Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series: Final Round Robin 2 Results

Damiani Italia Challenge beats TEAMORIGIN. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Damiani Italia Challenge.

by Louis Vuitton Pacific Series media

Race 1: Alinghi beat Luna Rossa, 23s

Ed Baird, at Alinghi's wheel, had the right-hand advantage entering the starting box and used it to good advantage, despite a strong challenge from Peter Holmberg steering Luna Rossa. Conditions were perfect on an outer course on the edge of the Hauraki Gulf, with flat seas and northerly wind at 12-13 knots. The boats split on opposite tacks approaching the line with the Swiss at the committee boat and the Italians at the pin. Holmberg tacked and paced it with Baird out to the right and then made a lee bow tack under the Swiss bow when they came back on starboard. It was a move that should have forced the Swiss away, but Baird hung on it to take the Italians out to the port tack layline, before leading into the mark. The Italians kept it clear after that but never really looked dangerous.

Alinghi and Luna Rossa Challenge upwind. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Luna Rossa Challenge.

Mark 1 - 0:11 Alinghi
Mark 2 - 0:17 Alinghi
Mark 3 - 0:22 Alinghi
Finish - 0:23 Alinghi

Race 2: Greek Challenge beat Team Shosholoza, 31s

In the sail-off for eighth and ninth place amongst the challenger fleet, the rookie Greek Challenge made its final mark on this regatta beating the established Team Shosholoza. The Greeks, who have been under the tutelage of experienced New Zealand skipper Gavin Brady in their debut event, dominated the pre-start, and shut out Paolo Cian and teh South African team in the scrimmage for the far left-hand corner of the start line. They immediately pulled out to a 100m advantage on the first beat, leading by 23s at the top mark, but Shosholoza gained ground downwind by heading out to the left, cutting the difference to 10s as the boats rounded opposite buoys at the bottom gate. The distance between the boats remained the smae upwind and Shosholoza looked to be in their strongest position going into the final run. But the Greeks played it sensible and safe to the finish, winning by 31s, and finishing their first event in Cup boats in eighth place.

Mark 1 - 0:23 Greek Challenge
Mark 2 - 0:09 Greek Challenge
Mark 3 - 0:10 Greek Challenge
Finish - 0:31 Greek Challenge

Race 3: Damiani Italia Challenge beat TEAMORIGIN, 24s

Damiani Italia Challenge leads TEAMORIGIN upwind. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

An unforced error cost the new British TEAMORIGIN its match with the new Italian Damaini Italia Challenge right at the start gun. Olympic ace Ben Ainslie at the helm of the British boat, made the most of his starboard tack adavantage in the pre-start and shepherded the Italians back to the line with the seconds ticking down. Shut out from the right side, helmsman Franceso Bruno and his skipper/tactician Vasco Vascotto settled for a full speed start to leeward of the British boat with plenty of separation. It was textbook stuff from Ainslie except that the recall signal sounded, indicating that the Britons were a fraction early. After returning, the British boat got close on the second run but were never a serious threat.

Mark 1 - 0:37 Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 2 - 0:35 Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 3 - 0:14 Damiani Italia Challenge
Finish - 0:24 Damiani Italia Challenge

Race 4: BMW ORACLE Racing beat Emirates Team New Zealand, 27s

BMW ORACLE Racing leads Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

Rain advanced onto the course for the awaited match between Dean Barker and Russell Coutts but did little to cloud Coutt's vision. The skipper for the American team broke off early from his pre-start circling with Emirates Team New Zealand's Dean Barker and made a perfectly-timed start to leeward of the Kiwi boat. Barker was a fraction slower and tacked away in the direction of the starboard layline. As the rain grew in intensity, Coutt's team worked the shifts to extend their early advantage. When the Americans tacked to lay the weather makr on port the Kiwi boat was trailing by 70 metres and never really got close again.

Mark 1 - 0:20 BMW ORACLE Racing
Mark 2 - 0:24 BMW ORACLE Racing
Mark 3 - 0:32 BMW ORACLE Racing
Finish - 0:27 BMW ORACLE Racing

Results Table for Round Robin 2, copyright Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

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