ORACLE TEAM USA found success on the race course Friday during the official practice races of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg, winning the first contest. The race was a good confidence-building measure.
“We’re hoping for good action tomorrow,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill at the opening press conference following the races.
“It’s always good to be pushed and go up against the best. We love competition, we love being pushed and that’s what we’re expecting this weekend.”
Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand did not race today after suffering equipment problems, the former damaging their wing in a capsize before racing.
But for ORACLE TEAM USA, the full day on the water was an invaluable learning opportunity.
“For us, these practice days have been a chance to get back in the boat, sail the AC45F and get (new crew member) Joey Newton into the boat and used to the playbook,” said sailing team manager Tom Slingsby.
“I think we had very good boat-handling and we were very quick in Portsmouth. Personally, I’m disappointed in how I sailed last month. I made two poor decisions at key moments, once in each race. They were big mistakes and we were playing catch up for the rest of the day.
“Boat-handling is probably the biggest thing. I think Land Rover BAR was the best in Portsmouth and that’s why they won. Tactics and speed come into it but we’re all learning these boats and it’s a race to see who can get ready in time. I’m hoping we’ll be able to pull him back.”