Ian Walker discusses the first races and the continuing mast problems for the +39 Challenge team.
After ten days and nights work, the classical unexpected technical problem arose and the team from +39 were forced to re-step the Alinghi’s generation 4 mast on ITA85 for Fridays opening races - as they lost both matches against Areva and Desafio Espanol
After ten days and nights' work, the classical unexpected technical problem arose and the men from +39 were forced to re-step the Alinghi’s generation 4 mast on ITA85 for Fridays races. Following a last check the profile presented a small problem, a steel fitting, just two hours’ time to fix, but impossible to do during the night. Everything is then rescheduled by a day.
Having hoped to go back sailing with their generation 5 mast, after having worked very hard to be prepared for today, it was surely a disappointing and frustrating opening for the multinational crew of +39 Challenge as they lost both matches against Areva and Desafio Espanol. +39 British tactician Ian Walker was at the media interview:
'We could not sail as we wanted, sure the light airs played their part. We also had some minor technical issues, the electronics went dead just before the first start and the hydraulic system failed during the second race, but the fact is that we were not as fast as we needed to be.
The French sailed very well, got the right hand side of the race course and kept it. The second start was ok, we were in control and we inflicted a penalty to the Spanish but then we were not fast enough and the air was really patchy and too light.
Our boat, with this configuration (mast and sails) is penalized by winds under 7/8 knots. We all hope that the wind is going to increase and be steadier in direction and intensity in the next days.
Also we believe that the generation 5 mast and the new mainsail will make a difference.'
Saturday +39 have only one match against ' Emirates Team New Zealand'.
Team website: http://www.piu39challenge.it