Kiwi AC45 skippers shine in San Fran
Olympic medallist Peter Burling has got his America's Cup career off to the best possible start by driving Team Korea into the quarterfinals of the latest World Series event on a foggy San Francisco Bay.
In his first race at the helm of the Korean AC45 catamaran, the 49er silver medallist outshone his Luna Rossa Piranha rival - and more experienced British 49er sailor Chris Draper - to score a rare matchracing win for the Koreans, albeit by two seconds in choppy, 20 knot conditions.
Burling and Team Korea will now meet Artemis White, helmed by Terry Hutchinson, in tomorrow's quarterfinal.
Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand got off to a heartening start, also recording a first-up win. Disappointed with his performance at last month's regatta in San Francisco, Barker led his crew to a convincing victory over Artemis Red, helmed by Australian Nathan Outteridge.
Barker led from start to finish to win by 51s, and set up a quarterfinal meeting with Frenchman Loick Peyron's Energy Team.
Another Kiwi skipper in action today, matchracer Phil Robertson, helped guide China Team to their first ever matchracing win in the ACWS, beating Luna Rossa Piranha by 10s.
But the joy was shortlived - as Robertson prepared for a showdown with Artemis Red, to find a quarterfinal opponent for Oracle's Russell Coutts, the China team broke some of the carbon ribs in the wingsail in a pre-race gybe and had to return to the dock for fear of snapping the sail in half.