America's Cup boats were due to be modified tonight as racing in the second round robin of the challenger yachting series drew to a belated end
America’s Cup boats were due to be modified tonight as racing in the second round robin of the challenger yachting series drew to a belated end with the final three races, postponed from last weekend, completed.
The matches provided one dramatic encounter, when Abracadabra overcame a broken boom before the start to upset Bravo Espana. After the races, most of the syndicates were heading to their sheds for modifications to strengthen and quicken their boats, in time for the third round robin next month when wins are worth nine points.
The top six teams after the three round robins progress to the semifinals of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series in January , with the eventual cup winners to challenge Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup in February.
Luna Rossa, which did not race today, heads the table after wining 19 of its 20 races.
Only Stars & Stripes has beaten the Italian boat, with Team Dennis Conner now third on the table.
Conner has not actually raced on the boat since the arrival of tactician Tom Whidden just before the second round robin. The three races sailed in perfect conditions on the Hauraki Gulf today had been delayed from last weekend because of a lack of wind. Two races finished as expected, with AmericaOne easing to a win over 6 Sens, of France, while Asura, of Japan, thrashed Young Australia.
The most dramatic match was between middle-of-the-table Bravo Espana, of Spain, and Abracadabra, of the United States, both outside chances to make the semifinals.
Abracadabra broke its second boom in a week before the start of the match, but replaced the spar with a spare being carried on its support boat.
The lead changed four times in the match, and saw a spate of gear failures on both boats, with Abracadabra eventually crossing the line 17 seconds ahead when the Spanish were forced to sail part of the final upwind leg without headsail.