FX crew who claimed The Boysterous Trophy with a decisive two-zero scoreline.
The week before Williams claimed the victory in Match Race Germany, winning over Swinton in the finals. Williams was very positive about the event at the Solent and said: 'The Match Cup is great news for British match-racing, and British sailing actually, to have a top level match-racing event in the UK.'
The going was slow for all three IMOCA 60s that completed the course, as hot, sticky air dominated the past several days' of sailing. Fortunately, a front blew through the area on Saturday night, offering cooler temps and better breeze for the final sprint to the finishing line.
But the finish became more dramatic than expected, when Hugo Boss picked up the winner’s baton after Safran was forced to retire when her skipper Marc Guillemot was injured on the approach to the Strait. This brought Hugo Boss into the lead and they stayed in front until the finish in Barcelona. Read the winners story, inside.
Meanwhile, across the Mediterranean from Barcelona in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, the racing action has been hot at the Audi TP52 Worlds, where the American-flagged 'Quantum Racing' claimed the regatta's grand prize, followed by 'Phoenix' and 'Ran Racing'.
Quantum Racing win the title for the fourth time, following up from 2008 in Lanzarote, 2010 in Valencia and 2011, also in Porto Cervo.
The coming weekend the world largest sailing event, Kielerwoche will start with all the Olympic Classes in the first part of the event, and the other international classes in the second half of next week.
Stay up with the latest sailing news, as it happens, on our websites www.sail-world.com/uk and www.sail-world.com/europe
Dan Ibsen, Sail-World UK editor