Ian Williams struggles at World Match Racing Tour

Trial in Marseille, tribulation in Rome as former world champion Ian Williams struggled to make the cut in the opening World Match Racing Tour grand prix of the season and the America’s Cup Challenger of Record, Mascalzone Latino, abandoned any hope of competing in 2013.

Mascalzone boss Vincenzo Onorato was in emotional mood as he said to “dear friends and supporters” that “with deep sorrow I have to announce my decision to withdraw my team from the 34th America’s Cup.”

Onorato, who owns the Moby ferry line, and his sponsoring club, the Club Nautico de Roma, had drawn up the protocol for the next Cup with the defender, the San Francisco-based Oracle Racing Team its club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

But it has long appeared that, along with others among the initial 14 challengers, the economic pressures affecting both Europe and many other parts of the world, would prove too much.

“In our sport, men in blazers have overcome by now those in oilskins. I’m a man in oilskins and when I go to sea I want to win. I’m not interested in a hopeless challenge. I would lie to the sponsors, to our fans and, last, but not least, to myself.”

It is expected that the Artemis challenge from Sweden will step into the Challenger of record job. Its ceo, Paul Cayard, is a close collaborator with his Oracle opposite number, Russell Coutts. But the bigger question is how many bona fide America’s Cup challengers there will be.

The New Zealanders have secured both NZ$36m of government plus a lot more sponsor backing but the nature of the government backing claimed by the China Team is less clear.

No other team has declared that it is ready to race and the first regatta, in 45-foot wing-powered catamarans, is due to take place in Cascais in August.

At the same time any viable team would need to be pouring energy and money in to designing and building this year the class of 72-foot wing-powered catamarans that begin campaigning in August next year and will be used in the challenger elimination trials in San Francisco in the summer of 2013.

Summer was settling into Marseille on the second day of Match Race France but it had a cutting edge for Williams. He has only one race to go before the eight go into the quarter finals. If he loses to Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen he is definitely out. If he wins then he will go into a tie-break.

“It was a day for being smooth and fast and we weren’t,” said Williams on the dock of the Yacht Club Pointe Rouge. “And we were giving half a length away here, half a length away there. It cost us dear.

“We’re traditionally strong in starting and normally in a bigger boat it is more important to control the favoured side of the track. In these J80s it is more about squeezing speed out of the boat, but we haven’t managed that at this regatta.”

Damien Iehl, Jesper Radich, Torvar Mirsky and Pierre-Antoine Morvan are sure of quarter final places. It is tight for the other four.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas