The Australian catamaran Quest 111 beat the American boat Weathercock in the first round of the Little America's Cup at Sorrento in Australia on Saturday (12 February).
GV PAN Spectator boats round start
SV Start & gun fired PAN TO beats away Weathercock leading
SV Small craft following
SV Weathercock away PAN TO small craft & Quest 111
GV Small boats ZOOM IN TO Weathercock
SV ZOOM IN Quest 111
SV ZOOM OUT Quest 111 past finish bouy followed by small craft
Initials SGM/2235 SGM/2300
SPORT: BOAT RACING
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Background: The Australian catamaran Quest 111 beat the American boat Weathercock in the first round of the Little America's Cup at Sorrento in Australia on Saturday (12 February).
The race was closely fought, but the Australia boat managed to make best use of the stiff breeze to take the final bouy well ahead of its American rival.
The Australian crew is widely tipped to win the seven-race series. Skipper Bruce Proctor and his crewman Graeme Ainslie are both experienced yachtsmen and are used to the tricky waters around Sorrento.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of small boats dotted the see around Sorrento in Australia on Saturday for the start of the first race in the Little America's Cup. The American catamaran Weathercock took an early lead in the race from the Australian boat Quest 111. Winds for the race were fresh, and the boats made good time through the early stages of the race.
The American boat began to lose its lead shortly after the half-way mark. Quest 111, skippered by veteran yachtsman Bruce Proctor and his crewman Graeme Ainslie, kept close to the wind on the turns and slowly picked up a lead, until the boats were almost level with only a few hundred yards to go.
Quest 111 beat the Danish boats off Copenhagen in 1970, and is widely tipped to win the seven-race series. The boat was designed by a firm specialising in competition racing, and has raced several times this season against other Australian craft in the same C class. The Australian crew is more experienced in competition racing than the Americans, and will be defending the cup for the remaining events.