06/08/2011 - Cascais (PRT) - 34th America's Cup - AC World Series - Cascais 2011 - Racing Day 1 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
If high-performance catamaran racing is your thing, these are very exciting times. First and foremost this weekend was the first racing in the newly minted America's Cup World Series aboard the new, wingsail-powered AC45 catamarans. In fact, this was the first time that this class has officially raced, and while the winds were fairly light on Saturday, conditions improved on Sunday, allowing teams to tag some impressive speeds on the AC500 Speed Trail. Four races took place in all this weekend, plus the Speed Trial, allowing teams the opportunity to check their speeds in a variety of racing formats and conditions.
Not surprisingly, Emirates Team New Zealand sailed away from the Cascais AC Preliminaries in first place, followed by Russell Coutts' Oracle Racing, then Artemis Racing, followed by Jimmy Spithill's Oracle Racing team. 'We are happy how it went,' said skipper Dean Barker. 'But we know we have a lot to keep up with. It's nice; a good feeling to start the week, but there is a lot we need to improve on.' Be sure to check out all of the great media from this event, including some nice videos and image galleries, and stay tuned for more from this event, which runs through August 14.
Groupe Edmond de Rothshild collide with Artemis Racing on Day 2 - Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Cowes Giordana Pipornetti
Meanwhile, in Cowes, England, the Extreme 40 class is enjoying their Extreme Sailing Series Act 5. While the racing was tight, the news of the weekend was the collision that took place between France's Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Sweden's Artemis Racing, resulting in severe damage to both boats. The corresponding battle wounds were enough to send both boats limping back to the shed for some repair work. Be sure to check out the video of the smash-up, inside.
In Olympic Class circles, the talk of the hour is fully centered on the Weymouth and Portland Games, which are currently taking place in Weymouth, England. This event serves as both the official trial of the Olympic racing facilities, but it's also an important chance for sailors to race against their rivals for next summer's medals. US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members have sailed a great event so far, with a particularly standout performance from Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Faith in the hyper-competitive Star class.
'It was breezy and still hard tactically,' said USSTAG's Paige Railey of yesterday's racing. 'When we first got out there we thought maybe the current would have more of an impact than the shifts, but the shifts were more important. It was hard work especially in the second race when it picked up. We were doing three laps out there. You have to be prepared for this.' Read the full accounts, inside.
A racing vessel collides with the 124,000-ton Hanne Knutsen Cowes Week - 7 August 2011
And finally, be sure to see what happens when a raceboat looses a staring match with an oil tanker, at this year's Cowes Race Week.
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