Tuesday, 24 November 2009

LVT: Azzurra and Emirates Team New Zealand in Final

Azzurra leads TeamOrigin. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

by Jill Campbell

Italy’s Azzurra took victory over Team Origin by 29 seconds to claim their place in the final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy scheduled to take place tomorrow, 22nd November. Azzurra, skippered and helmed by Francesco Bruni and with Tommaso Chieffi calling tactics, will meet Emirates Team New Zealand in match races which will see the first team to reach two points win.

Azzurra is a name well known in Italian sailing as the country’s first challenger, launched by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), for the America’s Cup in Newport in 1983. This new team, born of the partnership between Giovanni Maspero and YCCS, has been a revelation throughout the matches of the Louis Vuitton Trophy racking up victories against teams such as BMW Oracle Racing and Artemis, skippered by Paul Cayard. Today’s win over Team Origin was also no mean feat given the British sailing talent on board: triple Olympic gold medal winner Ben Ainslie at the helm and double Olympic Gold medal winner Iain Percy on tactics.

The two teams had a very close upwind leg in a light northerly breeze of seven to eight knots but Azzurra managed to gain the advantage at the windward mark rounding and held onto their lead for the duration.

Azzurra on her way to defeating TeamOrigin. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

In the other semi-final match Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, led Russian team Synergy, skippered by Karol Jablonsky, over the finish line by 4 minutes thanks to a penalty inflicted at the first mark rounding.

Team Origin was defeated again in her second match of the day against Synergy to decide third and fourth positions. The British team therefore takes fourth overall behind third-placed Synergy.

Louis Vuitton Trophy

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