Video courtesy America’s Cup.
Auckland – Condizioni meteo impegnative hanno spinto al limite la piccola flotta di AC45 che, nelle acque di Auckland, è in questi giorni protagonista delle prove generali in vista del primo appuntamento con l’America’s Cup World Series.
Raffiche di vento tese e improvvise hanno reso la vita difficile ai cinque equipaggi e sono costate la scuffia a Oracle White. L’AC45 timonato da James Spithill è uscito lievemente danneggiato dall’incidente: “Stavamo spingendo al massimo e abbiamo finito per ribaltarci perché non eravamo nel giusto assetto. E’ stata un’esperienza costruttiva. A tutti toccherà provare questa cosa e non credo sarà l’ultima nemmeno per noi”.
Il problema occorso al team di Oracle Racing è stato solo il più eclatante e spettacolare di una lunga serie di sinistri: già prima dell’inizio delle regate la stessa sorte ha sfiorato l’AC45 dell’America’s Cup Management, mentre sullo start Emirates Team New Zealand ha agganciato la boa di partenza con il timone di sinistra e ha corso lo stesso rischio.
Secondo Iain Murray, presidente dell’America’s Cup Race Management, la giornata è stata un successi: “Abbiamo testato un gran numero di aspetti, individuando una serie di punti sui quali dobbiamo lavorare. Di massima, comunque, tutto il sistema ha funzionato al meglio e tutti stanno prendendo confidenza con le nuova tecnologie. Lo stesso vale anche per i team, che hanno spinto al massimo e che non vedono l’ora di tornare in acqua”.
AMERICA’S CUP, FLIPPIN FANTASTIC
[Source America’s Cup] On a day of testing the limits, Oracle Racing capsized and Emirates Team New Zealand grabbed a start mark. And that’s just two of among dozens of near misses and thrills and spills. Not a bad way to start the week.
Day 1 of the New Zealand test event showed the promise and potential of the upcoming America’s Cup World Series as five AC45 braved gusty, blustery and variable conditions on the waters off Auckland on Tuesday.
America’s Cup Race Management’s Race Committee team was able to test several race course configurations as well as the new Umpire system in conditions that ranged from 22-25 knots to a period when the wind dropped below 5 knots, with everything in between.
The strongest conditions came at the beginning and end of the day, and it was during and after the final start sequence of the afternoon when most of the action came.
First, the America’s Cup Race Management AC45 nearly capsized moments before the start, but made a remarkable recovery near the pin end.
Moments later, Emirates Team New Zealand had the misfortune of getting the start mark entangled on their leeward rudder. As the boat slowed, the Kiwis too nearly capsized, before eventually freeing themselves.
All of this foreshadowed the main event: Oracle Racing, skippered by Jimmy Spithill, and fighting hard for position on the downwind leg, buried its bows and rolled into a capsize.
“We were pushing really, really hard,” Spithill explained. “We ended up having a capsize, we just weren’t quite set up right for that run. But it was a good experience. I think everyone will go through this… I don’t think it will be the last time.”
No one was injured in any of the incidents today and the Oracle Racing boat suffered minor damage to the wing. But Spithill expects to be sailing again on Wednesday.
On the race management side, Regatta Director Iain Murray also declared the day a success.
“I think it’s fair to say we tested a lot of things and found some we need to work on further, but at the end of the day we’ve brought together a bunch of teams as well as a whole lot of new systems and that’s what it’s all about. Generally our equipment worked and everyone is now getting familiar with it,” Murray said.
“I think the teams learned a lot as well. The teams pushed it about as far as they need to push it today but everyone lives to sail another day and we’ll be out there again tomorrow. All in all a good day”.