Bermuda’s Privateers win Race 3 to get firmly back into SSL Gold Cup contention
Bermuda thrust themselves firmly into the picture at the halfway point of qualification for the Star Sailors League Gold Cup with victory in a drama-filled race today in Grandson, Switzerland.
Rockal Evans and his crew showed superior speed and then had outmanoeuvred Puerto Rico in the main on a tactical third leg in a race that was reduced to four legs.
Then after the pressure applied forced Puerto Rico into a rushed spinnaker launch at the outset of the final leg, which incurred a penalty, the world stopped as the finicky light air on Lake Neuchâtel fell away completely and left four teams marking time sitting in position.
Bermuda, although they were isolated on a different part of the course from Puerto Rico, Tahiti and Antigua & Barbuda — who had made great strides after a difficult start — got their tactics right so that when the hard pressure returned, they sailed away for the remaining 200 metres to a convincing win.
Puerto Rico, meanwhile, found themselves passed not only by Antigua, who covered and forced them into an unwanted gybe, but by Tahiti as well.
It was a turn of events that was beneficial to Bermuda’s Privateers, who are now on six points from three races — one behind Puerto Rico, who hold the second qualifying place from the “Islands Group”.
Antigua are leading on ten with Tahiti also on six, but trailing Bermuda by virtue of not having won a race.
Racing continues tomorrow when points count double.
The top two teams from the five-race series move on to the SSL Gold Cup Final Series from October 28 to November 20.
• To view the Bermuda race on YouTube, go to the 3:14 mark