I’ve now been in San Francisco for just over a week. The racing area for the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup is a lot smaller than I expected, I just wonder if 10 challengers had of turned up how would’ve they been able train, test and race in the confined space between the City front, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge?
I’ve managed to spend time at Emirates Team New Zealand with Joey Allen and Grant Dalton. They have been helpful and willing to pass on their vast experience and knowledge getting me up to speed with the racing their AC 72.
There has now been two races in the Louis Vuitton semifinals between Luna Rossa and Artemis. Prior to the start in the first race LR had a problem with a split in the fabric covering the wing sail. By the time LR had repaired the damage they had run out of pre start preparation time resulting in a late pre start entry. Artemis’s Nathan Outtridge took advantage at the start and was leading at 1st mark by 5 seconds. At the first gybe AR lost the lead to LR when LR was able to complete a lovely foiling gybe to pass Artemus. AR inability to foil gybe looks like being their main weakness. On the first up wind leg AR closed to within five boat lengths by the third mark only to loose ground on leg 4. That was the end for AR, LR went on to win the first race of the semifinals by 1.57 seconds.
Race 2 was a walkover to LR, off the line it was again AR who we’re dominant after Chris Draper made a prestart error gifting the advantage to AR. LR made the pass on the first gybe again, LR went on to win by a comfortable margin 2.06. LR bottom mark lay line judgments were poor.
Points of interest that I’ll be looking out for on Fri. Chris Draper has limited match race experience and he must be under pressure from with in LR to improve his starts. He has not won a start so far in the LVC, I just wonder if Francesco Bruni might be a better starting helm option for LR.
For Artemus just completing race one was surely an achievement. In race two Artemis again showed their inability to gybe which effectively gifted the race to LR. Improved gybing technique, would give AR a chance of getting a win against LR
Tune in on Friday