Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 1 at the RC 44 Worlds

Monday’s racing at the RC 44 World Championship saw varied results for BMW ORACLE Racing. Jimmy Spithill and the crew on 17 led their group with a 5-1 mark, while Russell Coutts and the BMW ORACE Racing crew finished tied for first with three others at 3-2.

According to crewmembers, Spithill was on fire in the pre-starts, which allowed 17 to get off the line with leads they could defend. Coutts and his crew, however, suffered through hard wind shifts and uncharacteristic breakdowns that hampered their record.

Said Joey Newton (below), headsail trimmer aboard 17:

We had a pretty good day. We lost one race to Cam Appleton (Team Aqua), but it was a close race all the way around. It’s tough to lose those races, but it was a good race. So we’re pretty happy.

Our race against Terry Hutchinson and Artemis ended up not being too close a race, fortunately for us. Jimmy did a real nice job in the pre-start and we cleared out a few boatlengths and just stayed there. It was nice for a change. Usually we end up back-strapping.

Jimmy was starting well. We had a few races where we were in front at the start with a penalty and well in front, so that makes it easy on the rest of the guys when you come off the line like that.

The conditions were challenging, it’s always challenging in offshore breeze. We expected heaps of breeze today and it turned out pretty nice at 12 to 16 knots, which is perfect.

Said Ross Halcrow (below), headsail trimmer on BMW ORACLE Racing:

We were a bit up and down, had a few problems. We lost a couple races we shouldn’t have.

In the race with the Austrians, AEZ RC 44 Racing, they had a good lead on us, then we overtook them and had a good lead and then they got a shift and overtook us. They came around the mark got a bit of pressure and rolled over us to the finish.

The last 2 or 3 races we sailed w/the smaller jib because we stripped the halyard cover and the hanks off the J2. So it was unfortunate we couldn’t sail with that sail. We sailed with the J3 and were happy to manage our way through to win those races.

We didn’t have the best of days and were up and down so happy to get wins we’ve got. It was just one of those days, unfortunately.