AN EPIC DAY OF RACING AT THE AC WORLD SERIES - PLYMOUTH


Τρία εντυπωσιακά τουμπαρίσματα περιγράφουν τις συνθήκες που επικρατούσαν στο Πλίμουθ, στους προκριματικούς του AC με τον αέρα να ξεπερνά τους 30 κόμβους. 
Ο στίβος είχε στηθεί κοντά στην στεριά και ο κόσμος μπορούσε από τους λόφους γύρω γύρω να παρακολουθήσει τον συναρπαστικό αγώνα.
Οι συνθήκες έσπρωξαν τα πληρώματα και τα σκάφη στα όρια τους και το Γαλλικό Aleph, το Ισπανικό GreenComm Racing και η Team Korea, αναποδογύρισαν μόλις μερικά μέτρα πριν τον τερματισμό.


Ευτυχώς σε όλες τις περιπτώσεις τα πληρώματα δεν τραυματίστηκαν και τα σκάφη υπέστησαν μονάχα μικροζημιές στα φτερά τους. Η τελευταία μέρα λοιπόν είχε πολύ δράμα και την κέρδισε ο Spithill με το Oracle Racing, που κατάφερε να μην τουμπάρει παρόλο που 2-3 φορές έφτασε πολύ κοντά...
Η νίκη όμως στον σύνολο του αγώνα πήγε στον μεγάλο του αντίπαλο τον Dean Barker που με την ETNZ κέρδισε την νίκη και άφησε στην 2η θέση το Oracle Racing. 3ο τερμάτισε το Artemis Racing με τον Terry Hutchinson.

Στα AC500 Speed Trials της Κυριακής οι Νεοζηλανδοί ήταν άπιαστοι είχαν δυο γρήγορα περάσματα, μάλιστα ο Spithill παραλίγο να τουμπάρει και έτσι έχασε την ευκαιρία να περάσει τον Barker, αλλά ο Coutts φαίνεται ότι το βρήκε με την ταχύτητα και έγραψε τον νικηφόρο χρόνο 37:48sec.
Η Δευτέρα και η Τρίτη είναι κενές μέρες για να μπορέσουν οι ομάδες να ανασυγκροτηθούν αλλά και για να φτιάξουν τα πληγωμένα τους σκάφη.
Οι αγώνες θα ξεκινήσουν ξανά την Τετάρτη με τα προκριματικά του AC WORLD SERIES - PLYMOUTH.

QUOTES FROM THE SKIPPERS

  • Russell Coutts, ORACLE Racing Coutts, on the importance of paying attention: "A lot of things had your full attention today. You could screw up a tack and capsize today. It's good, it's a test of sailing skill, and that's what it's all about, isn't it? Wait until the fleet goes to San Francisco. We'll be racing in those conditions every day." 
  • Chris Draper, Team Korea, on the moment of capsize: "We knew we were slow when we went into the bear-away, knew it was a bit high risk. Not ideal to be practising these things in a race, but good that happened now, and a credit to our shore crew that they helped us get upright again and for us to finish the race." 
  • Vasilij Zbogar, Green Comm Racing, falling in just moments before the finish: "Capsizing at the end was really bad, but I guess we were very tired. It was the first time we sail in these hard conditions and first time racing in these conditions. For the first half we sailed very well, but the second half people were very tired, we started to make more mistakes. We wanted to play it safe and approach safely to the finish, but with these boats you can’t play it safely. You have to go 100% all the time otherwise you capsize. Unfortunately we capsized just before the finish but we could have capsized anywhere around the track." 
  • Terry Hutchinson, Artemis Racing, on why he retired after leading the race: "The wing hit the runner and folded over the back part of the wing, Emirates sailed to leeward of us, and to avoid further damage to the boat we decided to stop sailing." 
  • Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand, on the challenge of high wind racing: "It all comes down to nailing the boat handling. Unfortunately we missed two tacks today, didn't take all our opportunities. But overall we are pleased. For us these events are all about developing our team, getting more and more comfortable sailing in multihulls. It’s nice to have a good variety of conditions because the conditions we’ve seen today are what we expect to see in San Francisco, so you’ve got to get comfortable in it." 
  • James Spithill, ORACLE Racing Spithill, always looking for improvement even after winning: "There are a few things we need to sharpen up on, but we're happy. Today was trying to be smooth. The conditions today, what's great is, if you make a mistake you pay for it. And that's how it should be. It shouldn't be easy." 
  • Charlie Ogletree, China Team, pleased with a very solid outing: "A really good day for us. We are really happy with our preparation, program and new sailors onboard. This is by far the best we have sailed on this boat, with this team." 
  • Loick Peyron, Energy Team, not regretting his 'offshore' approach to the strong conditions: "It was difficult going around the corners today. The experienced multihull sailor in me was telling me to back off a bit, to avoid breakage and sail in 'offshore' mode. I don't regret it because our boat is intact whereas others are having to make repairs. I have experienced too many disasters in multihulls not to be affected." 
  • Bertrand Pacé, Aleph, thankful for a gracefully slow nosedive in front of the crowds in Plymouth: "When we capsized it went over very slowly so everyone had time to hold on and so no one was injured."
AN EPIC DAY OF RACING AT THE AC WORLD SERIES - PLYMOUTH AN EPIC DAY OF RACING AT THE AC WORLD SERIES - PLYMOUTH Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Rating: 5

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