Once again, the good sailing conditions Cascais is allegedly famous for were missing in action. The third day of racing for the opening America's Cup World Series event took place in very light and tricky conditions, with a shifty breeze between 5 and 7 knots. In fact, organizers had to delay the start for two hours, waiting for the wind to build up.
It was a good day overall with the team showing a clear improvement over the first two racing days. Crew work is becoming polished while wing trimming and boat speed are markedly better.
Green Comm Racing had a good start but the first race was marked by the incident with Team Korea at the first mark. The Spanish boat was on the edge of the race course at the approach to the first mark and had the right of way. The Koreans protested but were given a penalty. However, the Green Comm Racing yacht slowed down and from there it was impossible to reach the leading pack.
Green Comm Racing's Olympic champions showed the stuff they're made off in the second race. Vasilij Zbogar steered the Spanish AC45 yacht to a very good start on the committee boat end of the line and rounded the first mark in 4th place. Despite having sailed on their yacht for only five days, crew work aboard the yacht was markedly improving and the crew managed to finish in 6th place, ahead of sailing legends Russell Coutts, Alain Gautier and Mitch Booth.
The day's final race was off to a very good start but Green Comm Racing was penalized for a reason the crew still hasn't understood. They became aware of their penalty very late and for that reason they had to slow down in the runs. With competitors as strong as Emirates Team New Zealand there isn't too much they could do.
Luca Devoti, Team Sports Manager: 'I'm very proud with what the guys have achieved. Their improvement is evident and our result would have been even better if it weren't for the penalty in the third day. There is still a long way to go but we are making huge steps forward.'
Javier de la Plaza, Wing Trimmer: 'Today has been a very good day. We improve every day and I'm sure we might be able to create some upset on Sunday. For me it's great honor to be racing in the America's Cup, especially on a boat flying the Spanish flag!
In the first race we had a good start. We were on the edge of the race course at the first mark but we had right of way. The Koreans protested but they got a penalty. Unlike the other days, we were going a little bit worse downwind and better upwind. We didn't finish last and that is a success for us. We are perfectly aware of where we stand.
In the second race we had a very good start and we even managed to round one of the marks in fourth place. We finished sixth and, obviously, we are very happy with that result. Don't forget, this is the fifth day we are sailing on an AC45!
The third race was the most unfortunate one. We got a penalty at the start but we still don't why they gave it. We became aware we had a penalty very late and as a result we had to slow down in the runs. As a result, it was impossible to reach the leading pack but we are still very satisfied with how we sailed.
We are improving our communication every single day and we have the power to go ahead. We beat a couple of boats that have been sailing for almost a year and it seems we are able to make it better.
Boat speed has clearly improved as we have changed wing settings. We are now sailing well upwind but we still lack a little of coordination. We haven't sailed a lot together but we are learning every day.
Every minute spent on the boat is precious and helps us get better. Our goal is to work hard and try to be in the top five on Sunday.'