Signs of promise, but equipment failures continue to halt Objective Australia’s progress in Red Bull Youth America’s Cup

3 September 2013

Overnight the international jury awarded Objective Australia redress for Race 1 yesterday, agreeing that supplied equipment had failed. That redress will be the average points of races 2-6. However, the jury did not award redress for Race 2.

In Race 4 today, disaster struck again with the same gear failure causing the Code Zero to unexpectedly drop on the Objective Australia AC45.

Objective Australia and the America’s Cup Race Management team have again taken the boat out of the water to try to resolve the repeated failure of the Code Zero halyards.

The team has lodged a protest for Race 4 and has requested a reassessment of the redress decision on Race 2. Due to the workload of the international protest committee, this cannot be heard today and will instead be heard after racing concludes tomorrow.

San Francisco put on a much better show for the second day of racing in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The sun was out and the breeze was a summery 12 knots from the WSW.

The Australian’s came to the start line with plenty of enthusiasm and determination.

So too did a number of the other teams and the enthusiasm got the better of the fleet with On Course Side (OCS) penalties going to the Australians, among a number of other teams who broke the crowded start before the starter’s gun.

Objective Australia climbed back to a solid fourth by the bottom mark. Unfortunately they took a chance on the right hand mark and were alone on that side of the course with the Swiss. The left hand side had wind and tide conditions and the Australians struggled to get back to the pack.

At the end of the second run, they had clawed back distance and steadily gained up the last beat to get close enough to capitalise on some of the other team’s boat handling issues to claim sixth at the finish. It was the second race of the day where today’s drama unfolded.

After dominating the start, Objective Australia tucked around the first mark just ahead of NZL2, forcing the kiwis to gybe away and leaving Objective Australia forging a comfortable lead. By the second mark that lead had extended and the Australians went to the favoured left side with a safe margin.

It was close racing with many tacks along the shore, but in the end the solid tactics of Laser class world number one, Tom Burton, kept the Australian team in front of the Swedes as they rounded the left hand mark. Halfway down the run disaster struck when the casing around the new Code Zero halyard gave way, the Code Zero dropping onto the deck of the AC45.

This was the same equipment failure that occurred during Race 1 yesterday.

There was an immediate outpouring over social media with fans response to seeing the Australians blighted with such unbelievable misfortune.

The Objective Australia team remains extremely determined and knows that if they can record a couple of excellent results tomorrow then, with a successful request for redress, they may be still in the regatta on the final day.