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(C)update: Racing Resumes
The forever fragile fleet returned to racing Thursday in Auckland. Trying conditions with big shifts, rain squalls and up to 30 knots of breeze kept the racing intense.
This Cup's continuing theme of reliability again was raised in the Nippon V. America One match. As the pair headed downwind to the second leeward mark they were engaged in a jibing dice. Nippon's race long lead looked to be going. Attempting to protect his lead Nippon skipper Peter Gilmour took a chance at jibing and crossing America One. Gilmour judged incorrectly and was assessed a penalty for jibing too close.
As Nippon completed jibing the crewmember handling the running backstay allowed the runner to get away from him. Even though downwind the loads are small without runner support the mast crumbled. Once again Nippon lost due to gear and in this case crew failure.
Another significant on course development was the end of Prada's undefeated record. Finally managing to beat the Italians was Team Dennis Conner. The key to Stars and Stripes win was navigation.
As the pair approached the leeward mark a rain squall came through knocking down visibility considerably. According to Stars and Stripes skipper Ken Read: "Peter Isler . . . had his navigating hat on when the real nasty part of the squalls went through. It was kinda cool. Francesco and our boat were the only two boats we could see on the racecourse, the rainsquall was so dark at the time. Peter stuck to his guns about where he thought the mark was and it was that tactical decision that got us by." Once ahead Stars and Stripes went on to win by 1' 55".
Below are the standings after 4 races of round 2.
(C)update: Monday 15 November
Results of Race 7 of Round 2 are as follows:
Races again featured the lite stuff. The key to many a race was control of the left side. For instance Prada got the left at the start and held America One in check. America True's Dawn Riley commented on the left handedness of the race course: "It wasn't just one big shift but oscillations of about 10 degrees, back and forth. The lefties had more pressure, and we seemed to gain on every one of those." This is not to say that the left side call was a no brainer. Stars and Stripes Ken Read had the right side in mind saying: "We wanted the right; we won the right on the starting line; we took the right and we were wrong!"
Updated Standings: Table
Schedule for Race 8 is as follows:
Round Robin 2 Standings through races of Saturday 13 November
Peyron's to enter The Race?
We are nearing the one year to the off of The Race. It is now firmly believed that this no limits non stop around the world race will occur. As many as 7 entries could be on the starting line next December in Barcelona Spain including the ones below.
One of the boats under construction is being built at the Multiplast Yard in France. The owner, crew and sponsor have remained confidential. However, recently Seahorse magazine printed a story stating that the founder of The Race Bruno Peyron maybe behind this project.
Building on this, Sailing Daily came up with the following scenario. What follows is sheer speculation.
Certainly Bruno Peyron has the experience and credentials to sail in The Race. After all he skippered Explorer to the first sub 80 day circumnavigation and has continued to sail this maxi cat. Recently, however, Peyron sold Explorer to a Polish group which plans to sail her in The Race. If Peyron is planning to race the boat now building, the sale of Explorer may have been a deck clearing move.
Bruno Peyron's brother Loick recently skippered Fujicolour to victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre race. Afterwards he stated that it would be his last race with this boat. Perhaps this enables Loick who is the two time defending FICO champion to sail as co-skipper.
A third possible person in this speculative scenario is American Cam Lewis. Lewis has been attempting to build his own boat for The Race. At this point Lewis' boat has not started construction. Lewis has sailed with Peyron several times on Explorer. Perhaps this will be Lewis' avenue into The Race of which he a tremendous proponent.
Again the above is speculation, but there is at least a seeming logic to it. The experience and talent of the Peyron's and Lewis would make them a very formidable team and a fantastic addition to the completive aspect of The Race.