Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 4

Fisher's View- Watching the breeze die.' - America's Cup WS - Day 3

by Bob Fisher on 19 Apr 2013
Skipper Ben Ainslie of J.P. Morgan Bar uses a very sensitive touch on the tiller as he brings his team to victory winning the day placing first on the first day of racing at the ACWS in Naples Italy April 8, 2013

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

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Day 3: Wednesday in Naples
Thursday in Naples – Race Day One

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] Sunshine and 10-12 knot breezes endorsed the choice of Naples as the venue for the last of the America’s Cup World Series regattas – at least for the opening day, for the winds in Naples Bay have a reputation for being notoriously fickle. One old salt once expressed this graphically by altering an age-old instruction to 'See Naples and watch the breeze die.' And it did, during the races with patches of no more than four knots and huge shifts of up to 40 degrees.

The first match, between China Team and HS Team, wasn’t. The China Team just didn’t compete. In the next, there was plenty of action. Yann Guichard shut out Ben Ainslie at the start, holding BAR, the windward boat, away from the line and went into a ten second lead by the leeward gate. Guichard tacked and went left while Ainslie held on and went right.

There was more wind on the right and Ainslie, uncovered, went in front by nine seconds at the windward mark – the Frenchman paid the ultimate match racing penalty of failing to cover. Ainslie stretched that lead downwind to finish 15 seconds clear.

The second quarter-final match was every bit as exciting with the more experienced Chris Draper in Luna Rossa – Piranha totally shutting out newcomer Charlie Eckberg in Artemis at the start, going into an immediate four length lead. Then Draper failed to cover downwind and the Swedish team took over the front running, but at the next mark there was a strange move when a crewman fended off the mark!

That was passed but when the two boats came together and with Luna Rossa on starboard tack having to alter course to avoid the Swede. It was a close call and Draper maybe exaggerated the course alteration. He later admitted: 'There might have been a little Hollywood in that!' That eventually brought a penalty to put Draper in front and with very little left of the race, Draper sailed away to a 37 second victory and a place in the semi-finals.

In the first fleet race, Tom Slingsby with Oracle showed his talent to lead around the first mark narrowly from Chris Draper with Luna Rossa – Piranha. Dean Barker and the ETNZ crew were up and challenging early as they went for the leeward gate and moved up to second, eleven seconds behind Draper. Ben Ainslie’s BAR was back of the pack at this stage.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]Draper went hard right while Slingsby went offshore with ETNZ and at the windward mark Oracle tacked ahead of the Kiwis to lead by 26 seconds with Draper dropping to third ahead of Ainslie. Then Slingsby made one mistake and crossed over the boundary – the ensuing penalty allowed Barker to go to the front.

On subsequent rounds, Barker made no errors and went on to win from Slingsby while Ainslie found more pressure than his rivals to move into third place ahead of Draper with Luna Rossa – Piranha. His teammate, Francesco Bruni, was fifth with Luna Rossa – Swordfish to give the local crowd something to cheer even more enthusiastically about.

There was very little time before the second fleet race was underway and at the start Ainslie and Bruni chose the leeward end of the line and were overlapped around the first turn, but after the short downwind leg, the British skipper and his highly experienced Oracle crew, was well clear of Luna Rossa – Piranha with the Energy Team of Yann Guichard and Barker in ETNZ providing the best opposition.

Ainslie’s sailing was a joyous sight and the way he and his crew communicated was exemplary. It was not surprising therefore that J.P.Morgan BAR stretched away from the rest to finish a full minute clear. It gave Ainslie top billing for the day with a 3,1 score, just one point clear of Barker with ETNZ on 1,4, in turn one point clear of Draper on 4,2.


© This report and images are copyright to Bob Fisher, Linda Wright and Sail-World.com and may not be republished without permission

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Naiad/Oracle SupplierT Clewring - GenericNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 building program well underway at Core Builders
For the first time in America’s Cup history, Sail-World can publish photos of America’s Cup yachts during construction. With the forthcoming America's Cup in Bermuda just under 12 months away, production of the wingsails and AC50 one design hulls and components are well underway at Core Builders Composites in Warkworth, about an hour north of Auckland. For the first time in America’s Cup history, Sail-World can publish photos of America’s Cup yachts during construction.
Posted on 3 Jun
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