Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

America's Cup Rialto: December 14 - A race at last - Practice Day 4

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ 14 Dec 2020 05:00 PST 14 December 2020
Luna Rossa crosses ahead of American Magic - sailing downwind- America's Cup World Series Practice - Waitemata Harbour - December 14, 2020 - 36th Americas Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

After four days of practice racing, the four America's Cup teams finally managed to have a contested race - the first ever sailed in the AC75 class.

What should have been an historic moment came more as sense of relief. As the day turned out race organisers were lucky to get a race in at all.

As the teams left the inner Waitemata and headed for a new course area - Course A, off Auckland's North Shore, the northerly breeze looked set to settle and build onto a nice seabreeze, for which Takapuna is renowned.

The first race of the day, got underway at 1410hrs, between Emirates Team New Zealand and INEOS Team UK. While the prestart was keenly contested, INEOS Team UK was penalised for starting early (OCS) the British boat came off her foils and was unable to get back on her feet and could only watch the kiwis sail off. Fortuitously for the British, Emirates Team New Zealand failed to make it up the 1.7nm first leg within the required time limit of 12 minutes, and the race was abandoned.

The second race between Luna Rossa and American Magic, was a more spirited affair, after the clock restarted once, presumably due a minimum wind limit not being reached in the specified period.

The Italian emerged from the start with a small lead of under 4 seconds, and to windward of American Magic. Initially Luna Rossa covered the New York Yacht Club's entry. By the time the race had entered its second windward leg, Luna Rossa, with its twin helmsmen - Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni began to sail their own race and extended further to achieve an 18second advantage at the end of the 1.7nm first leg, but that was cut to 12 seconds at the second mark.

Luna Rossa extended to a 39 second lead on Leg 3 upwind. American Magic held the margin to 39 secs at the finish - giving the Italians the honour of winning the first ever official race sailed in AC75's.

There didn't appear to be any passing lanes in the 7-8kt seabreeze and it is no surprise that American Magic could not find a way through the dark hulled Italian.

The reality is that the race was won at the start, with Spithill scoring another win over his old rival Dean Barker.

The next race was a rerun of the first between INEOS Team UK and Emirates Team New Zealand. Ben Ainslie got the UK boat across the start line just 2 secs after the New Zealanders. This time the British boat appeared to come of its foils shortly after the start, and was unable to lift off - leaving the kiwis to sail away, once again. This time the wind stayed up and the Kiwis were able to sail out the course.

The hapless British retired 10 minutes after the race start.

The third race of the day got into one start sequence with both USA and NZL incurring starting penalties.

Again they were saved from a penalty when the a minimum wind limit timer reset the start.

Around 5.30pm the breeze was not building and the teams hitched up the towlines and headed back to their respective bases, with the Italians and British being the first to head home, with the USA pulling out five minutes later and the Kiwis a minute after that.

There was no evidence on the water of any gear issues or breakdowns, and the lack of wind was the key issue for the teams and Race Committee, who performed admirably.

It always brings a small smile, to hear the voices of Iain Murray - who has had a long involvement in the Cup dating back to when he was a skipper in the 1987 Defence in Fremantle, and Mattie Mason, a four times America's Cup winner - who is laying/moving the windward mark. With that sort of expertise on the water you get the feeling that this regatta is in very good hands.

Ironically while the Pacific ocean side of the isthmus on which Auckland situated, had light to moderate north easterly winds, on the opposite Tasman Sea coast, an 18kt, gusting 25kt westerly breeze had been blowing all afternoon.

It didn't really make its presence felt until the AC75's entered Auckland Harbour - underscoring the point about sailing the America's Cup regattas on harbour courses, and for the delayed start time of 4.00pm (NZT).

The final Practice Race will be held tomorrow afternoon. The forecast is for more of the same.

Related Articles

America's Cup: Outteridge joins Emirates Team NZ
Emirates Team NZ announce the signing of Nathan Outteridge for AC37 Emirates Team New Zealand have announced the signing of Nathan Outteridge to join their sailing team for the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 27 Oct
A new hand on the tiller of Womens Sailing in NZ
2000 Olympic gold medallist Jenny Armstrong is now plotting the course of women's sailing in NZ 2000 Olympic gold medallist Jenny Armstrong is now plotting the course of women's sailing in New Zealand - and she's already leading by example, Suzanne McFadden discovers. Posted on 21 Oct
America's Cup: NYYC - Pause now, tell later
NYYC's decision to "pause its pursuit of the America's Cup" appears to have been taken autonomously The New York Yacht Club's decision to "pause its pursuit of the America's Cup" appears to have been taken autonomously, without reference to Stars+Stripes USA and was leaked to online media several hours before the team was made aware of the decision. Posted on 20 Oct
America's Cup: NYYC 'pause' Cup involvement
NYYC surprised their second challenger team, Stars+Stripes and have paused Cup preparations Just under four months after announcing that they had chosen another team for AC37 in place of American Magic, their team from the 36th America's Cup. Now the New York Yacht Club has "paused" their Cup involvement. Posted on 19 Oct
America's Cup: Valencia Revisited?
A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid is in the running for the 37th America's Cup A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid from Valencia, Spain is in the running for hosting the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 15 Oct
America's Cup: Big calls ahead for Superstars
Tough calls ahead for Burling and Tuke as they try to balance their 2024 dance card Peter Burling and Blair Tuke announced their arrival back into New Zealand, this week, with a media release making it clear the duo had not re-signed with Emirates Team New Zealand. Posted on 15 Oct
Gladwell's Line: Life in Lockdown Land
In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use, where the home-build virus seems to be running amok. Fortunately no vaccination is available, and frankly the more who catch it the better. Posted on 12 Oct
Start of a 35yr America's Cup dynasty
New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle, when KZ-7 faced Heart of America in Race 1 of Round Robin 1 in the 1986/87 Louis Vuitton Cup. Posted on 5 Oct
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia announce line-up
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia reveal their Formula 1 and America's Cup line up INEOS Britannia, the Challenger of Record for the 37th America's Cup have announced their design and management team lineup at a live broadcast from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team's headquarters at Bracknell UK. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: Two F1 teams set to enter AC37
Sail-World understands that two F1 teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for AC37 Sail-World understands that two Formula One teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for the upcoming America's Cup. Posted on 4 Oct
Vaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomCyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTER