Day 3 of the America's Cup World Series Plymouth regatta served up a few reminders to just about everyone.
The established teams re-learned what they knew already – that big or small any team has the potential to win an AC45 short-course fleet race.
Team Korea did that today. Energy Team (France) almost did it, claimed a second and showed some a really good speed. At times, Team China was right in the hunt.
The two Oracle teams finished the day in fifth and sixth places, unaccustomed positions for James Spithill and Russell Coutts.
Emirates Team New Zealand finished fourth in the first race, second in the second race and was second again in the third, finishing the day second overall on 25 points, two points adrift of Artemis. Team Korea was third on 23.
The third race started very badly indeed for Emirates Team New Zealand. We were over early at the start and had to go back. It looked like the boys had been set an impossible task but they dug in and sailed brilliantly. Their recovery from last to second was truly remarkable and almost eclipsed Korea’s first win as the talking point of the day.
In complete contrast to Sunday when three yachts capsized in the strong winds, racing today was dominated by a light, shifty breeze that was difficult to read.
In the long fleet race, the lead changed many times, Emirates Team New Zealand. Oracle Racing 4, Artemis and Energy team each claiming the lead only to lose it again.
The breeze coming off the land frequently shifted through 30 degrees and went from 5-6 knots to 10 to 12 knots. Twice the fleet closed right up causing traffic jams at the marks.
Artemis (Sweden) took the lead towards the end of the eighth leg from the Energy team and managed to hold on to the finish. Oracle Racing 4, the early leader was third after coming back from being buried mid-fleet and Emirates Team New Zealand was fourth.
Dean Barker, Ray Davies, James Dagg, Winston Macfarlane and Glenn Ashby led from the start of race two and retained the lead for most of the race. Again the breeze was light and shifty and again team fortunes changed quickly.
Towards the end of the second last leg Korea came in from the right of the course and used the advantage to set up a lead change. Emirates Team New Zealand fought back but Korea hung on to win by 10s.
Tactician Ray Davies said conditions were particularly challenging. 'But this is Plymouth and we know it well. It’s always going to be tough with the breeze off the land and the tidal current.'
Results from today’s fleet races, and those scheduled for tomorrow, will seed the teams for the match racing to take place on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the regatta’s final day, one 40min fleet race will be sailed to determine the winner of the Plymouth fleet racing championship.