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AC35: Day 2, Race 8 (of RR1) – OTUSA spanks LRBAR after a slow start

AT THE START OTUSA's Jimmy Spithill tried to get a hook (overlap to leeward allowing them to "luff" their opponent) that resulted in both yachts getting too low to lay the starting line. Ben Ainslie on Land Rover BAR gamely squeezed around the leeward end, doing only 5 knots, and they were off on Leg 1 well ahead of OTUSA who had to do a bigger and even slower pinch up to get across to the starting line. The Brits held the lead down leg 2, but OTUSA's superior speed and foil-tacking gave them the lead upwind on Leg 3. There was one dial-down with OTUSA on starboard and just crossing ahead. OTUSA bore away heading right at LRBAR, and forcing port-tacked BAR to do a bigger duck to keep clear – at a closing speed of, what, 75 knots? USA stayed ahead for the rest of the race by 200m or so. There was only one other moment of drama when GBR crashed off their foils, submerging the forward half of the yacht, giving the TV commentators something to debate for the rest of the race – whether or not water seen coming out of the side of one of LRBAR's hulls was from a crack in the hull, or a cockpit drain. Commentator Ken Read is doing another great job today and sussed it out – showing with a telestrator that it was indeed a scupper, i.e., cockpit drain. not a crack. His Brit co-commentator "Ali" was convinced it was a crack; I think we will nickname him the "Ali the Crack Spotter." USA extended into the finish line winning by 39 seconds. OTUSA is now 3-0 in Round Robin 1, and that puts them alone atop the Leaderboard on four points (three from racing and one from the bonus point carried in from the World Series). LRBAR remains on three points, from one win and two bonus points.

Screen grab from just after the finish of Day 2, Race 8 won handily by USA after a slow start.

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