Monday, 16 November 2009

LVT: Emirates Team New Zealand Win Two More

Emirates Team New Zealand crosses tacks ahead of BMW ORACLE Racing. Image copyright Chris Cameron.

by Warren Douglas

Emirates Team New Zealand won both of its matches on Sunday to further consolidate its position at the top of the leader board of the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta at Nice.

With nine points, ETNZ is two points clear of TEAMORIGIN (UK) and three points clear of the Italian Team Azzurra.

With a light and shifty breeze from the north that softened as the race progressed, it was not a day for bold moves. The ETNZ after guard sailed a conservative race, staying in phase on the beats and defending tenaciously on the runs,

ETNZ v BMWOracle Racing

The breeze moved across the course, first favouring ETNZ in the left, then BMWOracle in the right. It was close for the first half of the first beat, the teams bow to bow with neither having a clear advantage.

Another shift to the left and ETNZ extended to two boat lengths giving Dean Barker a measure of control. At the first mark ETNZ was 23 seconds ahead and after a nail biting run rounded the first downwind mark with a margin of 20 sec,

The second beat was no more comfortable. Although still in control ETNZ fought to maintain their hard-won advantage and rounded the third mark 14 sec ahead.

On the run ETNZ extended at first, stretching to four boat lengths. As they closed on the finish line, BMW Oracle brought up the breeze and, travelling a good three knots faster, rapidly closed the gap. For a while, it looked like a lead change was possible right on the line but ETNZ survived the charge and cross 9sec ahead.

ETNZ v Team French Spirit - Pages Jaunes

As the breeze filled in from the south, ETNZ went up against Team French Spirit - Pages Jaune for their second race of the day

From the split-tack start, all the way to the finish, New Zealand worked the breeze to advantage and once Barker had established control on the first beat, the trailing yacht was always going to have a difficult race.

At the first mark ETNZ was 27 sec ahead, the margin was extended to 1 min 7sec after the first run and remained the same at the second windward mark.

The French team ripped the gennaker on the hoist as they rounded the third mark and from there it was over, with ETNZ finishing 1min 55 sec ahead.

Emirates Team New Zealand
Louis Vuitton Trophy

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