Team GBR, racing GBR-52 (the former Nippon Challenge) beat Luna Rossa (of the Prada Challenge), the winner of the last Louis Vuitton Cup. Skippered by Ian Walker, GBR-52 battled the nine-boat fleet up the first beat, led at the top mark, and carried that advantage around the course for the win.
In a 10-12 knot breeze, Walker took GBR-52 out to the right hand side of the course, and gained on a favourable wind shift to overcome a less than perfect start. On the first cross, GBR-52 inched past Luna Rossa, skippered by Francesco de Angelis. Walker held that advantage around the two lap course, gybing three times on the final run to cover the charging Italian team.
Luna Rossa and GBR-52 are the only 2000 generation America’s Cup Class boats in the fleet. They were trailed by two1995 generation boats, Team New Zealand and GBR-41. Bill Koch’s America3, and Il Moro de Valecia, followed behind.
The three J Class and the 23-Metre cutter Cambria started their second race of the America’s Cup Jubilee with Cambria and the old wooden J-Class, Shamrock V, getting the best of the start. Each began on port at opposite ends of the line, with Cambria at the Squadron end of the line and Shamrock out near the mainland side. Velsheda and Endeavour stuck together on starboard tack in the middle of the line and although Endeavour soon rolled over Velsheda’s wind, she took a lot longer to catch the other two.
Cambria, on port tack, easily cross-tacked ahead of Velsheda and Endeavour but Shamrock had started strongly on the mainland shore and tacked onto starboard ahead of the 23-Metre. As the four boats tacked slowly and majestically against the last of the dying flood tide, Endeavour’s extra stiffness and speed was obvious as she first picked off Cambria and then Shamrock in quick order.
The class raced a complex seven-leg course, basically windward-leeward up and down to various marks in the Solent and totalling nearly 40 miles. By the end, Endeavour took a conclusive victory, nearly twenty minutes ahead of Velsheda. Overall, on corrected time, Cambria came second, Velsheda third and Shamrock V fourth.
All eyes were on the 12-Metres today. In the first race, Russell Coutts was the leader of the pack at the helm of South Australia. He led from the word go, starting at the weather end of the line and extended his lead on the two and a half-mile beat to the windward mark. Crusader kept hold of third, but in a fine example of match-racing, was forced wide at the weather mark and lost two places.
John Bertrand’s Australia II finished fourth just in front of Irvine Laidlaw’s Ecosse, while Crusader slipped to seventh. In the second race, Richard Matthew’s Crusader changed the pecking-order, and managed to steal Russell Coutts’ lead, and won by 30 seconds.
The conditions today were ideal for racing, and the talk of the town was today’s 12-Metre course. The racing was very close and exciting, all of the competitors were out there to win. By the end of the second race, once they had settled into racing, just four minutes separated all but two of the fleet. However, one comment has been repeated again and again was that the course, which was lapped twice in each race, was possibly too long. It seems that the competitors were looking for something a little less demanding.
Full results can be found on the America’s Cup Jubilee website by clicking here
Tomorrow is the UBS Jubilee Race Around the Island race. The course is a re-enactment of the original race in 1851 when the yacht America defeated the British fleet in an east about race around the Isle of Wight for the 100 Guineas Cup. The start times are scheduled as follows:
10:00 – Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition, Division Four