Friday, 13 November 2009
Friday's matches will determine placings for first round
TeamOrigin against the light. Image copyright Ian Roman/TeamOrigin.
by Chloe Daycard
Thursday was a case of one match, one win for three of the top four teams at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur.
Emirates Team New Zealand, Azzurra and Artemis each won their lone match of the day, which was shortened to two flights as light winds in the afternoon turned the Baie des Anges off Nice into a virtual mill pond.
After day six, Emirates Team New Zealand still leads the event with 6 points on a perfect 6-0 record. Skipper Dean Barker and mates defeated BMW ORACLE Racing by 48 seconds in their lone match and have one remaining in the round against TEAMORIGIN. Based on the standings tonight the Kiwis need to win that match to win the round.
“We’re happy with how it’s been going,” said Barker. “We’ve been sailing with the same crew. You run the risk of injury or illness, but we’ve had the same crew throughout.”
Italy’s Azzurra moved into second place today after winning its match over the French/German team ALL4ONE. Azzurra and skipper Francesco Bruni lost the lead on the first leg and then regained it on the second, finding more pressure on their side of the course, to win by 1 minute, 56 seconds.
Azzurra has 5 points on a 5-1 record. It has one match remaining in the round and will place either second or third.
Azzurra leap-frogged TeamOrigin of the U.K. in the standings when skipper Ben Ainslie’s crew lost to Artemis of Sweden in the day’s first match. Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson put forth a masterful performance in the pre-start and cleaned out his British rival. Artemis went on to win by 45 seconds.
Artemis leads TeamOrigin out of the start. Image copyright Bob Grieser/OutsideImages.co.nz
TeamOrigin’s loss was its first of the event and dropped it to third with 4 points on a 4-1 mark. Ainslie and mates have two matches remaining in the round, against Team New Zealand and Azzurra. If TeamOrigin wins both it can still win the round robin.
Artemis solidified its fourth-place position with its dominant win. Hutchinson had been very critical of his pre-start performance in yesterday’s match against Team New Zealand, giving up lateral separation late in the sequence. Today, he pushed Ainslie around in the pre-start and left the British triple Olympic Gold medalist tacking to port almost two lengths to leeward of the line at the start gun.
“Today’s start set up similarly to yesterday’s. We just executed it better,” said Hutchinson. “Yesterday’s race was painful, but we debriefed and had good communication about what we did right and wrong. Today, we learned from our mistake.”
TeamOrigin tactician Iain Percy said the team put itself in a disadvantageous position at the start.
“We got ourselves a little late having misjudged the layline and gave them [Artemis] a powerful position,” Percy said. “For people watching, some of those moves seemed to be wrong, but the reality is that when you are starting with them bow forward by half a length at the favoured end wide right, the race is kind of over. Although sometimes it looks like you are making more mistakes, in fact you are trying to give yourself a chance to get out.”
Emirates Team New Zealand leads BMW ORACLE Racing upwind. Image copyright Bob Grieser/OutsideImages.co.nz
The second half of the leaderboard sees BMW Oracle Racing in fifth with 2 points on a 2-3 record. BMW Oracle has two matches remaining, against Artemis and Synergy, and needs to win both if it hopes to move up into the top four.
Synergy of Russia today picked up its second win of the regatta and has 2 points on a 2-4 record. With one match remaining it is locked into sixth place because it defeated ALL4ONE today, which gave it the tiebreak advantage.
The French/German team ALL4ONE is seventh with 2 points at 2-5 and TFS – Pages Jaunes is eighth at 0-7. These two teams have completed the first round robin and can’t move up in the standings.
Two flights remain to complete the round robin and organisers hope to run through them tomorrow. In an effort to get racing completed tomorrow’s first start has been moved a half-hour earlier to 0830 CET.
M1: Artemis vs. BMW Oracle Racing
M2: TeamOrigin vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
M2: TeamOrigin vs. Azzurra
M2: BMW Oracle Racing vs. Synergy
Crew on Artemis. Image copyright Paul Todd/OutsideImages.co.nz
Round Robin 1 : Flights 12-13 summaries
Wind: 7-9 knots
Course axis and range: 345 degrees, 1.3 NM
M1: Emirates Team New Zealand d. BMW ORACLE Racing – Delta: 48 seconds
Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW ORACLE Racing in their pre-start. Image copyright Bob Grieser/OutsideImages.co.nz
Team New Zealand controlled this match throughout, although it was close around the first lap of the two-lap course. The Kiwis have attempted to start to leeward on starboard in every match, and got that position again. They believe that tacks late in the sequence are costly because smaller, No. 2 genoas are being used rather than the giant overlapping No. 1s. That makes the boats underpowered in the light winds.
Team New Zealand led by 13 seconds at the first windward mark as both boats took port jibe on the first run. Approaching the halfway point of the run BMW Oracle seemed to be getting its bow to leeward of New Zealand’s line and closing a bit. That’s when Team New Zealand threw a fake jibe at its rival, but BMW Oracle didn’t bite. Moments later the Kiwis made another fake jibe, going so far as to bring the boom to centreline with the mainsail battens popping from port to starboard, but then turned back to port when BMW Oracle completed the jibe to starboard. A minute later Team New Zealand completed a jibe to starboard and had clear air to the leeward gate, which it rounded to port in a jibe douse. BMW Oracle held starboard around the right-hand mark. Up the second beat Team New Zealand sailed free and clear and increased its lead to 47 seconds at the second windward mark. The run to the finish was a foregone conclusion.
M2: Artemis d. TeamOrigin – Delta: 45 seconds
Action on board TeamOrigin. Image copyright Ian Roman/TeamOrigin.
Artemis scored a badly needed point and handed TeamOrigin its first loss in a match that was over when it started. Artemis helmsman Terry Hutchinson made mincemeat of TeamOrigin’s Ben Ainslie. Artemis started on starboard tack about mid-line while TeamOrigin was tacking to port almost two lengths to leeward. Artemis immediately had a 40-metre lead and never looked back, other than to make sure it was in cover mode.
Wind: 3-7 knots
Course axis and range: 185 degrees, 1.2 NM
M1: TFS – Synergy d. TFS – Pages Jaunes (DNF)
Karol Jablonski at the helm of the Russian entry, Synergy. Image copyright Paul Todd/OutsideImages.co.nz
A day after picking up its first win in AC class racing Synergy posted its second, once again by defeating a French team. Synergy won this light-air race on the first beat. Skipper Karol Jablonski brought the Russian crew onto the racecourse on starboard tack and well to windward of Bertrand Pace’s French crew. Synergy at times was sailing 20 degrees higher on the long starboard tack to the left side of the course, aided by either slightly more pressure or a lifted angle. Synergy led by more than 1 minute at the first mark. Synergy’s only real threat was the 20-minute leg time limit on the run to the finish. The Russians made it with a few minutes to spare, but TFS – Pages Jaunes was more than 5 minutes in arrears and was scored DNF per the Sailing Instructions.
Bertrand Pacé at the helm of TFS - Pages Jaunes. Image copyright Paul Todd/OutsideImages.co.nz
M2: Azzurra d. ALL4ONE – Delta: 1:56
The Italian crew aboard Azzurra won the first cross in this match, but lost the lead later on the first beat when it tacked to cover ALL4ONE up on its hip. When Azzurra tacked to starboard to cover the wind was light and ALL4ONE was able to use its momentum to sail through to leeward. ALL4ONE took a 24-second lead around the windward mark but then gifted the match to Azzurra. ALL4ONE jibed away to starboard although Azzurra hadn’t made a manoeuvre. Basically, ALL4ONE jibed out of a covering position. The Italians held port before jibing to starboard later, and when they did they were headed on starboard with pressure while ALL4ONE was light and lifted on the other side of the course. Azzurra took a comfortable lead around the leeward gate and then, like Synergy, had to fight the time limit to score the point.
Louis Vuitton Trophy