BMW ORACLE Racing founder Larry Ellison has his RC 44 of the same name placed fourth after the first day of fleet racing at the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.
Ellison scored 21 points today on finishes of 5-10-4-2 and trails third-place No Way Back of The Netherlands by three points. The leading yacht, 17, has the low score of 12 points.
All three yachts, as well as Artemis Racing (2nd place) and Team Aqua (8th place) are fighting for the 2010 RC 44 overall championship with two days remaining in the season.
According to mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder, the crew stumbled in the second race when they started early and had to re-start.
“It was a difficult day, very shifty,” said de Ridder. “That second race was tough because we finished in a group that stretched from sixth to 11th. It seemed like we were all overlapped. It was super close, we just missed out.”
But they also had a nice comeback in the fourth race, rallying from mid-fleet at the first mark to second place.
“The last race was quite hectic,” de Ridder continued. “On the second upwind leg we had a few near crosses that we couldn’t get in, so it didn’t feel like the greatest race. We sailed well on the run to the finish, but on the boat it didn’t feel that good until we crossed the finish line. It was very difficult until we got there.”
Team skipper James Spithill is calling tactics for helmsman William “Doug” Douglass aboard fleet leader 17. The crew also had a nice comeback in the fourth race after rounding the first mark in 10th place.
“Doug’s a great guy and fun to be around. We enjoy sailing with him,” said headsail trimmer Joe Newton. “He fits in well with us all and we have a good time on the water, which is the hardest thing. It’s a bonus that he can steer the boat very well.”