A tricky day full of snakes and ladders for the fleet racing

Naples offered a new challenge to the nine crews competing in the America’s Cup World Series on Friday as light, shifty offshore winds battled an onshore swell, resulting in a race course where gains and losses were often measured in the hundreds of yards.

Oracle Racing Spithill had the best day across the two fleet races, posting two second-place finishes. In contrast, each race winner (Energy Team, Emirates Team New Zealand) also carried a seventh place score on the day. As a result, Jimmy Spithill’s American team gained four points on the leading Kiwis, nearly cutting their lead in half over the course of the day.

“It was really hard,” said Chris Draper, the helmsman of Luna Rossa Piranha, who led his team to a consistent 3-4 performance. “The swell made it hard, surfing upwind and then straight into the waves downwind… So to get the results we did, I’m really pleased …

Forecast conditions for Saturday’s racing suggest a return to the boisterous affair on the opening day, Wednesday.

Saturday’s programme:

1:25pm Warning signal for 1:30pm start of the first race

Format: 3 match races, the first (SF1) starting at 13.30. Following the Match Racing Final, fleet races 7 and 8 are scheduled to start at 14.15

14.00 TV broadcast / YouTube broadcast begins (Two fleet races)