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San Francisco: Ben Ainslie and Luna Rossa crews advance as the America’s Cup world racing series open

26 August, 2012: Ben Ainslie and Luna Rossa Advance as America´s Cup Begins

26august2012americas_cup2The 34th America cup racing series premiered on Wednesday in San Francisco with three racing qualifying matches. The races saw six teams battle it out for the three remaining spots in the quarterfinals. The sea conditions favored the races in contrast to the teams’ expectations. Poor bay conditions over the past week saw five crews capsize during training. The weather presented west southwesterly wind speeds between 14-17 knots, which presented a mental test to the teams as they tried to navigate.

With the race being its first at San Francisco Bay, it was no wonder to see an eager weekday crowd lining the shore of AC village to catch a glimpse of the action.

The Luna Rossa team was all smiles as its two candidates swordfish and Piranha crews beat their rivals. The swordfish crew was triumphant against China team while the Piranha crew sailed over Artemis racing red. Chris Draper, Piranha’s skipper admitted challenge at the hands of Santiago Lange of the opposing team. Draper’s team, however, outsmarted Artemis Racing Red crew through their acuity in predicting wind shifts.

The Korean team also lost their stakes to J.P Morgan’s crew to accord Ben Ainslie’s team the remaining spot in the quarterfinals.

Though they won their race, Ainslie confessed inadequacy of skills. He recognized team efforts that saw them take the race though he attributed an added advantage on a penalty call slammed on their competitor.  He however acknowledged the hard work displayed by the Korea team.

Nathan Outteridge, the Gold winning skipper for Team Korea could not be consoled with the hope of winning dashed twice. He was beside himself with frustration, as he could not understand why his team attracted penalties. He however acknowledged a judgmental error that saw them lose the first race.

Lack of flexibility in the rules governing the racing saw a c all made on Regatta Director Lain Murray to overturn the penalty decision fall on deaf ears. After consulting, Murray was sad to report that the results would stand since the rules left no room for reconsideration or a rematch.

Be sure to catch the action on your favorite America’s Cup YouTube channel from Thursday through to Sunday from anywhere around the globe. Broadcasting will take place starting 2:00 P.M. PDT between Thursday and Saturday while the Sunday event will be broadcast starting 11:30 A.M. PDT. The broadcasts will be subject to the provisions of the territorial broadcast regulations.

NBC Bay area 11.2 is offering daily coverage through to Saturday throughout the bay area, while in California; action can be caught on Sportsnet California channel. The grand finale, which takes place on Sunday, will be broadcast live across the United States on NBC starting from 11:30 A.M. PDT.