Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa

Three bullets for Luna Rossa Piranha

Chris Draper dominates America's Cup World Series prologue, the Arzanà City of Venice Trophy

Saturday May 12th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

A prologue to the America's Cup World Series took place in Venice today with the Arzanà City of Venice Trophy and the ideal result for the Italian crowds with Luna Rossa's two AC45s holding first and second place after three races were held.

Chris Draper’s Luna Rossa Piranha dominated in the extremely light conditions on the offshore Lido race course, where the wind rarely exceeded 5 knots. They scored three bullets in as many races.

“Today we had some good starts, which is something we’ve been working on,” Draper said. “It was good to put the training into practice. It was great to come through and win the races, but more importantly we learned a lot.”

Competition at the Arzanà City of Venice Trophy got off to a welcome start with Paul Campbell-James steering Luna Rossa Swordfish to a second place finish behind Draper, to give the Prada boats a one-two finish.

“We felt pretty good after that first race,” said Campbell-James. “It was light winds all day and pretty shifty, with lots of opportunities to slide up and slide down. It’s been a great day for Chris, but hopefully we’ll be able to push them tomorrow.”

Over the course of the three races the Swordfish crew managed to maintain second overall holding off Loick Peyron’s Energy Team and Oracle Team USA Spithill.

Venice is a well-known tourist destination and the spectator turn-out exceeded all expectation. “That was unbelievable. Naples was incredible for the number of people on shore, but the number of boats on the water was ridiculous,” Draper said.

Artemis Racing finished 6,6,2 to end the day in 5th place overall. Commenting on today’s races, skipper Terry Hutchinson said: “We didn’t start very well in two of the three races. The one race we started well in, we did well in. It was a hard day. Mentally taxing. On a more positive note, we were experimenting with the gennaker and a few new settings on the boat, so we learned a lot about those.”

Seven teams took part at the prologue regatta today, with Oracle Team USA only fielding Spithill's team in the afternoon and Emirates Team New Zealand forced to remain ashore with damage to their boat. Oracle Team USA Bundock is expected to race on Sunday as are the Kiwis, so nine boats are expected on the starting line for the first gun at 1400 CEST.

Two more fleet races are scheduled Sunday, followed by a final race between a starting line offshore to a finish just of St. Mark’s Square, right in the heart of Venice. The prize purse for this event is 50,000 Euros.

A cold front is due to move in over Italy this evening which will see an end to the hot and humid conditions and provide plenty of wind and rain for tomorrow’s racing which will finish in front of historic St Mark’s Square.

Results after three races

1. Luna Rossa – Piranha…27 points
2. Luna Rossa – Swordfish…21 points
3. Energy Team…20 points
4. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…19 points
5. Artemis Racing…16 points
6. China Team…12 points
7. Team Korea…11 points
8. Emirates Team New Zealand…0 points
9. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…0 points



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