America's Cup qualifiers off to smashing start in Bermuda
America's Cup qualifiers off to smashing start in Bermuda
29 May, 2017, 02:43
Team New Zealand sit third in the qualification table, level with Great Britain and behind Oracle, who both carried points over from the Louis Vuitton World Series.
Meanwhile, it proved a highly positive day for the Defenders of the "Auld Mug", ORACLE TEAM USA, who comfortably beat Groupama Team France in the opening race of the afternoon, before coming from behind to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand in what proved the highlight race of the day.
The first round, starting on 26 May, is the America's CupQualifiers, with all six yachts racing against each other twice, with a point for each win.
The French kept their composure and outmanoeuvred Artemis, gaining ground by finding more wind on one side of the course.
These high-tech, twin-hulled carbon fibre boats are sailing's equivalent of Formula One cars and have a huge fixed "wing" similar to aircraft wings that allow them to "fly" above the water on hydrofoils.
"Ben has apologised. Clearly it was their mistake because they caused it but it doesn't stop the guys in the shore team having to have a big workload tonight to put things right".
The French had already been on the water earlier in the day, providing little opposition for cupholders Oracle Team.
Coutts is chief executive of Team Oracle, at the time Ainslie was understudy to the skipper Jimmy Spithill.
After nine more head-to-head races, Jimmy Spithill'sdefending champions will progress straight to the final, while the top four teams will compete in best of nine race semi-finals and finals for the chance to contest the Auld Mug - the oldest prize in global sport - in late June.
The victor will then face Oracle, who are racing in the preliminaries, but whose place in the final, due to start around the middle of June, is assured as the defending champions.
In the first race, the British team was slightly faster than Artemis Racing from the start and built an impressive lead over Artemis Racing. They started the day with one bonus point and added two more points after easily winning their two races.
There was much excitement in the America's Cup Village before the two teams faced off and they certainly didn't disappoint as what ensued was a race full of drama and excitement in a great advert for the America's Cup. Oracle were trailing 4-0 when he replaced John Kostecki as tactician on board Oracle.
The boats are sailed by a crew of six and steered with high-tech steering wheels.
If the victor of the qualifiers is Oracle or a challenger that advances to the match, that team will start the match with a one-point bonus. That was one of the big questions of the day, and other teams will be poring over the footage in their post-race briefings as they recalibrate the odds.
The foils work like a wing on an airplane by generating lift force when the boat reaches a speed of about 18 knots.
"Our boat is pretty badly damaged", he said.
New Zealand gained their first point with a dominant victory over France - officially unveiling the bicycle-style grinding system they have installed in place of arm-driven winches to power the catamaran's hydraulics system.
You need to be Logged in to sign up for Express Login. In late 2015, Cammas almost lost his right foot when he fell overboard during training and was struck by a rudder. "The boats are very exciting and it's a visual sport, but it does hold danger for the athletes", he said.
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