Sail-World.com : Green Comm Racing takes scalp of French multihull expert Alain Gautier
Green Comm Racing takes scalp of French multihull expert Alain Gautier
Once again, conditions inside the Cascais bay, Portugal were extremely light with a breeze that barely went over 2-3 knots. The race committee tried to run a race on time but had to abandon it after 10 minutes when the breeze died down. The only way to get better conditions was to move the race area further offshore, about two miles from the Cascais marina.
Despite the tricky conditions it was another very positive day for Green Comm Racing. The team is definitely advancing ahead, race after race. As bowman, and current World Finn champion, Ed Wright stated, 'Rome wasn't built in a day.' Green Comm Racing is by far the least experience team on the AC45's but their improvement is spectacular.
Green Comm Racing had a good start in the first race at the committee boat and rounded the first mark in fourth place. They held on until the last leeward gate but a small error in crew work cost dearly. The Spanish boat stalled and crossed the finish line in ninth position.
The Olympic champions onboard the Spanish AC45 yacht pushed the race-mode button in the second race with a combination of good speed and tactics. After a difficult start at the bottom of the fleet, they had an excellent final upwind leg and overtook the two French teams. Vasilij Zbogar crossed the finish line ahead of multihull experts Alain Gautier and Loïck Peyron.
The final race was marked by the incident with Energy Team at the starting line. With Green Comm Racing close to the committee boat, the French team squeezed but wasn't penalized. Vasilij Zbogar had no option but slow down in order to avoid collision and from that point it was impossible to reach the leading pack.
Quotes of the day
Ed Wright, bowman / tactician: 'One at a time! We are happy with our performance but we still have a long way to go. Rome wasn't built in a day.'
Vasilij Zbogar, helmsman: 'We are a new team but we still need to be taken seriously. We might be the least experienced one in the America's Cup but we are World and Olympic champions.
In today's last race, right on the starting line, we were very close to the committee boat and Energy Team squeezed in. There wasn't enough space and the French should have been penalized.
Similarly, yesterday we had a collision with Spithill and although it was his fault we were penalized. Jimmy came to us after the race and apologized, admitting it was his fault.'
Javier de la Plaza, wing trimmer: 'Today is the fourth day of racing and the overall sensation is very good since we didn't finish last but in eighth place. We sailed much better than yesterday and every day we learn more about the boat, her speed and for the first time ever we were able to stop worrying about boathandling and more about tactics. We made good calls and bad calls and as I said before, we are getting better every day.
I think this is just a question of time. We have been only sailing for six days on those boats and we beat the French. The team is very happy because today was better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today. I'm sure that we will be able to sail well on Sunday.'
Please visit our website at http://www.greencommracing.com
by Pierre Orphanidis
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8:15 PM Thu 11 Aug 2011 GMT
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