'The first race was very good, scoring a third,' commented mainsheet trimmer Adrian STEAD. 'The second and third races we were mid-line and going right - with the left paying - so they were recovery races. Last race we did a pretty awesome recovery on the first beat to come back from 27th to 11th, although we didn't convert it, coming in 15th. There were plenty of snakes and ladders out there, and we did OK, probably fourth best boat of the day, and we extended on Barking Mad.'
Jim RICHARDSON'S local team on Barking Mad clung on to second overall with scores of 7,24,6. While Mascalzone and Barking Mad retained their places on the leader board from the night before, behind them all sorts of place changing was going on. Biggest beneficiary from today's three light-wind races on Rhode Island Sound was Cannonball, with Dario FERRARI posting an incredible set of scores - 5,5,3 - to leap 11 places up the rankings to fourth overall and the Boat of the Day sponsored by Sentient Jet. The Italian owner was bubbling over with excitement. 'I have just decided to give up sailing, because after today I will never repeat anything like that,' he said. 'This proved what a fantastic class the Farr 40 is. It shows that anyone can win in this fleet.'
There were three winners in each of today's races - run by Principal Race Officer Peter REGGIO with assistance from the New York Yacht Club race committee. The first race was won by 2002 World Champion Steve PHILLIPS on La Renard (Annapolis, Md.), the next race was won by Wolfgang STOLZ on Opus One (GER), and just as the sun was beginning to set over Newport, the final race was won by HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark on Nanoq.
Mark REYNOLDS, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, is calling tactics aboard La Renard, which now sits in eighth place overall but still within striking distance of the top. He admitted that the race win was partly down to the 'luck' of making a second-row start. 'The race we won, we didn't have a very good start and we had to tack,' said REYNOLDS. 'This forced us right, which was the way to go. Winning races is always nice, but what's more important is getting a set of scores like Cannonball had.'
Indeed Cannonball was the only boat to keep all its scores inside the top 10 today. Mean Machine looked set for a great recovery from a poor start to the regatta, posting 4,2 in the first two races and making a great start off the committee boat end of the line in the final race. However as has been the case so often this week, a good start was no guarantee of a good result as the advantage swung to the left-hand side of the course, leaving the boats on the right stranded. Peter de RIDDER struggled home in 31st place, unable to maintain the upward momentum from his previous races.
Alinghi bounced back with a good day with Ernesto BERTARELLI notching up 2,13,8 to sit on equal points with third-place Opus One and Cannonball. 'We had a very good first day, a very bad second day, and a very good third day,' said BERTARELLI. 'Now we need to have a very good fourth day. Nothing went our way yesterday, there are days like that. Today we had some good times and some bad times, but at least we had the opportunity to work to our strengths.'
Like every team in the top 10 - with perhaps the exception of current leader Mascalzone Latino - Alinghi is hoping for at least two races tomorrow before the final prizegiving. 'We still have a shot, but we need two races tomorrow,' said BERTARELLI. 'We need wind, we are strong in the wind.' That might just be wishful thinking, however, as the forecast is for another frustratingly light day.