Spithill in command

DUBAI — James Spithill, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup, topped the standings on the opening day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 15 Nov 2010, 11:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:02 AM

The young Australian skipper steered BMW Oracle Racing to a 2-0 record over the French/German boat All4One while the other four boats in the contest posted 1-1 records.

Racing was close and eventful on the short windward-leeward courses tucked into gulf waters between Dubai Creek and the palm-tree shaped man-made islands of The Palm Jumeirah.

There were two collisions, one serious, when Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand speared its spinnaker pole through the side of Mascalzone Latino Audi steered by Gavin Brady. No one was hurt but Brady was penalized twice in the incident and race officials asked Brady to withdraw to avoid further damage to the Kiwi boat.

Cameron Dunn from Mascalzone said his team was head to wind when the New Zealand boat tried to turn inside them and their spinnaker pole sliced into the brittle carbon fiber topsides of the Italian boat.

“It went straight through the carbon fiber,” Dunn said. “It’s not a very thick skin at that point. It’s not designed to take impacts on the side. We’re lucky it wasn’t much worse. It could have been considerably worse. I’m surprised the bow didn’t hit. Luckily it was just the spinnaker pole. No one was hurt. It was pretty exciting for the 18th man in the back, and the television cameraman.” Ray Davies, tactician on ETNZ said: “It was pretty dramatic. Obviously not what anyone wants. A lot of damage, a broken spinnaker pole and a big hole in a boat. It’s not a good way to start but the guys are working on repairs and it should be OK for tomorrow.”

Following a jury hearing into the collision, Mascalzone Latino Audi was docked one point while ETNZ lost half a point. Before racing started, race officials had warned sailors about actions that might render boats incapable of racing.

In the other incident, young French helmsman Sebastien Col flicked the bow of his French/German boat All4One into the safety wands on the stern of BMW Oracle Racing. The contact earned him a penalty flag and he lost the race.

More news from