by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat
Alinghi Vs Luna Rossa
Pool B, Flight 2, Race 4
Alinghi: starboard entry to the start
Forecast: SW, 15-20 knots
Old team mates went head to head in Race 4 this afternoon – day 2 of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series – when Alinghi’s Ed Baird lined up with Peter Holmberg at the helm of the Italian team Luna Rossa. Alinghi led Luna Rossa off the line by a couple of boat lengths, tacked back from the left to cover the Italian team and take the race out to the right. The Swiss kept it close and led the Italians around the top mark. As the breeze steadied Alinghi extended down the run, through the gate and back up to lead at the top mark by 54 seconds before finishing a text book race 50 seconds ahead.
Rodney Ardern, local New Zealander and runner grind on Alinghi gives his insight on the pre-start, the racing today and a second win for Alinghi:
“We entered from the starboard side, there was a little bit of bias in the line to our advantage – we had a little bit of a dial up, it didn’t last very long – we didn’t sit there for too long flapping sails or going backwards or that sort of thing – we peeled out quite quickly. Luna Rossa did a good job of following us, or reacting to our initiation to go out on port, they were close behind and we couldn’t get our jibe in and start circling immediately so we headed off into the spectator boats and from there we managed to shake them off. We had a little bit of time to kill and it all worked out quite well after that.”
Q: You have worked and raced with Peter Holmberg and several of the crew on Luna Rossa many times – how do you use that to your advantage?
RA: “We talked a little bit about it; he has a few special moves which we were sort of expecting, but we weren’t a 100% sure; of course we have a good idea of what he is capable of. It’s always good fun; there are a few other ex-Alinghi sailors onboard as well so it’s good to see them.”
Q: Are these conditions Auckland at its finest?
RA: “It’s perfect breeze for this event, maybe a little too much for some of the teams, but we’re enjoying it. It can be quite puffy and a little bit shifty in close to North Head on the top right-hand of the course. Otherwise 15/16 knots is really good.”
Q: How is it going on ‘foreign’ boats – how is the team adapting?
RA: “That’s always interesting, we have been lucky enough to train on most of the boats over the previous week. Everyone is enjoying it and having a little look around; there are always new solutions to problems which are good to learn from. I must say though that we are pretty happy with our boats that we have tucked away in Valencia!”
Q: How long ago did you last sail here?
RA: “The last time was when we won the Cup with Alinghi in 2003. I have been back a few times, but not to go racing. So this is the first time back on the harbour for a while!”
Results on Day Two
Emirates Team New Zealand: 1 / BMW Oracle Racing: 0. Delta 28 seconds
Greek Challenge: 1 / Team Shosholoza: 0. Delta 56 seconds
Damiani Italia Challenge: 1 / China Team: 0. Delta 1 minute 18 seconds
Alinghi: 1 / Luna Rossa: 0. Delta 50 seconds
Tomorrow, Alinghi on NZL84 will race the British TeamOrigin