Wednesday, 10 March 2010

LVT: Emirates Team New Zealand Opens with a Win

by Warren Douglas

Emirates Team New Zealand has opened its Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland campaign with a win over the Swedish Artemis.

In an early evening race, Emirates Team New Zealand sailing NZL92 played the shifts and the tidal current to cross the line 1min 40secsec ahead of the Swedes.

Skipper Dean Barker and his afterguard played a patient game, prepared to take some temporary pain for later gain, as he and the trimmers combined to keep the yacht moving at maximum speed in the patchy south-west breeze.

A lack of breeze delayed racing until 2.45 pm. The first two matches were sailed in a light north-east breeze. By the time the ETNZ-Artemis match came around the breeze had swung to the south-west. A new course was laid in the inner harbour with the top mark near the Orakei wharf.

ETNZ led off the start, gaining a small advantage, and then Artemis took the lead in the left. Tactician Ray Davies held his nerve, got the shift he was expecting, and NZL92 opened up a 55sec lead at the first mark.

Artemis came back at New Zealand on the first run. Bringing up the breeze, they ate into the ETNZ lead, and by the bottom mark the advantage had been whittled away to only 12sec.

It was all on again. Davies, strategist Adam Beashel and navigator Jules Salter got NZL92 around the mark in good shape. Artemis went left and ETNZ went right. That turned out to be the crucial tactical decision of the day.

ETNZ got the breeze and extended, rounding the second top mark 1 min 21 sec ahead. By the finish the margin was 1min 40sec.


ALL4ONE beat Mascalzone Latino by 44sec
Azzurra beat TEAMORIGIN by 53sec
Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis by 1min 40sec.
Aleph beat Synergy by 3min 26sec

Emirates Team New Zealand
Louis Vuitton Trophy

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