Cruising News

America's Cup World Series: Carnage in Plymouth - + Videos



7:08 PM Sun 11 Sep 2011 GMT
'AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Racing Day 2' Ricardo Pinto Click Here to view large photo

Three capsizes tell the story of an epic final race in the Plymouth AC Preliminaries with winds gusting close to 30 knots (35 mph; 55 kph) across Plymouth Sound. The race course was pushed up close to The Hoe, and once again, the crowds on the hill were rewarded with thrilling racing just meters from shore.

The blustery conditions pushed the crews and the boats to their limits, and in some cases beyond. Three teams capsized; the French Aleph, Team Korea and just meters from the finish, Spain's Green Comm Racing. In each case, the crews escaped unscathed, the boats, with minor damage to their wings.

During the race, the ORACLE Racing Spithill crew had many near misses and was lucky not to capsize as they passed the first mark with the lead. Other boats challenged them for their early advantage, with first Artemis Racing, then Emirates Team New Zealand taking their turn at the head of the fleet. But it was a game of least mistakes, a war of attrition that eventually went back in favor of James Spithill and his slick ORACLE team.

AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Racing Day 2 - Ricardo Pinto Click Here to view large photo


France's Energy Team sailed a strong race to finish fourth, after battling around the course with Russell Coutts for a podium spot. China Team too, sailed well in the conditions to finish in fifth place. Artemis Racing, meanwhile, was forced to retire, moments after relinquishing the lead on the second lap of the course, with equipment problems.

Aleph was the first to capsize, nose-diving right in front of the crowds gathered along Plymouth seafront, early in the race. Then, at the top of the course Team Korea speared their bows into the waves and flipped over. And tantalizingly close to the finish, Green Comm Racing was toppled by a gust on the final leg of the race. Luca Devoti, sports director from Green Comm commented later: 'Nobody has been hurt and the wing has been damaged; we'll need two days to fix it.'