Tuesday, 24 November 2009

LVT: Two Races and Both Teams on Zero

Thrilling finish to a close encounter

Emirates Team New Zealand and Synergy are close downwind. Image copyright Paul Todd/OutsideImages.co.nz

by Warren Douglas

Emirates Team New Zealand and the Russian team Synergy go into the last race of the semi-finals each with zero points.

Both teams were deducted a point after a collision at the end of their second race effectively nullifying two close, exciting encounters.

With one race to sail tomorrow, the winner of that race will win the semi-final and go into the final against either the British TEAMORIGIN or Italian AZZURRA.

Saturday's first race had to be the match of the regatta. The lead changed three times. After being overtaken on the second downwind leg, ETNZ regained some ground and were able to attack Synergy on starboard, luffing the Russians and snatching the lead and crossing the line 20 sec ahead.

The second race, in a good breeze of 15 – 18 knots, was another spectacular display of match racing tactics.

Emirates Team New Zealand incurred a penalty in the pre-start and needed a good 6-7 boat-length lead to do the turn to win.

ETNZ led around every mark and extended to five boat lengths down the second run, but it was not enough.

Dean Barker allowed Synergy to close the gap drawing them in close in an attempt to force an offset penalty. Synergy wouldn’t engage so Barker forced them past the finish line where the collision occurred.

The jury decided that both teams were at fault and each should lose a point.

Emirates Team New Zealand
Louis Vuitton Trophy

No comments: