The Côte d’Azur lived up to its name with warm sunshine for the racing just off Toulon’s beaches.
All teams had their Olympians back for the America’s Cup World Series in Toulon. 2016 Finn gold medalist Giles Scott, tactician on Land Rover BAR, got a podium finish after coming last in the first two races. Rio 49er gold medalist Peter Burling was back on the helm at Emirates Team New Zealand but finished the event next to last, their worst finish in the series. The Kiwis were outdone by Oracle, who finished dead last, with Tom Slingsby on the helm, replacing injured Jimmy Spithill. Not exactly the result Slingsby, the London 2012 Laser gold medalist, was hoping for. London gold and Rio silver 49er medalist Nathan Outteridge came out on top in Toulon, winning the light air regatta, thanks in large part to tactician Iain Percy finding pressure up and down the flukey course on both days. Percy has two Olympic golds and a silver in the Finn and Star. The fates were not kind to the home team. Franck Cammas and Groupama Team France were in second place for the regatta at the end of the first day and at the beginning of the final downwind leg of the regatta. The patchy conditions did them in as the Kiwis slipped past and bumped the French off the podium.
Bowmen? On an AC45?? Team Japan’s tactician Chris Draper, standing on the bowsprit in the light conditions, looked like the bowman on a big monohull. Artemis Racing’s Iain Percy spent most of the regatta straddling the bowsprit and looking for patches of pressure in the light conditions.