The waves were big all right…..
Coach Rod Davis blogs on the first race day at Naples
They have a saying just about everywhere in the world: “It’s not normally like this.” The wind studies for Naples, done in the months before the regatta, said it would blow over 18 knots only 7% of the time.
Well, we found the 7% on the first day. With big waves, really big waves. As could be reasonably expected, there was a bit of destruction. Artemis capsized at the top mark, China Team and Oracle 5 both retired before race two. And the third race was cancelled.
As for Emirates Team New Zealand, we got a third in the first contest, but not much up-wind speed. In the the second race we make some changes to our set up and speed was much better.
Downwind it was almost of pushing hard was safer than trying to be conservative. Very counter intuitive. Still there is nothing safe about sailing a cat down wind in 23 knots of wind and huge waves. The boys did a good job in race two and came away with the win.
I was happy just to get out of the day in the top group. Tomorrow the weather should be back to normal, but I am not counting on it.
Here’s how the team remembers Day 1 at Naples:
Emirates Team New Zealand finished the first day of racing in the America’s World Series at Naples with a win and third in the two races sailed.
Racing was called off for the day as the wind got up to a steady 22 knots with gusts and the seaway increased, making conditions potentially dangerous.
Artemis capsized in the first race, damaging its wing and returned to base for repairs; after racing shore teams carefully checked each of the nine yachts for signs of hull damage.
Emirates Team New Zealand finished the day on equal points with Oracle Racing.
The first race was won by Oracle racing 4, with Energy Team (France) second and Emirates Team New Zealand third.
Having spent little time in the AC45 since the last ACWS regatta was raced at San Diego in November Barker said before leaving the dock that it might take a little time to settle in to fleet racing.
His prediction looked like coming true in the first race when, after rounding the first mark in third place, they were overtaken and were in seventh place at the third mark. Then the trademark comeback began and Barker and crew of Winston Macfarlane, James Dagg, Ray Davies and Glenn Ashby stated picking off the opposition to finish third.
In the process, Macfarlane was slammed in to the forward beam and suffered severe bruising to his upper legs and will be rested for a couple of days.
If the first race belonged to James Spithill and Oracle 4, race two belonged to Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand. With Jeremy Lomas on board, they started well, rounding the first mark in second place. They overtook Spithill on leg 2 and then sailed away leading around every subsequent mark. Korea was second 1m 21s adrift and Oracle Racing 4 third.