Americas Cup Racing Report - RR2 Day 2
Swiss and America True Shake-Up the Standings
It was a big day on the race course today with two upsets and more gear failure. The Swiss FAST 2000 team earned its first win of the Louis Vuitton Cup and America True won the battle of the San Francisco rivals. This was a blow for AmericaOne as Paul Cayard was over the start line early and America True held the lead from start to finish.
Japan's Asura got off to a flying start doing an early hook on Prada and winning the start. Asura was still in the lead (40') when the clew of its mainsail broke. Gilmour had to retire, surely frustrated at coming so close to being the first to beat Italy's Luna Rossa.
Racing started under overcast skies with light drizzle and 12 to 15 knots of wind. But soon the sky cleared and the wind built. By the end of the racing the wind had increased to 22 knots from the North.
LUNA ROSSA WON, ASURA DID NOT FINISH
With a flurry of activity in the pre-start, the initiative switched from Luna Rossa (ITA-45) to Asura (JPN-44) with just a minute to go. Gilmour won a great start and headed out to the left of the course. Luna Rossa crossed the start line 15 seconds later and tacked away to the right to gain separation and try to sail past. But the left hand side of the course was obviously the place to be. Gilmour built his lead by staying on the left of the pair. He rounded the first mark with a 20 second lead. Luna Rossa lost more time with a poor spinnaker hoist. Gilmour stayed in control on the run to lead by 23 seconds at the leeward mark. But then disaster struck. Half way up the second windward leg the titanium clew ring on Nippon's mainsail broke and the Japanese syndicate was forced to retire. This allowed Luna Rossa to continue around the course and collect four more points.
BE HAPPY WON, ABRACADABRA DID NOT
be hAPpy (SUI-59) engaged in a pre start battle with Abracadabra (USA-54). The Swiss forced Kolius to tack away at the start line and continued with speed over the line, winning the start with three seconds. On the first beat be hAPpy could nearly cross ahead but tacked to leeward. A left-hand shift gave the Swiss just what they needed. When the boats met again Pajot and Schümann could cross in front of Abracadabra to take the right side approaching the first mark. The Swiss rounded the top mark 19 seconds ahead. After a very slow manoeuvre around the mark on be hAPpy, Kolius caught up. But downwind the Swiss could sail deeper and kept the lead. It was a close race. At the bottom mark the delta was 16 seconds, at the second weather mark the lead was only 14 seconds. Downwind Kolius forced Schümann to gybe often but lost three seconds in the process. The Swiss started the third beat with a two boatlength lead. The wind increased to 18 knots when disaster struck for Abracadabra. The mainsail ripped from leech to luff just underneath the second batten. Kolius continued with a headsail only. But on the last run Abracadabra retired.
AMERICA TRUE BEAT AMERICAONE -
John Cutler and Paul Cayard battled hard for the dominant position at the start. Cutler, lured AmericaOne into starting early. By the time AmericaOne had re-crossed correctly, it was 38 seconds behind. The first beat saw 11 tacks as Cayard and Kostecki tried to re-position themselves relative to the windshifts and America True. But their efforts were in vain. John Cutler and his team stayed calm and in control of the race and rounded the first mark with a lead of almost one minute. The first run saw America True pull 20 seconds out from the St Francis Yacht Club's challenger. The race continued in much the same vein with America True gaining all the time in the building breeze to finish the course with a significant lead.
YOUNG AMERICA BEAT BRAVO ESPAÑA - DELTA 01:23
After an even start Young America (USA-53) skippered by Ed Baird defeated Bravo España (ESP- 47) sailed by Pedro Campos. The pre-start was lively with Baird quickly going on the attack, chasing Campos away from the line in a series of circles before they both headed back. Campos went for the left side of the course, successfully protecting the pin end. Both boats hit the line at the gun but Baird was pointing higher and accelerating faster. Boat speeds were similar with a slight height advantage to Baird who edged away on every leg except the first run.
LE DÉFI BEATS
YOUNG AUSTRALIA 2000 - DELTA 01:43
Le Défi (FRA-46) avenged a loss in the Rugby World Cup with a win over Young Australia (AUS-31). French skipper Bertrand Pacé showed good form in the pre start forcing his Australian counterpart James Spithill to tack away from a trailing, leeward position to the committee boat end of the line. Le Défi crossed the line first, tacked and consolidated its lead with a quick covering tack after the start. Pacé pushed Spithill towards the left layline and led by 32 seconds at the windward mark. France was never threatened the rest of the way.