Complex Day In The Bay...
Gladiator won the first race on day three of the Royal Cup on Friday, less than 24-hours after they were forced to retire from racing with bow damage following a collision.
Before hitting the water to race on the superstitious Friday the 13th the team were hopeful all of their bad luck was behind them, and it certainly seemed the case.
Gladiator won by 18 seconds over Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, followed by Quantum Racing, Rán Racing, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, PowerPlay, Provezza and Aquila.
It was a tough start for Aquila who were recalled for jumping the gun, while Rán again proved to be the team to beat making a clean start and taking an early lead, followed closely by All4One.
Racing remained tight on the opening 1.9 nautical mile beat in a 10 knot sea breeze in Palma Bay, with the top five rounding the mark within about 50 seconds of each other.
All4One rounded first, followed by Gladiator, Rán, Quantum, PowerPlay, Azzurra, Provezza and Aquila. Gladiator and PowerPlay made swift returns to the racetrack after successfully repairing damage sustained in yesterday’s collision.
The fleet split into two packs downwind causing a major reshuffle, with Gladiator coming out on top followed by All4One, PowerPlay, Quantum, Azzurra, Rán, Provezza and Aquila.
In a bid to turn their luck around Rán made a bold solo break to the far right of the course and gained one place, but Gladiator proved too strong and held their hard fought lead to claim their first victory of the regatta.
Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One claimed their first victory in the Royal Cup, winning race two on Friday under the steady helm of four-time Olympic medallist and double America’s Cup winning skipper Jochen Schuemann.
The win takes All4One from fourth place to third in the overall Royal Cup standings.
PowerPlay posted their best result of the regatta to finish second, Quantum Racing finished third, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, Rán Racing, Provezza, Gladiator and Aquila.
All eight competing yachts got the all clear in a very even start. But it was Rán, the most windward team off the start, who gained an early advantage.
The Palma Bay sea breeze eased to nine knots as Gladiator surged back to the front of the fleet, followed by PowerPlay, both having made a quick recovery less than 24-hours after a collision that forced them to retire from racing.
With massive wind-shifts of as much as 15 degrees making course calls tough for the sharpest of tacticians, the fleet reshuffled again on the final beat.
All4One took the lead, followed 24 seconds later by Quantum, then PowerPlay, Rán, Azzurra, Provezza, Gladiator and Aquila.
Schuemann held his nerve against challenges from the fleet to notch his team’s first win of the regatta.
An early start is planned for the final day of the Royal Cup, 11.00 first race.