Leg of the Regatta
Some sports have a man of the match, or a # 1,2 or 3 start. The match between America One and Prada provided what many feel was the best leg of the regatta. I would still vote for the America True/Nippon multi penalty match, but the final leg of America One/Prada is still worth a look.
That the final leg meant anything is in many ways a surprise. America One went for a left hand shift on the 1st beat and got it. Paul Cayard says, "I think we have a good boat and again, it's important to get control of the race on the first beat." Cayard did this.
He kept control up until the final weather leg. As this leg ended Prada instigated a tacking duel. The distance narrowed from 55 meters to 32 meters. Finally Prada used the starboard tack advantage to round ahead of America One by 30 meters.
America One now risked throwing this race away. The run to the finish turned into a fetch. America One immediately began a comeback which would take place at speeds of up to 11 knots in 14-18 knots of wind. In a pure speed test America One narrowed the distance meter by meter. Overlap was established. This put the onus on Prada to stay clear. Numerous protest were issued. All were green flagged. Then in the words of the umpire, "The rules say that the windward boat shall keep clear; and the windward boat, as soon as they were overlapped, was Prada. Then America One had to quite clearly bear away to avoid making contact with the boom of Prada and it was quite a clear penalty." Prada still led but would not have had time to complete a 270° penalty turn.
From their position ahead and windward they began a jibing duel. 4 times they jibed. This put them in between America One and the finish. In the midst of this another penalty was called. Again the on the water umpire explains, "...and during the second gybe the America One spinnaker hit the backstay of Prada. That again was a quite clear infringement on the boat that was behind, so we penalized America One in that incident, and that of course offset the penalty that Prada had already been given."
Although Prada had cleared their penalty obligation they trailed by 9 meters after all the maneuvering and penalties. America One stayed ahead, winning by approximately one boat length.
This race indicates that if indeed Prada and America One match off in the Challengers Finals, the competition should be entertaining.
Cape to Rio Day 4
Jim Dolan's Sagamore continues to lead the Cape to Rio race. Sagamore has benefited from a decision to hold a due westerly course. This has provided good breeze courtesy of the South Atlantic High. This has allowed Sagamore to sail 321.6 miles in the last 24 hours an average of 13.38knots. Sgamore's westerly bias has driven her to 2 degrees east latitude.
Next is the Reichel Pugh ULDB Zephyrus V. Zephyrus is to the north and west of Sagamore. Zephyrus V sailed 371 miles in the last 24 hours an average of 15.46 knots.
Despite Sagamore's early charge to the west, only 9 miles separates the two line honours favorites.
The majority of the rest of the fleet posted 24 hour runs of 100 to 200 miles.
So far neither of the lead boats have been able to stage a jail break. It looks like they will drag across the South Atlantic at double digit pace.
Monet the Wrong Way
Phillipe Monnet made good 129 miles in the first 29 hours of his west about around the world voyage. Then he was becalmed. Due to this he spent the nite lighting up UUNET's sails so passing cargo ships saw his slatting Open 60.
During this time, UUNET made only 3 miles. Summing up his start, Phillipe reports: "Im fairly tired and I dont yet fully appreciate being at sea. For the time being it has been more hectic than pleasant".
At last report Monnet was nearing the line of 10 degrees west latitude. This puts him safely outside the Bay of Biscay.