New Moon III win only race on Day 1 of 5.5 Metre Scandinavian Gold Cup

New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) has won the opening race of the Scandinavian Gold Cup at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, after a challenging day on the water with light winds. 

New Moon III
New Moon III

The winner of the prestigious Scandinavian Gold Cup is the first boat to record three race wins. Additionally, only race winners can progress beyond the third race, so it is all about winning races and that is the priority.  
The first day of the Scandinavian Gold Cup turned into a fascinating tussle of light wind tactics, keeping out of trouble and looking for breeze. 

Ku-Ring-Gai III
Ku-Ring-Gai III

Ku-Ring-Gai III (AUS 66, John Bacon, James Mayjor, Terry Wetton) perhaps spent the most time in the lead, but were stumped twice in a row. They led the opening race until halfway up the final beat when the wind died and shifted, and it was abandoned. 
Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli Seather) actually led at the top from the right side but lost the lead downwind to Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek Edward Wright), who then lost it to Ku-Ring-Gai III on the second upwind. At the second gate, Ku-Ring-Gai III escaped nicely and extended, but the wind was starting to die and the race was abandoned soon after.
John Bacon said of the day, “Today there wasn’t much wind, but it was beautiful. We had a pretty tough start in the first race, but we had a very good run and a very good performance upwind in these conditions. Then the race was abandoned. At that time we were probably the only upset crew on the course, but we got it. There was almost no wind and a 90 degrees wind shift, so it was impossible not to cancel the race, we understand it. 
“In the second race we had a much better start and we just had a massive six leg battle with New Moon III and in the end they prevailed. We are going really well, and are incredibly happy about the boat’s performance, particularly in light air today. 
“We are disappointed we didn’t get a bullet, that is what we are here for, but congratulations to New Moon III. They sailed really well, it was amazing battle on the field. We just had tremendous time today.”

In the resail with the wind now more easterly, New Moon III favoured the left and had a nice lead at the top but let Ku-Ring-Gai III escape on the second upwind and then trailed the Australians for the next two legs. The wind had started to die again and it was a tortuous final lap. Ku-Ring-Gai III and New Moon III split gybes on the final downwind and they only came back together 100 metres from the finish line.

New Moon III crossed just in front and gybed to cross to finish line to win the opening race by no more than two boatlengths.

Holowesko said, “The first race was cancelled, and I think was a smart decision because of a big shift of the wind even if we were very close to the top. In the second race we just wanted to concentrate on the boat speed. We went to the left side of the course and were first at the top mark. Then we made a lot of mistakes and obviously we lost the lead, but we did a great job going downwind. 

“Today was all about trying to find the wind, and we did a good job today finding the wind, keeping our boat speed, keeping the momentum of the boat and we made a lot of good progress downwind. 

“We are in the hunt now, we got just one win.”

In the Hankø Evolution Cup, Joker (FRA  50, Adrien Polaillon, Eric Polaillon, Jean-Baptiste Polaillon) took the win, while in the Royal Kaag Classic Cup, Cibele (ITA 72, Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli, Duccio Colombi) won.

Racing continues Friday with more breeze forecast.

Results can be found here:

More photos from the day here:

Event website including results and notice board are at:

Scandinavian Gold Cup and Class Cups:

5.5 Metre World Championship:

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