Kurrewa V and Sovereign opened their first series of trial races off Newport, Rhode Island on Monday (10 August).
Kurrewa V and Sovereign opened their first series of trial races off Newport, Rhode Island on Monday (10 August). Sovereign won the opener after a tight battle that see-sawed back and forth.
Briefly, Scott Perry put Kurrewa over the starting line a few lengths ahead of Sovereign. On the first, upwind leg however, she was unable to hold the lead. After a series of tacks, Sovereign broke out and took the lead, leading by several lengths at the end of the first leg.
Peter Scott, sailing Sovereign managed to hang on to his lead throughout the second leg. Both yachts set spinnakers, with Kurrewa drawing closers and closer. They jibed around the mark at the end of the second leg quite close together. Kurrewa managed to overhaul Sovereign on the third leg, finally passing her. Kurrewa rounded the buoy at the end of the third leg somewhat ahead, managing to hold her lead on the fourth leg, but on this leg, as both yachts drove to windward, Sovereign again showed herself faster on this point of sailing, and the two were only seconds apart as they rounded the mark at the end of the forth leg. The fifth leg was once again a spinnaker run -- about half way down it, Sovereign pulled ahead of Kurrewa as Kurrewa jibed over, losing ground in the process. Shortly afterwards, Kurrewa's spinnaker split, and she replaced it. At the end of the leg, the two yacths rounded the mark virtually side by side, Sovereign, however, going through to windward. This gave her a slight lead for the last leg, a windward beat up to the finish line. She was never headed thereafter, Kurrewa dropping farther and farther behind.
Generally speaking, Sovereign seemed faster going upwind (to windward) and Kurrewa seemed faster to leeward. But Kurrewa's greater speed downwind wasn't enough.
The two will continue to race throughout the week, ending the first series of trials on the 17th. Later in August, they begin a final series of races. The Royal Thomas Yacht Club, early in September, will pick either Kurrewa or Sovereign to challenge for the America's Cup. The Cup races themselves will be held off Newport beginning 15 September.
A mosest sized spectator fleet was on hand to see the race. The breeze was moderate (10 knots) from the southwest.