Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Fisher's View- Day 4 ACWS Venice - Big crowds for slow day in Venice

by Bob Fisher on 21 May 2012
Final day in Venice. Luna Rossa - Swordfish Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.com

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Venice, Italy for the fifth 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.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 4 - America's Cup World Series - Venice, Italy

The America's Cup World Series is not the only spectacle in town - there is also the Festa della Sensa, an annual festival held on Ascension Day. It is one of the city's best-known festivals of its thousand-year history. It began in 1000 AD and the second event was 177 years later and has been held annually since. It is the rite of the 'Wedding with the Sea,' when the Mayor of Venice throws a symbolic gold ring into the sea.

Hoards of boats, mostly propelled by oars gathered in the basin off St. Marks and there was a regatta for two-oared and four-oared gondolas - not the big black ones that young lovers chose to take for sight-seeing, but brightly coloured light shells. They formed an impressive sight as they gathered early in the morning. After the racing, the boats paraded to the church of St. Nicolo at the Lido, close to the finishing line of the races, for a special service. AC45s made an appearance in the basin before the racing.

The ACWS has certainly captured the imagination of the Venetians. For Saturday's racing there were in excess of a thousand spectator boats (counted from helicopter-shot images) and over 100,000 spectators along the shoreline. The attendance in the AC Village was 14,500 and you can take it from me that that was probably understated - it was extremely crowded.

The day's activities for the AC45s began with a series of speed (trials) - the wind Gods were not cooperating with the competitors and even the top speed was low.

Final speeds in knots'

Luna Rossa - Piranha 13.39
Energy Team 13.00
Luna Rossa - Swordfish 12.75
Emirates Team New Zealand 9.19
Artemis 8.52
Oracle Team - Spithill 8.04
Oracle Team – Bundock 7.75
Team Korea 7.12
China Team 7.01

This was followed by the final of the Match Racing Championship of Venice, a single race affair, between Terry Hutchinson's crew in Artemis Racing and the local favourite, Luna Rossa - Piranha, skippered by Chris Draper, fresh from his speed trial success.

Hutchinson, coming into the start box on starboard, gained the upper hand and crossed the start line with a two-boat lead. From there, Draper, fought hard but never managed to close the gap, finishing half a minute behind. It further improved Artemis Racing's overall position at the top of the season's match racing championship.



Fleet Race

This was a desperately light-air race and the master of catamaran racing, Loick Peyron, gave his competitors a master-class in the art and skills of sailing these boats - it was pretty to behold, except from the aspect of the other eight teams. At the third mark, he was almost a whole leg ahead of the next boat, Jimmy Spithill with Oracle Team -Spithill. Behind them, there was a log-jam at the mark with multiple penalties from inevitable collisions. Artemis Racing was the first of the rest to get clear, then ETNZ and Oracle Racing - Bundock.

At one stage, Peyron led by seven minutes.

The wind fell lighter and lighter as the race progressed and boat speeds were well down - not the spectacle that the organisers, or the crowd lining the shore, had hoped. Five knots was a good speed and while initially the gaps had been big, they reduced in size towards the end with Oracle Team - Spithill closing the gap to the leader on every leg. What had been more than 500 metres, slowly came down to just 1:41 at the last mark. Peyron appeared to be dead in the water and it needed all his undoubted skill to stay in fron. He finally achieved this by blocking Spithill on the last gybe in to the line to take the winning gun by a nine second margin.

Eventually, only two other boats finished the race within the time limit, Artemis Racing narrowly beat Emirates Team New Zealand

Results:
Fleet Race:

1. Energy Team
2. Oracle Team USA - Spithill
3. Artemis Racing
4. Emirates Team New Zealand

2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (after five of six events)
1. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…84 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand…80 points
3. Artemis Racing…71 points
4. Energy Team…65 points
5. Team Korea…56 points
6. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…53 points
7. Luna Rossa Piranha…34 points
8. China Team…31 points
9. Luna Rossa Swordfish…21 points

AC World Series Venice Fleet Racing Championship – Final Leaderboard
1. Energy Team…74 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…58 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand…54 points
4. Artemis Racing…52 points
5. Luna Rossa Piranha…43 points
6. Luna Rossa Swordfish…43 points
7. Team Korea…37 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…22 points
9. China Team…18 points

AC World Series Venice Match Racing Championship
Final Match: Artemis Racing defeated Luna Rossa - Piranha; 1-0
1. Artemis Racing
2. Luna Rossa Piranha
3. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill
4. Energy Team
5. Emirates Team New Zealand
6. Team Korea
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock
9. China Team
*The losers of the Semi Final and Quarter Final matches have been assigned final finishing positions (3rd through 9th) in the Match Racing Championship as per the Sailing Instructions.

Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar