Emirates Team New Zealand made an incredible recovery during the “winner takes all” fleet race on Sunday to win the America’s Cup World Series Cascais, the first event of a new global series leading up to San Francisco in 2013.
With nine boats on the start line, the competition was close, and with a tricky, patchy race course area, there were passing lanes throughout the day. ORACLE Racing Spithill jumped out to a convincing lead early, but couldn’t protect it. On the second lap of the race course, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker found more wind on his side of the race course to make the pass.
“For us it was fantastic,” Barker said. “It was always going to be a very difficult race, as the breeze never really established. There were big ‘holes’ in the race course, so it was about being at the right place at the right time.”
Artemis Racing, too, was able to work its way up to a second place finish from being back in the pack early; the early leader, ORACLE Racing Spithill, was forced to settle for third.
“The guys did an awesome job to battle us up into the race,” said Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson, after a day where he climbed back from mid-fleet to second place. “It’s probably the best we’ve gone in the entire regatta. It’s a very good finish for Artemis.”
But the feel-good story came from the Spanish Green Comm Racing. From a position of dead last early in the race, Vasilij Zbogar and his crew of dinghy champions began picking off the opposition on the final leg of the race to earn a fifth place finish, an incredible achievement for the novice crew.
For the complete story, go to www.americascup.com.