Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

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]
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearHelm Events 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep