Light Wind at 35th America’s Cup

Author:
Updated:
Original:
Oracle Team USA

Even in the marginal conditions, Oracle Team USA look smooth and fast.

© ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Well, somehow they did it: America’s Cup Race Management managed to pull off all four scheduled races on Thursday, despite light winds that rarely climbed much above the 6-knot minimum as stipulated by race rules. It wasn’t pretty, hardly the adrenaline-soaked foil fest race the fans want. But given that not a single race could be run on Wednesday, they really didn’t have much of a choice—a TV schedule is a TV schedule.

One thing is for sure: Artemis sure was lucky to not have to get out and race in that mess. The other teams, not so much.

Day 4 Recap Video

That said, despite the extreme (light) conditions, the final results were very much in keeping with what we’ve been since the beginning of the regatta, with Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand both looking smooth, fast and strong—not just winning their races by wide margins, but coming from behind in both cases to do so. Throughout the day they also both did a much better job of staying on their foils than the rest of the competition.

As for the rest of the teams: Softbank Team Japan had moments where it looked good, but then folded against Oracle Team USA; Britain’s Land Rover BAR seemed sketchy at best, losing badly to the Kiwis (withdrawing from before the finish, no less!) after dropping off its foils early and then just falling farther and farther behind; and much as we’ll miss Franck Cammas’s winning smile, the chances of Groupama Team France making it through to the next round now seem slim to none.

Again, the racing couldn’t have been much uglier, with the teams desperately trying to stay up on their foils during gybes and tacks, not to mention spending plenty of time in displacement mode, with one and sometimes both two hulls securely planted in the water. Throughout the day, all the teams could be seen shifting their crew weight forward, aft, port and starboard—all in a desperate effort to just keep their boats moving.

Despite posting a win against the French, Land Rover BAR seemed to get the worst of it all-around in terms of pressure—or maybe it just looked like it had to work the hardest trying to keep foiling. At one point, helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie literally threw up his hands mid-tack en-route to the team’s loss to ETNZ, so frustrated had he become trying to get his boat moving again. During the team’s win against Groupama, both crews spent much of the time trying to coax their boatspeeds above single digits.

“It has been a tough day all-around, and we struggled in the light-wind setup,” said Ainslie. “We suffered a technical issue with the systems controlling our daggerboard against New Zealand, but the guys did brilliantly to fix the issue ahead of the second race with Groupama Team France. We managed to hang in against Franck (Cammas) in that race and won by the smallest of margins.”

Racing resumes this afternoon, with the Round Robin 2 Qualifying series concluding on Saturday. After that, the event moves on to the “Challenger Playoffs” to see which team will ultimately match up against the Defender Oracle Team USA in the actual America’s Cup regatta.

Only four of the six boats will take part in these playoffs, with the lowest-scoring challenger and the Defender both dropping out. At this point ETNZ and Land Rover BAR are already guaranteed of moving on, while Japan, Artemis and Groupama Team France are still fighting for the final two.

The America’s Cup match itself is slated to start June 17. For complete results, visit: https://www.americascup.com/en/results.html.

June 2017

Related

furlex2

Know-how: Installing an Electric Furler

Push-Button Reefing Boats have never been easier to sail, and yet, designers and builders still strive for that extra iota or two of convenience. A case in point is the growing acceptance of powered headsail furlers. Roller-furling headsails are ubiquitous not only on cruising ...read more

New-Lead

Know-how: Modify a Blackwater System

My dissatisfaction with the head and holding tank plumbing arrangement on our 1987 Sabre 38 had grown as we cruised the boat away from the comforts of a marina for longer periods of time. When we are tied up at a marina, the use of regular bathrooms generally trumps the ...read more

01-LEAD-Suzuki-55f19d31e297c

Choosing the Right Outboard

Two of the most indispensable items on board a cruising yacht are a dinghy and an outboard motor. At anchor or on a buoy, of course, they are your only means of getting ashore. They also have a thousand other uses. For example, they can allow you to motor across to friends’ ...read more

2019-giftGuide

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Sailing America Rizzoli International Publications has released this striking portrait of American sailing by nautical photography legend Onne van der Wal just in time for the holidays. Featuring 200 stunning photographs spanning the length and breadth of the sailing scene—from ...read more

01-Sailing-La-Vagabonde,-Outremer-48

Cruising: the Vagabonde Life

Once upon a time conquering your dream of sailing off into the sunset was enough, but these days it seems like you have to be popular on social media too. Balancing the stresses of sailing around the world while keeping a successful—not to mention financially lucrative—social ...read more

191114

Video: 11th Hour Racing Arrives in Brazil

Team 11th Hour Racing finished in fourth place this past week among the 29 IMOCA 60s competing in the 4,335-mile doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Aboard were American Charlie Enright and French sailor Pascal Bidégorry, ...read more

Video--Edmond-de-Rothschild-Maxi-tri-Pitstop

Video: Edmond de Rothschild Maxi-tri Pitstop

. On Sunday, after having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques race , Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard the Ultime maxi-tri Maxi Edmond de Rothschild reported they’d be making a pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil, after damaging one of their ...read more

T31A4577

Cruising the Eagle Class 53

Sailing at 19 knots in 15 knots of breeze is not an earth-shattering experience anymore. I was thinking about that on a perfect late summer day in Narragansett Bay while we were slicing along on the most technologically advanced cruising catamaran I’ve ever seen—the Eagle Class ...read more