Russell Coutts, Jose Juan Calero and the BMW ORACLE Racing crew today were knocked from the top perch at the RC 44 Fleet Racing World Championship by none other than Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf and the crew of 17.
The crew of 17 posted the low score on the day, 13 points on finishes of 1-7-3-2, and leads the regatta by 4 points over BMW ORACLE Racing. Stronger winds up to 16 knots returned to the racecourse today and brought about lively action on the waters off Lanzarote after three days of very light winds.
“Suddenly the seabreeze came in. Although it was quite hard to find right lanes, Jimmy and crew did a fantastic job finding those lanes,” said Myralf, the Dane who races Farr 40s with the Prince of Denmark. “We had a good day. We had one race where we were unlucky with a seventh. We were leading that race at the first mark, but it only shows how close this racing is. It’s so close.
“We had about 16 knots of wind,” Myralf continued. “That’s a good nice breeze, especially with this weather: sunny, warm and flat water. I just enjoy it every time I’m asked to come and race.”
Earlier this week 17 won the RC 44 Match Racing World Championship. And while it holds the top spot, BMW ORACLE Racing’s fall was more due to extenuating circumstances.
In Race 6 BMW ORACLE Racing, on port tack, went to dip Artemis when the Swedish yacht tacked unexpectedly. In making the maneuver the port corner of Artemis’ stern scoop was caught by the bow of BMW ORACLE Racing. Artemis was docked 2 points by the on-water umpires for the infraction.
Although BMW ORACLE Racing finished the race in fourth, the crew was busy fixing the bow in between races and ran out of time before the next start to run the tapes of the spinnaker. When they went to set the sail at the first windward mark it was a tangled mess and they had to sail the first run without a spinnaker.
That dropped BMW ORACLE Racing into 11th place, and they wouldn’t recover. Despite the high points total, they only dropped to second in the standings, a testament to how consistently well they’ve raced the fleet racing portion of this world championship regatta.