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Analysis: Prada's crucial pre start error
Light winds greeted the fleet for the 5th day of racing for round 5. The biggest race of the day was America One vs. Prada. For the prestart both boats flew large overlapping headsails in the Code 1 or Code 2 range.
Prada entered with the starboard tack advantage. America One declined the close combat of the dialup sailing away from the line. The boats circled at speeds of 6 to 8 knots, with over 40 meters of distance between them.
At 2 minutes 20 seconds America One turned and began leading back to the line. At 2 minutes 30 meters separated the pair. At 1 minute 30 seconds America One was ahead and to windward. As they headed towards the starting line Prada tried to maneuver her bow below America One. At 1 minute the boats were 29 meters apart and Prada made a major effort at hooking America One. This failed. By 30 seconds Prada was actually to windward of America One.
A safe maneuver may have been to tack to port and head to the right side of the course. However, Prada was still set on the left hand side. At 15 seconds Prada again dove from their windward position. Clearly they wanted to get below of America One. Prada did not clear. From the Virtual Spectator data it appears as though America One may have maneuvered as to draw the contact. Regardless the umpires penalized Prada for failure to give America One room and opportunity to stay clear and also for failure to avoid collision.
Prada ended up tacking to port after the collision. Their race now had to be one getting far enough ahead to make their penalty turn and retain the lead.
For whatever reason Prada waited until the finish line to make the required penalty turn. As they rounded into their turn America One crossed the line to take the 9 points for victory.
This was a reversal of form in that Prada made a crucial mistake. From a replay of the race it appeared that Prada had little chance of hooking Cayard at the 15 second mark. This high risk and low return tactic cost them 9 points.
For complete results and standings please see (C)update Daily.
While predominately men's crew contest the America's Cup many premier women match racers sailed the Osprey Cup. This event is hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Sailors from 5 countries sailed in a double round robin format. 5 were eliminated and 4 advanced to the semifinals. Advancing were: Bermuda's Paula Lewin, France's Christine Briand, and the USA's Betsy Alison and Drew Slattery.
The first semifinal saw Lewin beat Briand 2 races to 1. Alison topped Slattery also 2 races to 1.
The final was a single match affair with Alison defeating Lewin. Slattery beat Briand 1-0 in the consolation. So, final podium positions were: 1st Alison, 2nd Lewin 3rd Slattery.