Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

America's Cup- Team Korea now 4th in World Championship

by Cliff Webb on 21 Nov 2011
San Diego America’s Cup World Series - Racing Day 5 - Fleet Race ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

‘Super Sunday’ it was, with a thrilling fleet race in the America’s Cup World Championships San Diego, that set the adrenaline pumping as Team Korea pushed the world’s top stars for the lead around the race track.

A superb effort from Chris Draper and the crew lived up to the mantra of the ‘best sailors on the fastest boats’, with valuable Championship points at stake as the wind picked up on cue in San Diego Bay for the final day of the regatta.

Darren Bundock of Australia posted the fastest speed of 26.8 knots for Oracle Racing Coutts in an exciting prequel for the AC500 Speed Trials, though Korea were way off the pace in this fun 500m blast, coming last and over 2 knots slower, having suffered a lull in the breeze approaching the start of both timed runs. That proved fortuitous however, as the crew decided to change to their big gennaker for the main fleet race ahead.

Team Korea’s day had started with a display of an ancient traditional Korean art form, involving dancing, drumming and playing instruments called Punmul, performed in front of the team base by a local Troupe of high school students living in San Diego. With the world’s press watching, the shore and sailing crew joined together to enjoy this entertaining cultural display, before refocusing their minds to the race ahead.

As the nine boats lined up for the start, none pushed the line too early so it was an unusual clean start, and Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker got a flyer as they tore down the short reach at full speed, the pack reeling off behind them in close order. Korea’s Skipper Chris Draper chose to gybe wide of the melee ahead and rounded fifth, taking a higher angle into the run downwind.


At the leeward gate Korea rounded fifth behind the Kiwis and chose the left side of the beat with most of the fleet, but Artemis of Sweden went right and enjoyed a huge lift that saw them take the lead, then cede it to Energy Team from France in what was developing into a super close race. We’ve seen before in these long races with a decent breeze, that Korea’s White Tiger can be on the pace with the best, and so it was again. Picking off places upwind, Draper smoothly guided their AC45 into third place, enjoying a battle with Energy and New Zealand, Aleph of France and Artemis, the first six closely grouped. It was rounding the windward gate that Oracle Spithill got away from the pack with a great move between the approaching boats, rounding the mark at speed.

Now Korea was flying downwind, the choice of gennaker paying handsomely, clawing places again and moving right up to a battle with the kiwis, alternating between second and third place with them and Artemis. Rounding gate 4 Korea slipped into second and in trying to call for an overlap at the mark, Artemis wrapped their jib forcing them to almost stop to untangle it. The contest with Korea, New Zealand and Energy intensified from there, each within a few seconds of the other in what had now developed into an enthralling race.

Approaching the final gate at the top of the course, Korea was third and just 5 seconds adrift of the kiwis, hot on their tail, Spithill now clear and gone down the track. Downwind to the final mark it was real neck and neck, full tilt racing, but Draper opted to gybe away, then soon gybes back and – disaster. On board the gennaker sheet became tangled and second by second, meter by meter the white tiger slowed, unable to crank the large gennaker up. First Energy pass, then Aleph and agonisingly, 20 seconds too late, Korea was on the move again. But there was no way back, the moment had passed, once again illustrating how just one mistake is the difference between a win and a loss, Team Korea finishing fifth.

Skipper Chris Draper said afterwards, ‘’we sailed a good race, in fact I am pleased with how we sailed all week, we just haven’t had the ‘run of the green’. I am proud with how we are sailing, and we can leave with some real positives, as we have done with the last few events. Obviously we have been very frustrated at times, the margins are so close in this, and we had a few problems with the spinnaker sheets this week which we need to address. That’s been the difference between qualifying for the Match race finals and having a 2 or a 3 today. We have an opportunity to catch up with the leaders with some training, and we’re now seeing there are a few of us pushing the racing hard already. The future looks really bright for the team, and it’s an exciting time for Team Korea’’.

CEO Kim Dong Young said, ‘’It was a brilliant race today, and I am a little upset that we made a mistake on the final run when we could have finished second behind Oracle. The team is sailing very well generally, and overall I am happy with the way they have done after the three regattas considering where we came from. We started with no experience as a new team ahead of Portugal just 4 months ago, and it is really amazing how well we have done and come together. To be fighting New Zealand, Artemis and Oracle like this, we could never have believed that going into the first World series event, but we need to keep pushing and keep improving from here’’.

So Team Korea, the newcomers in their first year continue to impress at world level, and now with the combined results of both Fleet Racing and Match Racing together, half way through the AC series is in a remarkable equal fourth overall in the world. The next ACWS event is April next year in Naples, Italy, followed by Venice, also in Italy, before the 2011-12 World Series finals in Newport, R.I., USA.

North Technology - Southern SparsInSunSport - NZNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr