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Audi MedCup Circuit 2011: Interview with Nacho Postigo, Technical Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit

September 15, 2011

Nacho Postigo, Technical Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit, sums up the 2011 season, gives his view on the TP 52 and Soto 40 racing classes, and provides an outlook to next year.

Nacho Postigo - Technical Director of Audi MedCup Circuit - Marseille Trophy, 18 06 2011 © Ian Roman - Audi MedCup

Nacho Postigo - Technical Director of Audi MedCup Circuit - Marseille Trophy, 18 06 2011 © Ian Roman - Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup Circuit – The 2012 Audi MedCup Circuit finishes in Barcelona and the competition is closer than ever before. What have been the key contributing factors this season?
Nacho Postigo
– “The potential of all campaigns has been getting higher and closer every year. There are no more favourites or outsiders. Every team can beat the others. We had four different winners in four events in the 52 Series, and the boats often finished within seconds. And the Soto 40 class is now growing rapidly and sees the level rising. Competition couldn’t be better.

AMCWhat is your opinion on the size of the 52 Series fleet, is there an optimum number given the current economic climate?
NC – “We prefer to have these eight truly competitive 52 Series campaigns to just having higher numbers of boats that can’t match the pace on the race course. We are aiming for attractive regattas and want to inspire new owners. The TP 52 is the de facto top monohull class for grand prix racing in the world on the world’s leading regatta circuit. It’s dynamic, challenging and telegenic. And we’ll have more Soto 40 racing in 2012, the pre-entries have already been filed”.

AMC - The Audi MedCup so far sticks to its name by running four out of five events in the Mediterranean. Are you thinking about extending the series to other countries and race areas?
NC – “Yes, right now we’re looking into a different route for the 2012 circuit. There might be a regatta in Northern Europe next time.”

AMCWhat are the most important criteria for choosing a venue?
NP
–  “First of all, a new regatta venue needs to provide good sailing conditions. But any venue should also appeal to the criteria desirable to owners and crews, and it must represent an important market to the title sponsor. And last every event has serious logistical requirements, and it needs to fit into the budget.”

AMC - Might we see Audi MedCup regattas contested on the Baltic Sea?
NP
- “This may happen, why not? There are a couple of interesting options, for example in Germany and Sweden. We have invited some guests from potential host cities, not only from Kiel and Travemünde, which have indicated a strong interest in hosting an Audi MedCup event, and they have come to have a look at the set-up here in Barcelona”.

AMC - So, in essence though new areas will be reached, it will remain the Med Cup?
NP
– “The MedCup is a strong brand which has been built from firm roots and popularity in the Mediterranean and we do not want to compromise ourselves there. I see us sticking to at least two events held in the Med. But a season opener is most likely to happen again on the Atlantic coast”.

AMC - When do you plan on announcing the venues for 2012?
NP
– “We plan to announce the route of the upcoming Audi MedCup Circuit by the end of this year. This will still give us enough time to build up the tension in all countries. I’m a hundred percent sure that we’ll have another great season with dramatic racing in 2012”.

Majestic sailing yacht Mariette of 1915 maintains lead in Porto Cervo at Veteran Big Boat Rally

September 14, 2011

The reign of sailing yacht Mariette of 1915 continues on Day Two of the Veteran Big Boat Rally in Porto Cervo. The 38 metre schooner leads the overall classification with victories in corrected time in both races held. Second in the overall classification is Moonbeam IV, Xavier Tancogne’s 35 metre Fife-built gaff cutter. Moonbeam IV is currently on equal points with third-place Yacht Elena; the monumental 55 metre double-masted schooner which claimed line honours in both races of the series so far. The event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is due to conclude tomorrow with a third day of racing on coastal courses using the granite islands of the La Maddalena archipelago as natural buoys.

Sailing yacht Mariette of 1915 - Photo Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Sailing yacht Mariette of 1915 - Photo Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

The fleet set out this morning on schedule and lined up just off Porto Cervo against the picture perfect backdrop of Sardinia’s “Emerald Coast” bathed in September sunshine. With a light easterly breeze of approximately 7 to 8 knots, the classic yachts crossed the start line together headed for the strait between the mainland and the Isole delle Bisce where a fleet of spectator and press vessels observed Elena lead the fleet ahead of the 49.5 metre schooner Eleonora, Mariette and Moonbeam IV respectively. At the Secca Tre Monti rock Mariette managed to get past Eleonora and maintained second place behind Elena for the duration of the 25 mile course which then brought the fleet south to Mortoriotto and to the finish off Porto Cervo. The results of today’s race in compensated time reflect the overall leader board with Mariette of 1915 taking victory ahead of S/Y Moonbeam IV and charter yacht Elena.

Yacht Moonbeam IV and Sailing yacht Eleonora - Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Yacht Moonbeam IV and Sailing yacht Eleonora - Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Mikael Créac’h, Skipper of sailing yacht Moonbeam IV:  “It was more fun than yesterday, it was more windy. It was a good a good race because were very close to everybody in the fleet. For us it is special because we are 15 on board and usually we have a crew of 30, so with 15 sailors less it is a challenge. But it was very good day, the racing is close but it is hard to touch Elena. It was a fantastic day though, really fantastic.”

Seven yachts have gathered in Porto Cervo for the Veteran Big Boat Rally and although several, such as the historic Italian sailing yacht Croce del Sud and the gaff yawl Veronique, are not actively competing, they join the fleet on the YCCS regatta course each day.

Following a gala dinner for owners at the YCCS Clubhouse this evening, racing is schedule to conclude tomorrow, 15th September. Approximately 8 knots of south-easterly wind are forecast. The final prize giving will take place after racing in the YCCS Piazza Azzurra.

2012-2013 America’s Cup World Series: Naples in Italy agrees to host two events

September 14, 2011

Naples, Italy, has agreed in principle to host two stops on the America’s Cup World Series; the first will be in April 2012, the second in May 2013.

© 2011 ACEA Ricardo Pinto

© 2011 ACEA Ricardo Pinto

Designed to expose millions more people to the sport of high-performance racing, the new professional circuit was created to bring the America’s Cup experience to top international venues.

“I’m very pleased to confirm we will be bringing the America’s Cup World Series to Naples,” said Richard Worth, the Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “Naples offers us a Mediterranean backdrop, and a stadium set-up within the Bay of Naples – a perfect complement to the exciting racing the AC World Series provides.”

A delegation from the Naples event organizing committee, including the Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris, and the Governor of Campania Stefano Caldoro, the Deputy President of the Province of Naples Gennaro Ferrara, the President of the Industrial Union Paolo Graziano, and President of Bagnolifutura Riccardo Marone, are in Plymouth this week, reviewing facilities, the set-up of the technical areas and the race village and enjoying the racing.

The representatives from Naples are in agreement: “We are very pleased to become a part of the story of the America’s Cup World Series. Like the America’s Cup, we have a rich tradition and history and long association with the sea. We are excited the America’s Cup World Series will now bring the most cutting-edge boats and best sailors in the world to our shores.”

Preliminary terms were signed in Plymouth today. There will be a press conference in Naples on September 29th, to formally announce the details of the two World Series events, including dates.

“The combination of Venice and Naples, two spectacular Italian venues, will create an exciting dynamic in a country that has a passionate fan base for the America’s Cup,” Worth said.

The AC World Series format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing, and all-out fleet racing with 9 identical AC45s on the line. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.

2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series

August 6-14; Cascais, Portugal
September 10-18; Plymouth, UK
November 12-20; San Diego, USA
January/February; to be confirmed
April (tbc); Naples, Italy
May 12-20; Venice, Italy
June 23-July 1; Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Audi MedCup 2011 – Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy: 2nd Day Update

September 14, 2011

The second racing day of the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy and the Soto 40 fleet, which promises to be the strongest of the season, start racing today.

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Nico Martinez Audi MedCup

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Nico Martinez Audi MedCup

Both 52 Series and the 40 Series fleets are scheduled to have two races. There is a certain divergence between the weather forecast models for today, one suggesting that the sea breeze might struggle to establish itself, the other predicts that it will come in, building to 12kts. But the overall picture looks like a more challenging day than the 52 Series enjoyed for their opening pair of races Tuesday.

For Quantum Racing, the Circuit leaders, a solid 3,2 brace establishes a momentum they will look to protect today. They opened a little more daylight on their principal rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Container yesterday. In the background yesterday’s excellent 1,3 opening day for Bribon sees the Spanish boat elevate themselves to third overall on the Circuit, whilst the duel between Synergy and RAN is also poised with the regatta leaders in Barcelona now just half a point behind the Russian team.

The Italian flagged team on Audi Azzurra need to bounce back after two fifth places yesterday with a couple of strong finishes today if they are to come back on Quantum Racing and extend on Bribon.

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 13 09 2011 © Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 13 09 2011 © Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

The 40 Series fleet sees the debut of two new teams. Olympic gold medallists Luis Doreste(ESP) and Domingo Manrique (ESP) who won Flying Dutchman gold here in 1992 are at the core of the Iberostar team with Javier Banderas (ESP). They sail the Noticias IV, while the second new team is on PatagoniaBigamist, the Portuguese team which raced in Cascais, have a fundamental change here with Afonso Domingos on the helm.

Juan Luis Páez (ESP)
, Navigator, Iberdrola Team (ESP): “I think that the weather conditions for today are pretty open, not the typical Garbí form Barcelona, which is what we had yesterday. It seems that we are going to have a seabreeze with an influence from the Levante, and that will make the races a lot more open. It´s going to be interesting, with many options, these regattas are always really competitive and you need to be 100%. We have a new trimmer, highly experienced, and that´s good because it has not affected us. Both the trimmers that we´ve had are among the best you can have on board”.

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 14 09 2011 © Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 14 09 2011 © Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Strategist, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
“The forecast for today says things are going to be tough out there again, with light conditions. RÁN´s sailing great, they´ve struggled at some points of the season but they are really in shape now, and its proves that anyone can win here in Barcelona. For us, the two fifths yesterday are obviously a bad result, but we are still there 8 and a half points away. With a good day we can solve this. We have to stay calm. Yesterday we saw the Barça-Milán football match, where a team dominated the whole time and the match ended up with a tie. That made us think, because if things like that happen in football it´s even more likely that they´ll happen on the race course. We´ll see how it goes out there today”.

Superyacht Elena and sailing yacht Mariette of 1915 shine in Porto Cervo at Veteran Big Boat Rally

September 13, 2011

Porto Cervo, 13th September 2011. The first day of sailing in the Veteran Big Boat Rally 2011, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 12th to 15th September, brought sunshine, scorching temperatures and light easterly winds. Today’s coastal race of approximately 20 miles was won by the 38 metre schooner Mariette of 1915 who took victory ahead of the 55-metre schooner Elena and Xavier Tancogne’s sailing yacht Moonbeam IV, built in 1914.

Sailing yacht Elena - Photo Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Sailing yacht Elena - Photo Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

The grand dames of the sea had a short wait before the breeze filled in to 8 knots to allow them to set off towards the island of Mortoriotto, south of Porto Cervo, before doubling back and heading north to round Monaci island. The fleet then paraded past the entrance to Porto Cervo Marina before finishing off the Gulf of Pevero.

S/Y Mariette of 1915 flies the burgee of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and is a regular on the classic regatta circuit. Charlie Wroe, Captain of Mariette was satisfied with today’s result: “We had light air conditions today but that worked out well for us. It’s interesting to see how fast the boats sail in these conditions and I think if we get a bit more breeze in the next few days positions could change; Elena is very quick. It’s been four years since we sailed in Porto Cervo and we are very happy to be back, the sailing is always great and we are really looking forward to tomorrow’s racing.”

Croce del Sud Yacht - Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Croce del Sud Yacht - Credit Alessandro Spiga YCCS

Yacht Elena was in fact the fastest yacht around the course today in elapsed time but slipped back to second place on compensated time. The largest of the competing classic boats, she is an exact reconstruction of a 1910 N. G. Herreshoff design.

Seven yachts have gathered in Porto Cervo for the Veteran Big Boat Rally and although several, such as Bruno Mentasti’s triple masted Croce del Sud and the gaff yawl Veronique, are not actively competing, they can be admired on the emerald waters of the YCCS regatta course together with the rest of the fleet.

Racing is schedule to continue tomorrow, 14th September at 11.30 a.m. Approximately 8 knots of easterly wind are forecast.

Swan 90 Sailing yacht DSK Wins Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011

September 13, 2011

Danilo Salsi and his crew of the Swan 90 sailing yacht DSK, are celebrating an overall victory at this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, taking first place in the Racing / Cruising division by a matter of 1 point on the final day.  A tight head to head between the Italian Swan, S/Y DSK and Aegir was a dramatic spectacle, seeing the racing Swan 90 FD climb back up on the deciding day to triumph over the competing Maxis in her class.

Swan 90 Sailing yacht DSK Wins Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 © Rolex  & Carlo Borlenghi 2011

Swan 90 Sailing yacht DSK Wins Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 © Rolex & Carlo Borlenghi 2011

Porto Cervo’s history of tactical yacht racing did not disappoint.  The last two days of the Maxi event were run under light airs with shifting breeze testing some of the world’s leading racing minds.

Yacht DSK had a 24 mile coastal race to contend with on the last day of the event sustaining top racing skills over a prolonged time period to come out on top.

Swan 90, DSK yacht’s, tactician Andrea Casale, shared his delight on winning by a few seconds during a decisive ultimate day.

‘It’s been a thrilling week and I have to say we didn’t expect this victory.  We improved during the week and a few days ago we realized we’d be fighting out with Aegir.  When we were second the other day we got a bit worried but on the last day we were determined and we stayed right behind Aegir downwind and we won in the end, even if it just was just by a few seconds.  The final performance was a decisive one.’

Classic sailing yachts gather in Porto Cervo for Veteran Big Boat Rally

September 13, 2011

The fleet of seven classic sailing yachts gathered in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the Veteran Big Boat Rally, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 12th to 15th September, has attracted several curious onlookers, drawn not so much by the size of the fleet, but by the size of each individual yacht. With four of the participating veteran superyachts boasting an overall length of more than 40 metres, the sight of these sailing giants of bygone days with their vast sail plans parading through the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago is one not to be missed.

Classic sailing yachts gather in Porto Cervo for Veteran Big Boat Rally - Sailing yacht Mariette racing -Photo Credit YCCS

Classic sailing yachts gather in Porto Cervo for Veteran Big Boat Rally - Sailing yacht Mariette racing -Photo Credit YCCS

One participant that is particularly familiar with Sardinian waters, and which participated at the inauguration of Porto Cervo Marina in 1976, is the 42-metre Croce del Sud. The classic triple masted schooner was commissioned by the Granelli family in 1933 and has never changed ownership, despite having been commandeered by the German army during World War II and used as officers’ quarters. The yacht is now in the capable hands of Bruno Mentasti, son-in-law of the original owner.

The largest of the “big boats” participating in the rally is the 55 metre schooner ELENA. Built in 2009 to the exacting standards of the original N.G. Herreshoff design, this reproduction of the 1910 yacht of the same name has been meticulously constructed in steel using 320 hand-drawn plans supplied by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and information from the family-run Herreshoff design office in Rhode Island.

The 49.5 metre sailing yacht Eleonora is also a reproduction of a Herreshoff design. Westward was the 1910 sistership to Elena and today’s Eleonora yacht is a scaled-down version of the two masted schooner. With a sail area of 1,100 m2 Eleonora regularly competes in classic sailing regattas in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

The 38 metre S/Y Mariette is another twin masted schooner designed and built by Hereshoff and launched in 1915. Following an extensive refit in early 2010 Mariette has been sailing in classic yacht regattas around the world.

Superyacht Moonbeam IV, owned by Xavier Tancogne, is the largest of four Moonbeam yachts commissioned by Charles Plumtre Johnson and her construction was begun in 1914 but was not completed until after the war in 1920. In 1950 Prince Rainier of Monaco bought yacht Moonbeam and the 35 metre gaff cutter hosted the newly-wed couple of the Prince and Grace Kelly on their honeymoon.

The 36.55 metre Bermudian ketch Sylvia was launched in 1925. Her teak hull was built by Camper and Nicholson in the UK and at the beginning of this century she spent several years completing a round the world trip.

Launched in 1907, the gaff yawl Veronique is the most senior of the classic yachts participating in the Veteran Big Boat Rally. Boasting over 20 years of experience in classic regattas, at 18.9 metres in length she is also the smallest of the fleet.

Racing is schedule to begin tomorrow, 13th September at 11.30 a.m. Approximately 8 knots of easterly wind are forecast.

34th America’s Cup – China Team exceeds all expectations

September 12, 2011

China Team, the official challenger for the 34th America’s Cup, has exceeded all expectations in the race on Sunday in Plymouth. The new crew has reached 5th position over the 2 days of sailing, and 3rd in the time trials on Sunday. The weather conditions on Sunday were extremely windy and gusty and at the upper limit for racing; the conditions were extreme and the race saw a number of capsizes and boats damaged. China Team did and excellent job in controlling the AC45 and, while there were a number of close calls, the crew was able to handle the boat to not reach the tipping point.

11th September 2011 - Plymouth (UK) - 34th America's Cup - AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Racing Day 2 ©2011 ACEA - Gilles Martin-Raget

11th September 2011 - Plymouth (UK) - 34th America's Cup - AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Racing Day 2 ©2011 ACEA - Gilles Martin-Raget


For the speed trial, China Team was powered by 2 Chinese sailors among the crew of 5, and reached 3rd position. It was the first sailing experience for Ma Jian, the famous Chinese basketball player who has joined China Team training to be one of the Chinese sailors to be part of the crew on the AC72 for the America’s Cup final in San Francisco in summer 2013. China Team on target to reach its pledge to be a true Chinese challenger, powered by mainly Chinese sailors on a China-built boat. Ma Jian’s reaction when he got off the boat was one of amazement and surprise:

” I never realised how different this would be to basketball. I thought that being a strong athlete would be enough, but now I realize that this sport is a lot more complex than basketball, as the nature elements (wind, water …) are all very unpredictable and play a big role in the strategy of sailing. Also balance, I realize that you need a lot more balance to be a great sailor. I have a lot of work in front of me to become a top sailor. This sport requires more than discipline, it requires skills that most professional athletes do not have. I need to work so hard, but I can do ti. But I believe that there are many young adults in China who would have the skills to do this, and train and become one of the best sailors. I have a better understanding now and I want to encourage people who believe they can join the team to train. “

2011 Audi MedCup Circuit – Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy Regatta – Practice Race Day

September 12, 2011

It is practice race day for the 52 Series, the prelude to Tuesday’s first race day at the Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy Regatta, the finale to this year’s Audi MedCup Circuit.

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi Audi MedCup

The Garbi sea breeze is expected to prevail at least over the first few days of this key regatta, dropping in intensity as the event progresses.

With a N’ly Mistral blowing in the Gulf of Lyons to the east a large circulation is set up in this part of the western Med which enhances this southerly sea breeze.

It has been a slightly overcast morning though the prospects for breeze are good, expecting up to 18 or 19kts with choppy, steep seas.

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi-Audi MedCup

Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi-Audi MedCup

The 52 Series fleet will do their two practice starts before rolling into the official practice race.

For Bribon this will be an emotional week on their home city, but project manager Ignasi Triay says the crew are not speaking about this being their swansong:

“This 2011´s last event and the truth is that we´ve improved every day until now. We are in Barcelona, our hometown, and a lot of noise has been made about the fact that this is Bribón´s last event. It seems that it´s something that´s affecting a lot of people who are around the event, but it doesn´t affect our crew. We hear a lot about it but we don´t look at it the way this that people does. We are focused in this event because we are in a good place in the general standings, with good possibilities to do something big, even reaching the podium. We are thinking about doing a good job here these days, we´ll have enough time to think about this being our last event on Saturday evening. We have to stick to our plan, to be consistent and not make too many mistakes.”

Kevin Hall (USA), Navigator, Quantum Racing (USA):

We are looking forward to competing here in Barcelona this week, there are great teams here and the competition has come down to the last event and that´s pretty exciting for all of us, our strategy is to sail well, and you could argue that if we sail this regatta to win it with good solid finishes that should do it for the season as well, but there are a couple other teams who are probably thinking the same thing, so it will be exciting. We don´t talk about points, it´s such a small advantage that we don´t even count on them to help us right now”.

America’s Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing

September 12, 2011

Three capsizes tell the story of an epic final race in the Plymouth AC Preliminaries with winds gusting close to 30 knots (35 mph; 55 kph) across Plymouth Sound. The race course was pushed up close to The Hoe, and once again, the crowds on the hill were rewarded with thrilling racing just meters from shore.

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing  © ACEA (2011) Photo G. Martin-Raget

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing © ACEA (2011) Photo G. Martin-Raget

The blustery conditions pushed the crews and the boats to their limits, and in some cases beyond. Three teams capsized; the French Aleph, Team Korea and just meters from the finish, Spain’s Green Comm Racing. In each case, the crews escaped unscathed, the boats, with minor damage to their wings.

During the race, the ORACLE Racing Spithill crew had many near misses and was lucky not to capsize as they passed the first mark with the lead. Other boats challenged them for their early advantage, with first Artemis Racing, then Emirates Team New Zealand taking their turn at the head of the fleet. But it was a game of least mistakes, a war of attrition that eventually went back in favor of James Spithill and his slick ORACLE team.

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing  © Ricardo Pinto

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing © Ricardo Pinto

France’s Energy Team sailed a strong race to finish fourth, after battling around the course with Russell Coutts for a podium spot. China Team too, sailed well in the conditions to finish in fifth place. Artemis Racing, meanwhile, was forced to retire, moments after relinquishing the lead on the second lap of the course, with equipment problems.

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing  © Ricardo Pinto

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing © Ricardo Pinto

Aleph was the first to capsize, nose-diving right in front of the crowds gathered along Plymouth seafront, early in the race. Then, at the top of the course Team Korea speared their bows into the waves and flipped over. And tantalizingly close to the finish, Green Comm Racing was toppled by a gust on the final leg of the race. Luca Devoti, sports director from Green Comm commented later: “Nobody has been hurt and the wing has been damaged; we’ll need two days to fix it.”

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing  © ACEA (2011) Photo R. Pinto

America's Cup AC World Series Plymouth – Day 2 an epic day of racing © ACEA (2011) Photo R. Pinto

All day, the sailors and the boats were racing at their very limits, unless a nonchalant James Spithill was to be believed after the race. “It was great racing for sure, not even at the limit of the boats; still a way to go.” Brave words after a race that had spectators gasping with disbelief.

While Spithill won the race, his rival Dean Barker’s second place was sufficient to give victory to the Kiwis in the Plymouth AC Preliminaries.

In Sunday’s AC500 Speed Trials, it looked like the Kiwis had it in the bag with two great runs while others were spinning off the race track. James Spithill’s words nearly came back to haunt him as the ORACLE AC45 flipped right on to its edge – there were a few moments of doubt as to whether it would capsize – before it slapped back down on its floats.

With Spithill out of contention in the speed trials, it was up to the remaining teams – and ORACLE Racing Coutts in particular – to take the fight to the Kiwis. Once again Russell Coutts had the bit between his teeth and turned in a scorching final run to post a winning time of 37:48 seconds.

Monday and Tuesday are off days at the America’s Cup World Series – Plymouth allowing the teams a chance to rest and repair both man and machine. Racing resumes on Wednesday with qualifying races for the Plymouth AC Match Race Championship.

Results – Plymouth AC Preliminaries

Place Team RACE #1 RACE #2 RACE #3 RACE #4 TOTAL POINTS
Place Points Place Points Place Points Place Points
1 Emirates Team New Zealand 1 10 3 8 1 10 2 9 37
2 ORACLE Racing Spithill 2 9 1 10 4 7 1 10 36
3 Artemis Racing 3 8 2 9 2 9 DNF 3 29
4 ORACLE Racing Coutts OCS 3 4 7 3 8 3 8 26
5 China Team 6 5 5 6 6 5 5 6 22
6 Aleph 4 7 7 4 5 6 DNF 3 20
7 Energy Team 8 3 6 5 7 4 4 7 19
8 Team Korea 5 6 DNF 3 8 3 6 5 17
9 Green Comm Racing 7 4 8 3 9 3 DNF 3 13

Plymouth AC500 Speed Trials – Sunday

Place Team Speed (km/h)
1 ORACLE Racing Coutts 48.00
2 Emirates Team New Zealand 47.36
3 China Team 44.12
4 Energy Team 34.34
ORACLE Racing Spithill DNF
Artemis Racing DNS
Team Korea DNS
Green Comm Racing DNS
Aleph DNS