Monday, 15 March 2010

LVT: A Win and Extra Point for TEAMORIGIN Closes Up the Scoreboard

Four Teams Now Tied on 3 Points Each Will Lead to a Thrilling Last Two days for the Round Robin

TEAMORIGIN had a close tussle with the Russians on Synergy on Sunday. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

by Leslie Greenhalgh

TEAMORIGIN won their race Sunday against the Russian Synergy team in an exciting race that was close until the Russians experienced a spinnaker drop problem leaving Ben Ainslie and the British team to take a comfortable win.

In the other races today, the all-French derby between ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) and Aleph (FRA) led to a win for ALL4ONE giving them a solid 3 wins and 2 losses so far. An exciting race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Azzurra, currently the top ranked teams on the leaderboard and the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice finalists saw the Kiwis prevail despite them breaking a spinnaker pole during the race and managing to keep the lead and win by 42 seconds. In the final race of the day, the race between Artemis and Mascalzone Latino provided thrilling excitement to the end, the Swedes incurred a penalty and waited right until the finish line to do their turn, allowing Mascalzone to take an important race win.

Start gun for the third race for TEAMORIGIN was fired at 1315 with 16-18 knots reported on the race course. As the two teams approached the line, Synergy came in from behind at pace and tried to put pressure the British team, they both split tacks just off the line with TEAMORIGIN taking a small jump and heading out to the favoured right hand side. Synergy kept pace well as they headed out to the left.

The course area today had placed the Bean Rock lighthouse right in middle of the course with a ‘restricted zone’ around that area. This lead to Synergy having to tack across to avoid the restricted area. At the first cross with TEAMORIGIN on starboard, it was pretty close but TEAMORIGIN had a narrow lead and was holding most of the cards as they tacked back to their right side. Synergy was then not able to tack away because of the ‘no-go’ zone of Bean Rock. This manoeuvre further benefitted the British team as they managed to box out the Russians. Both boats tacked onto the layline with Synergy managing initially to hold on to the weather hip of TEAMRIGIN but they were eventually squeezed out by bad air from TEAMORIGIN.

At first windward mark, TEAMORIGIN headed round first with 12 seconds lead.

Both teams executed bear away hoists but there was a small twist on the gennaker of Synergy. The two teams did a simultaneous gybe and Synergy was trying hard to cast some wind shadow on TEAMORIGIN as they headed downwind. The breeze was up to 15/16 knots but quite flukey so pretty hard conditions to read. TEAMORIGIN sailed smartly to extend to a three length lead, keeping clear ahead but covering their opponent.

At the bottom mark Synergy executed a pour drop being set up for the wrong mark and could not get their kite down. The Russians had to sail past the mark before they sorted themselves out and by then TEAMORIGIN’s lead was 48 seconds.

Up the second beat, TEAMORIGIN kept their cool and sailed smartly and safely, the audio onboard enabling the spectators to hear the smooth and streamlined communications on the boat and between the crew. By the second windward mark, Ben Ainslie’s lead had extended to 1 min and 7 seconds. The last downwind leg went without incident and TEAMORIGIN took the win by 1 minute and 18 seconds – now giving them 3 wins and 2 losses on the scoreboard.

TEAMORIGIN wins against Synergy. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

There are two more races in this Round Robin with TEAMORIGIN still to race Artemis and Mascalzone Latino. ETNZ have an undefeated score line with 5 wins but 4 teams now all have 3 wins and 3 points on the board so there is a close battle on for the second golden ticket spot.

Kelvin Harrap, TEAMORIGIN Afterguard Coach, commented after the race, “We got the basics right today, we were in control by the top corner of the first beat, the crew work was smooth and efficient and all went according to plan. Now we need to focus on winning our next two races to finish the round robin in the best possible position.”

Crew work on TEAMORIGIN. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

Race results Saturday:
Race 1: All4One (FRA) beat Aleph (FRA): 1m 6s
Race 2 : ETNZ (NZL) beat Azzurra (ITA): 42s
Race 3: TEAMORIGIN (GBR) beat Synergy (RUS) : 1m 18s
Race 4: Mascalzone Latino (ITA) beat Artemis by 1min 3s

Race wins/losses/points after day 5 of racing:
1st : ETNZ 5 wins/0 losses 5
2nd : Azzurra 3 wins/2 losses 3
2nd : TEAMORIGIN 3 wins/2 losses 3
2nd : ALL4ONE 3 wins/2 losses 3
2nd : Mascalzone 3 win/2 losses 3
6th : Artemis 2 wins/3 losses 2
7th: Aleph* 1 wins/4 losses 0
7th: Synergy 0 wins/5 losses 0
*docked 1 point for collision

Race schedule for Monday 15th March, is as follows:
Race 1: ETNZ (NZL) vs Aleph (FRA)
Race 2 : TEAMORIGIN vs Artemis (SWE)
Race 3: Mascalzone (ITA) vs Azzurra (ITA)
Race 4: Synergy vs All4One (FRA)

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