ETNZ Takes Cascais—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Emirates Team NZ - day 7 Cascais, Portugal Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
The first America's Cup World Series (ACWS) event wrapped up this weekend in Cascais, Portugal, with some exciting racing taking place both days. Saturday was James Spithill's day to shine. Spithill, the skipper of one of Oracle Racing's two AC45 catamarans, swept Emirates Team New Zealand (ENTZ) in a head-to-head match race. Spithill's team also recorded a win against Artemis Racing after the Challenger of Record was forced to withdraw due to gear failure.
Sunday proved to be a different tale during the 'winner-takes-all' fleet race. Spithill again nailed the start, but managed to sail into softer pressure than both ENTZ and Artemis, both of whom crossed the line before Spithill, who was joined by his boss, Oracle Racing's owner, Larry Ellison. 'For us it was fantastic,' Dean Barker, ENTZ skipper. 'It was always going to be a very difficult race, as the breeze never really established. There were big ‘holes' in the race course, so it was about being at the right place at the right time.'
Similarly, Artemis was pleased with their performance. 'The guys did an awesome job to battle us up into the race,' said Hutchinson. 'It's probably the best we've gone in the entire regatta. It's a very good finish for Artemis.'
While the Defender obviously wanted to win, Ellison put it well himself: 'We had a great start but both Artemis and Team New Zealand managed to pass us and that's what these boats are all about,' he said. 'It makes the sailing much more exciting; it's not a matter of you win the start, you win the race. So it's just what we hoped for when we decided on multihulls for the next America's Cup...'
The Spanish-flagged Green Comm, skippered by Vasilij Žbogar, takes the award for the most-improved team. Green Comm debuted in Cascais with a not-so-stunning DFL, only to realize massive improvement during the rest of the event. A glance at the final results puts Žbogar and company in fourth place, immediately astern of ENTZ, Artemis and the Defender's two boats, helmed by James Spithill and Russell Coutts, respectively. Talk about a great showing and impressive company!
The next ACWS event unfurls in Plymouth, UK, starting September 10th and continuing through the 18th. After that, West Coast Cup junkies will have a chance to see the boats racing in San Diego in November. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the great ACWS media, in this issue.
In offshore news, the Rolex Fastnet Race kicked off this weekend, with some seriously hot boats in contention. The maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire, the longstanding super-maxi rivals Leopard and Rambler 100, and a the trifurcate of Volvo Open 70s (Groupama, Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing ) made up the flashiest hardware, but with a record-breaking 314 starters, the starting line was a hot place to be. Read the full story, inside, and stay tuned for more from the Fastnet, as it becomes known.
Left: (Front) Mark Strube and George Szabo celebrate after the Star medal race - Semaine Olympique Francais 2011 USSTAG
Also inside, be sure to read about the Chicago Match Race Center's storm-tossed Grade 2 Invitational, the Laser Master's, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Solitaire du Figaro, and the wrap-up from the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, where, it should be noted with pride, American Paige Railey earned a third-place finish in the Laser Radials.
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