Race Day 3 - Afternoon Report: Prada Slips into the Lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series.
Prada Challenge slipped into the lead today following a bye-a-piece for its keenest rivals AmericaOne and Young America.
Prada is the only team to have completed and won all of its six races. AmericaOne and Young America also have a perfect scoreline but have sailed only five.
Tomorrow presents a face-off amongst the top three, with Prada scheduled to race AmericaOne in the morning and Young America in the afternoon. If the forecasted 30 winds do not below, by the end of play tomorrow the challengers will have a true indication of which team is sailing the lead boat.
After two light air days, northerly winds building to 20 knots welcomed the visiting challengers for today’s racing, raising one-metre seas by the time racing was completed.
Despite still failing to win a race, FAST 2000 boat be hAPpy showed a much better turn of speed in the fresher conditions.
Incidents on the course this afternoon included a failed halyard onboard Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes, which delayed racing on the Pacific course while a measurer climbed onboard to verify the repair.
James Spithill also called time-out to replace a mainsail.
AmericaOne Beats Le defi– Delta 01:26
AmericaOne trailed the French Le defi over the start line, but was able to gain that distance back on a drag race out to the right.
Paul Cayard’s AmericaOne pointed higher, and sailed slightly faster than the French boat and led by 36 seconds at the top mark.
Le defi gained a little downwind, but AmericaOne pulled away for the rest of the race. AmericaOne has now won all five races she’s sailed.
Asura Beat Young Australia - 01:50
A delay on this course after the five-minute gun. Young Australia received permission to replace its mainsail.
The Cup newcomer James Spithill brushed with the Aussie master Peter Gilmour. Some tight circling, then Gilmour sailed out beyond the committee boat and returned on a timed run at the committee boat.
Spithill luffed on the line near the committee. He started early while Gilmour hit the line at speed. Spithill restarted.
Startline delta - 35 seconds. Asura pulled away in the 15-17 knots of air. On the last spinnaker set, a crewman on Asura was hit by the pole and injured but the boat finished the race.
Bravo España Beat Abracadabra 2000 - Delta 00:43
A fairly tame start where the two boats sailed long out to the bottom of the start box and returned slowly to the line with the Spanish boat on the right.
The Hawaiians bounced the Spanish over onto port just before the gun but this was the favoured side.
The Spanish started at the biased end of the line and showed good upwind speed to pull out a 30 second lead at the first mark.
The Hawaiian boat, faster downwind, managed to pull 12 seconds back but Luis Doreste maintained control of the race all the way to the end.
Luna Rossa Beat America True - Delta 01:25
In the first race over 12 knots of wind, the Prada Challenge logged another win. The stylish grey and red boat helmed by Francesco de Angelis beat John Cutler and his men and women on America True.
They controlled them in the pre start, won the start and stayed on top of things during the whole race. The boat speed of the Italians is good but they also sailed a strong tactical race.
Torben Grael called the shifts correctly and the only thing the afterguard on America True could do was follow the Italians around the course.
Stars And Stripes Beat Fast 2000 - Delta 00:42
Conner’s boat suffered a broken halyard before the starting manoeuvres had begun so the start was delayed.
When it actually got underway, Stars & Stripes crossed the line to windward of FAST 2000 and was never headed.
The Swiss boat, although always behind, was not
outclassed today as it had been in the past. Observation of
the boat during manoeuvres showed two helmsman, one steering
the bow rudder with the inner wheel to leeward, and one to
windward with the outer