ENERGY, ORACLE TEAM USA SLINGSBY each post 1-2 in day’s fleet racing

NPL13D4_1816

1555 – Energy Team (Yann Guichard) and ORACLE TEAM USA SLINGSBY (Tom Slingsby) both posted a 1-2 in today’s fleet races and moved up the leaderboard at America’s Cup World Series Naples.

ORACLE TEAM USA SLINGSBY (pictured) leads with 38 points, good for a 2-point lead over Energy Team and Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker), which placed 5-3 today. J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) placed 6-4 and holds fourth overall with 35 points.

Full report to follow.

NPL13D4_1677

1200 - Similar to yesterday, a light seabreeze is developing on the Bay of Naples as the clock passes two hours to the start of racing. A breeze of 8 to 12 knots is expected.

The two remaining matches of the match racing quarterfinals kick off the day’s racing program. First up is Emirates Team New Zealand versus Luna Rossa Swordfish followed by ORACLE TEAM USA SLINGSBY against HS Racing.

After the two match races the third and fourth fleet races of the series are scheduled with all nine AC45 crews taking the start line together.

All of today’s racing can be viewed on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions) beginning at 14:00 CEST/13:00 GMT/08:00 US ET/05:00 US PT.

0930 - After yesterday’s riveting opening day to America’s Cup World Series Naples, one accentuated by tricky sailing conditions, today might be an easier day for the sailors. The weather forecast calls for a southerly breeze of 7 to 12 knots.

The final event of the 2012-13 racing season has a few newcomers in the fleet. One in particular is China Team. Although helmsman Mitch Booth is a veteran with many years of experience in multihulls, the crew is comprised of Chinese nationals who were selected at a training camp the team held last autumn, and many of them got their feet wet yesterday.

NPL13D4_1608

“I’m very proud of the guys on our boat. They did such a good job,” said Booth, a double Olympic medalist in the Tornado class. “This was their first day of international competition of any sailboat race. If we can keep improving we’ll be happy.”

The Day 1 “Catty” award, for best acting performance on a catamaran, goes to Luna Rossa Piranha skipper Chris Draper. Draper got a penalty on Artemis Racing White and its young helmsman Charlie Ekberg for a port-starboard incident with what looked to be an over-exaggerated jerk of the helm. “There might’ve been a little bit of Hollywood in that move,” allowed Draper, “but that’s part of the game.”

For Dean Barker and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew, their return to AC45 racing was a breathtaking reminder.

“We were definitely rusty when we arrived, but you do a few days of practice and it all comes back,” said Barker. “What comes back is you realize how hard these boats are to sail. They’re so demanding on the guys, they’re getting flogged from start to finish. They’re tough boats.”

Racing is scheduled to begin at 14:00 CEST and can be viewed on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).

http://youtu.be/ywV3MsaFsl4