Lighter breezes brought more players to the front of the fleet on day one of the Plymouth Match Racing Championship, with Artemis Racing winning two of today's three fleet races.
With the sun beaming down on Plymouth Sound, the crowd on the Hoe was treated to a day of upsets, passing moves, and come-from-behind wins on the waters below.
The fast-learning challenger teams showed they can mix it with the best when the game moves away from the strong wind boathandling of last weekend to the more subtle, tactical game of today's lighter and trickier breezes. And Terry Hutchinson's team on Artemis Racing
were the class act of the day, with individual displays of brilliance from a number of the newer teams.
"We're getting more confident in our starting and putting our boat in some good spots,"
said Hutchinson following racing. "All in all it was just a good day. Boat speed is a good thing and it looks like we're going pretty fast."
led for a good portion of the first race before losing out to Artemis Racing
just towards the finish. In the second race it was Team Korea's
time to shine, moving through the fleet and past Emirates Team New Zealand
for a morale-boosting victory.
"We had a good sequence with the wind shifts," Team Korea
skipper Chris Draper said. "With the course boundary, if you get out of sequence it's hard to get back into it."
Emirates Team New Zealand
blotted their copy book at the final start, crossing the line too early along with Aleph
, with both the Kiwis and French forced to go back and play catch-up. Whereas Bertrand Pacé's French team could make little impact, Dean Barker's New Zealand crew found some great gusts and wind shifts to haul themselves right back up the fleet into second place at the finish behind Artemis Racing
, in one of the more impressive performances of the day.
Surprisingly, both ORACLE Racing
teams struggled on the day and sit in fifth and six place on the leaderboard. James Spithill and crew led for part of the first race but fell to finish third, in what would be their best result of the day.
The two teams who spent most of last night making various repairs to their boats ahead of today's racing - China Team
and Green Comm Racing
- trail the leaderboard.
"We were happy to be back on the water after yesterday's nasty capsize and we worked as hard as we could,"
said China Team
skipper Charlie Ogletree. "We were a little slow today. Conditions today were much different (from the weekend) and the other teams figured out better tactics to handle it."
Also taking in the racing today was HRH Prince Michael of Kent, who observed the action from on board the Race Committee boat for the afternoon.
The seeding races for the Plymouth Match Racing Championship continue on Thursday, with three fleet races scheduled. Racing begins at 14:10 local time.