Alinghi was up against the British squad TeamOrigin today with three-time Gold medallist Ben Ainslie on the helm. The Brits had right-hand advantage coming into the start box; the pair dialled up, circled and Alinghi led out into the spectator fleet. With a minute to kill, the Swiss were in control coming into the line but a luff from the Brits seconds from the start pushed Alinghi over early.
Alinghi turned back to restart and pursued TeamOrigin up the windward leg to round 1minute 1second behind. Down the run, the Swiss went left and reeled the British team in to round the right-hand gate 34seconds behind. TeamOrigin covered Alinghi back up the second windward leg and rounded ahead. While the Swiss made gains down the last run, the team crossed the finish line 36 seconds behind TeamOrigin.
“It was actually a fairly standard pre-start and we were really happy with 99% of the start and how it went, we just made one misjudgement and miscalculated the boat’s performance. We were in a controlling position and, certainly with our boats, it wouldn’t have been an issue but with the boats we were sailing, TeamOrigin was able to get an overlap on us which changed things and we ended up being a second late for the line – apart from that we were happy with the way it went.”
A second late – the graphics ashore showed Alinghi over early?
“Yes we were over early, so we had to go back – we took a little bit longer to get back than we probably should have. With this short-course racing it is pretty difficult to get back in to it after that. But we were happy with how we sailed from then on; we finished closer to them than we were when we started. All told we are never happy to lose a race, but it should be a race that doesn’t cost us in the end and we have certainly learnt something from it.”
You mentioned the challenges of the TNZ boat – how are you adapting?
“Pretty well – it is very interesting. It is an unique opportunity that you don’t normally get to sail the opposition’s boat and we are enjoying the experience. We are discovering little nuances that the boats have that make them different to our own. Overall we’re not finding it that difficult to learn the boats.”
When was the last time you sailed here?
“The last time I raced here was the last race of the America’s Cup in 2003. I have been out on the harbour a reasonable amount of times, but it has just been cruising and fishing!”
Good to be home…
“Yes it’s always good to sail with our team – I think everyone gets a real buzz from sailing together; it’s great.”
Damiani Italia Challenge: 1 / Pataugas K-Challenge: 0 – Delta 45seconds
China Team: 0 / BMW Oracle Racing: 1 – Delta 28seconds
Alinghi: 0 / TeamOrigin: 1 – Delta 36seconds
Luna Rossa / Team Shosholoza – Racing cancelled (too much wind +30knots!)
Emirates Team New Zealand: BYE