Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of Kiwi Yachting Consultants Nexus AB?nid=88414, reports from Plymouth, England from the America's Cup World Series, in which he is helms Emirates Team NZ . 11 - 12 September 2011: AC45 in Plymouth - Day 1
We have now been in Plymouth, UK for 4 days now and it would be fair to say it has been a little grey. We are assured we will see some better weather next week which is all good news.
Plymouth plays host to the 2nd AC45 event and another opportunity to get out and do some racing. We have had 2 practice days and today was the first day of the Preliminaries with three 20 minute fleet races and followed up with the speed trial.
We had a good day on the water today with a 1,3,1 scoreline to lead with 28 points. It felt like our speed was really good and in the 2nd race we recovered from a bad start to get a solid third.
The speed trial was again some good fun although a bit more breeze would have been nice. We managed to finish 2nd in this which was a good but always a little bit of luck goes a long way if you can get a puff straight off the line.
Tomorrow the forecast is for some pretty strong breeze. The organisers hope to run a 40 min fleet race to finish off the Preliminary event. Should keep everyone on their toes!
All for now AC45 in Plymouth - Day 2
Exciting day on the water in Plymouth
Today was the final day of the Preliminary event ini the AC45 event here in Plymouth. The fleet had a 40 minute fleet race followed by the speed trial to end the day.
The breeze was up a notch on yesterday with winds gusting up over 30 knots at a couple of points. In general the racing was sailed in mid to high 20's which kept everyone on their toes as this is very much top end for these boats.
We had an OK start and rounded the first mark 4th. We managed to pull back a few places and by halfway up the 1st windward leg were very close with Artemis and Oracle 4 in a battle for the lead. Artemis tried a lee-bow tack but we managed to slip through to leeward and hit the lead. Unfortunately in the process Artemis hit us but only did a small amount of damage.
Oracle just led us around the top mark and we had a very exciting downwind. We had a close battle up the next beat but lost some ground when we stuffed a tack. All in all it was a good race and in these testing conditions you see where the big opportunities lie for improvement. Certainly a lot we can do better around the course.
During the race three boats capsized which showed how close to the edge these boats can be. Fortunately no one was injured.
The speed trial was more a battle of attrition with only three boats able to complete the run.
We now have a couple of non race days to prepare for the main event starting again Wednesday. After a day like today there is plenty of work for all the shore teams.
All for now
Dean To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog click here?nid=88414