Chaos on the start line compromises Team Origin
[Source: Team Origin] A tough break for TEAMORIGIN today when an over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start area and blocked the view of a tiny lobster pot buoy which caught around their keel. Sailing team member Craig Satterthwaite swam to clear the foul-up but the incident allowed Artemis to get away and take the race win.
TEAMORIGIN were up against the Swedish Artemis team today. The start warning signal was fired at 1500, the breeze was 5-7 knots, north easterly direction. Pre-start Artemis was aggressive and pursued the British boat away from the start line but TEAMORIGIN held their ground and both boats turned back to the start line. With one and a half minutes to go, the over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start box area and blocked the view of a small lobster pot buoy which TEAMORIGIN promptly caught around their keel. By the time Craig Satterthwaite went over the side to clear the tangle with a sharp knife the unfortunate incident had given Artemis the opportunity to clear out and lead off the start line.
TEAMORIGIN pushed hard up the beat to get back into this race and trailed the first windward mark by 17 seconds. The Brits did an immediate gybe set and were hot on the heels of their competitors to try and close the gap. Artemis managed to keep their air clear and rounded the left hand bottom gate still with a lead and in control of the race.
At the second top mark Artemis lead by 47 seconds, TEAMORIGIN did a really nice rounding and gave it a final push but it was not to be. A really frustrating race for Ben Ainslie and his crew as the pre-start issue really decided the fate of this race. Artemis took the race win by 45 seconds.
Quotes of the day:
Ben Ainslie, Skipper & Helmsman, “A real anti-climax today, it was a really busy start area with lots of spectator boats around, large and small and it was pretty hard to manoeuvre around them. We managed to avoid one of them and moving away from another we unfortunately caught a lobster pot. Craig Satterthwaite had to jump over the side with a knife to cut it clear and by the time we got it sorted, Artemis had a good lead.”
“The guys did a great job in keeping the race close and did a very nice manoeuvre around the second windward mark but the race result was decided by the unfortunate incident before the start.”
Craig Satterthwaite, Pit, who jumped over the side with a knife to clear the tangle: “The water is pretty cold! We had to wait until the boat slowed down so I could jump over the side, it was very clear so pretty easy to spot and cut free and the guys put a rope by the side so I could pull myself back in, not what we needed but at least we got it sorted quickly and calmly.”
David Carr, Runners/ Pit Assist, added: “What a nightmare, there were so many spectator boats and sirens going to try to get them to clear the area, we could cope with that as its part of the game but made it impossible to see a tiny white lobster pot marker buoy. The positive thing to take out of it was how quickly we got it sorted and how calm everyone remained afterwards and got straight back down to business - but for sure it was a tough break for us.”