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America's Cup Round 1 Day 2
Day 2 of the America's Cup Challenger Trials saw a definite division in the results. For at least this day the two boat teams were dominant sailing to a collective 8-2 record. Yachts from four two boat teams (America One, Prada, Young America and Abracadabra 2000) each posted 2 wins. Two one boat teams posted a single win each: America True and the Spanish Challenge.
Racing took place in Northeast winds under 10 knots. This is not the heavier air expected in early racing.
The one boat Swiss syndicate is a prime example of the difficulties the one boat teams face. This team built only one boat with a radical underbody featuring twin strutted appendages which both turn. With only one shot for their designers to get it right, so far they look to be very wrong. The boat is slow in a straight line and is even worse when maneuvering.
Tuesday the Swiss boat 'BeHappy' matched up with America One in the morning and Young America in the afternoon. In the match with America One BeHappy was so slow that they were passed by boats that started 10 minutes later. They lost this race by 14:43. In the afternoon they trailed Young America at the start by 17 seconds and again were soundly beaten this time by 5:50. With such an obviously slow boat and no help in the form of a second boat, the Swiss have a long campaign ahead.
One of the better morning races featured Young America and the Nippon Challenge. In this race Nippon Challenge's Peter Gilmour used his match racing talents to pressure Young America and draw a penalty on the American boat in the pre start. Japan led at the first mark. By virtue of superior downwind crew work Young America came back to lead after leg 2. At the 2nd windward mark YA made their penalty turn and won by 1:30. Evidence that Cup racing is not the match racing circuit in one designs, but a game with more elements.
Nippon had a tough day as the afternoon match was against America One. Gilmour again scored a pre start penalty. After the penalty, but still prior to the start America One's steering gear failed. Under the rules series America One could be granted up to a 45 minute postponement after inspection by the umpires. The postponement was granted which also wiped out the penalty, and gave America One time to make repairs. Upon restarting America One sailed faster and won by 3:23. So, for Nippon Challenge and Peter Gilmour a frustrating day in the form of 2 pre start fouls, but no points on the board.
Tomorrow Sailing Daily will take a look at how the two boat Abracadabra 2000 team fares in matches vs. two one boat teams. Perhaps the least fancied of the two boat groups, Abracadabra is 3-1 and will look to keep pace tomorrow.
Complete Round Robin 1 Standings
Transat Jacque Vabre
Veteran Open 60 sailor Yves Parlier said yesterday: "" I have never seen so many black lines that close together on a chart!" This statement foreshadows the arrival of Hurricane Irene on Wednesday. Obviously such a depression will put serious strain on the fleet. Force 10 (48-55 knot) winds are expected.
Boats to the north have had the best of it in the initial days. However, some boats have headed south hoping to better deal with Irene. Carrying the most southing in their course are: Sobedo, Group 4 and Gartmore/First Call. This southern strategy has seen short term losses in hopes of long term gains.
Still leading is Whirlpool 2 by 53 miles over Somewhere. In 3rd is Aquitaine Innovations/Kingfisher only 2 miles back of Somewhere. This lead trio of monohulls shows better speed and a more westerly course.
From Aquitaine Innovations/Kingfisher Ellen Macarthur reports: "' THere was no wind, in fact, worse, there was that fine completely drenching drizzle... the drizzle where although it's not really raining, you still have water trickling down your neck." In 5th place is Gartmore/First Call. They have stayed south, which is fine with Josh Hall and Alex Thomson: "We are comfortable with our position though and other than spinnaker loss everything aboard is working well."
The multihulls are led by Biscuits La Trinitaine. 3 miles back is Foncia followed by Groupama a further 15 back. The top 2 are showing double digit speeds.
Tomorrow will tell what the results of the north vs. south tactical debate are.
For the 49er and both 470 fleets Monday was a day of no racing. After seeing Hurricane Irene over the weekend the fleets saw less than 10 knots and stayed on shore. See Monday's Sailing Daily for standings.
The Mistral boardsailors did manage one race on Monday. In the men's fleet Mike Gebhardt posted his 3rd straight win and leads with 3 points. 2nd is Peter Wells with 10 points, and in 3rd is Randy Somnitz with 12 points.
Lanee Butler leads the women's fleet also having won all 3 races sailed. The women's fleet is a bit closer with Mariel Devesa in 2nd with 8 points and Cara Reid 3rd with 10 points.
Both Butler and Gebhardt are past Olympians and look to be on very good form for a trip to Sydney.
All fleets plan to continue racing today with a mandatory layday on Wednesday.