Wednesday, 11 February 2009
TEAMORIGIN lose to Damiani Italia Challenge after having to return to re-start. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.
by Leslie Ryan
TEAMORIGIN completed Round Robin two today after a controversial race against Damiani Italia and move into the Challenger Sail-Off Round in 4th seed position to meet Patuagas K Challenge (7th Seed) tomorrow morning. With two teams now out of the competition (Greek Challenge and Shosholoza), the next 5 days will be action packed where we will see the competitors go from seven in number down to one overall winner.
Today was the last day of the second Round Robin and the wind decided to play ball. Race one of the day was between Alinghi and Luna Rossa and Alinghi took a decisive win leaving them with an impressive maximum 4 points from Round Robin 2.
The second race of the day was the sail off for 8th and 9th place between the Greek Challenge and Shosholoza. A challenging pre-start manoeuvre allowed the Greeks to push Shosholosa away from the start line allowing them a significant advantage off the line. Although Shosholoza made an impressive come-back during the race, the Greeks took victory and secured 8th position overall in the event.
Race three was scheduled to be the final race in RR2 for TEAMORIGIN, up against Damiani Italia helmed by Vasco Vascotto. Like TEAMORIGIN, this new team has impressed many with its performance so far in this event taking wins in RR2 from Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa. This race would decide which of these two teams would finish in 3rd or 4th seed position. The 3rd seed winner would advance directly to the Quarter Finals and the 4th seed would sail Pataugas K Challenge (7th seed) tomorrow morning and would have to win that race if they are to make it to the Quarter Finals.
The warning gun was fired at 2pm and both boats moved together quickly with TEAMORIGIN holding Damiani head to wind showing impressive control. A green flag was waved by the umpires following some shouting as both boats moved astern. The Brits continued to manage the start efficiently and held the controlling position, approaching the line in good shape and with pace on. TEAMORIGIN looked to set for another perfectly judged start and much to everyone’s surprise a double gun was fired to signify that TEAMORIGIN were uncharacteristically deemed to be over the line. This meant they had turn back to get behind the line and re-start giving the Italians an important 80m lead off the start.
TEAMORIGIN were going to give it all they had to get back into this race after such a costly decision and headed upwind at max pace. In match racing, the start counts for so much and having to play catch up is not easy for any team. Damiani have shown themselves to be an impressive group and so would make sure they made no mistakes to allow TEAMORIGIN to regain control.
At the top mark, Damiani led round by 148m. TEAMORIGIN pushed hard downwind appearing to sail higher and at a more heated angle and managed to close the gap to 120m. Round the bottom gate the two teams headed upwind for the last time, Damiani being careful to cover and protect their lead. TEAMORIGIN managed to head out to the left hand layline and gain a bit of separation and gap closed down to an enticing 50m putting them right back in the race. With only a 13 second gap between them at the top mark, the TEAMORIGIN boys threw everything they had at it trying to entice errors from the Italians but they were having none of it and kept their cool crossing the finish line 23 seconds ahead.
TEAMORIGIN’s efforts to get a hearing for redress after receiving favourable photographic evidence showing that they were possibly on the right side of the start line was thrown out due to a technicality which was disappointing.
Other results from day five of RR2:
Alinghi 1 : Luna Rossa 0
Greek Challenge 1 : Shosholoza 0
Damiani Italia 1 : TEAMORIGIN 0
BMW Oracle W : Emirates TNZ L
*(Races against ETNZ do not count for any points)