In the final best of seven series to find a challenger for the America's Cup, the twelve metre Australia took a 1 to nil lead on Thursday (25 August) after defeating Sweden's Sverige by 51 seconds.
In the final best of seven series to find a challenger for the America's Cup, the twelve metre Australia took a 1 to nil lead on Thursday (25 August) after defeating Sweden's Sverige by 51 seconds. It was an exciting race which saw the lead change twice.
SYNOPSIS: It was the Sverige with her newly-stepped replacement mast which got the better of the start.
The Australia, with its green deck, lost further ground at the start of the down wind leg because of a poor spinnaker set.
But earlier the Sverige, took advantage of a wind shift on the first 4.5 mile (7.7 km) windward leg to open up a three minute twelve second lead rounding the first mark. The 24.3 mile ( 40 km) course was held in slow conditions with a 2 knot northerly wind. The Sverige is Sweden's first attempt at the America's Cup. Sverige's world sailing champion skipper, Pelle Peterson organised the challenge and directed the design and construction of the yacht.
Yachting experts regard the Swedish boat as a revolutionary new concept in yachting. She's constructed entirely of metal and all the stress work in her design was carried out with computers.
Just as it seemed that the race was in the bag for the Sverige, the Australia, captained by Noel Robins, started closing the gap at an incredibly fast pace. On the second reaching leg he reduced Sverige's lead to one minute forty-seven seconds and rounded the fourth mark at an unbelievable 13 seconds ahead. At the start of the downwind leg both yachts gybed and the Swedish challenger fought back to almost level position. But the Australia's superior tacking in the closing stages ended any chances for the Sverige. Leading by one minute and nine seconds at the fifth mark, the Australia went on to claim a comfortable victory with fifty one seconds to spare.