Thursday, 27 May 2010

LVT: TEAMORIGIN Has Two Points on the Board

TEAMORIGIN has two points on the board with a win over ALL4ONE. A dramatic collision between Aleph and Azzurra in another match led to serious damage to both boats, which will be out of action for some days as repairs are affected

TEAMORIGIN competing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

by Leslie Greenhalgh

Perfect Sardinian conditions were the order of the day today, 12-15 knots from the North West and glorious sunshine.

First match was Synergy vs Luna Rossa, the Russians with Karol Jablonski at the helm, showing the way round the course and taking their second win of the event. Race 2 was between BMW ORACLE Racing and Artemis, extremely close with Artemis taking the win by 14 seconds .

The power of the right is forefront in everyone’s mind when they match race in any boat and with the fresher winds blowing in Sardinia today the ability to live on the wrong side of the prevailing shift and then use the starboard tack advantage proved TEAMORIGIN’s strength today. TEAMORIGIN entered the start box from the right and dominated the early part of the pre-start against their opponent ALL4ONE. British skipper Ben Ainslie managed to hold the Franco-German team in a dial-up close to the pin end of the line for nearly two minutes before breaking off to manouevre out of danger for the remainder of the countdown.

The final approach to the start saw TEAMORIGIN to weather, on the right hand side with ALL4ONE a boatlength to leeward. The first few minutes of the beat saw the first shift go to the left inevitably giving the leeward boat the advantage forcing TEAMORIGIN away to the right. ALL4ONE tacked to cover and the pair sailed for quite a long time on port tack with the British boat slowly began to move forwards. The course had become fairly one sided with a persistent left shift but TEAMORIGIN had managed to stay sufficiently in touch to come back on starboard tack and force the opponent to tack to leeward. This was the turning point of the race although there was still plenty of action to come. It may be that ALL4ONE misjudged their leebow tack and couldn’t make the strong leeward position stick as the British boat, with a combination of excellent sailing and nerve, managed to hold their windward position for several minutes and pin their opponent out all the way and past the layline to the first mark.

When the pair eventually tacked back to port the Franco-German boat was again pinned on the outside and the British boat took them several hundred metres past the weather mark. Knowing that the wind had shifted far to the left Percy’s tactics worked beautifully as he positioned the pair to where TEAMORIGIN could turn a one boatlength advantage into a 150 metre advantage by gybing onto starboard as they set their spinnaker and laying straight down to the leeward gate. This was the masterstroke and allowed the advantage to stay with the British boat for the rest of the race. The puffy and shifty winds kept it close and the final margin at the finish a lap later was only five seconds.

In the other match of that flight, there was a substantial collision between Aleph and Azzurra. Aleph misjudged their position, collided heavily with the Italian team, were shown the black flag, disqualified and docked a point from their overall score. Azzurra was awarded the race but significantly the pair of yachts being used were severely damaged and will be out of action for some days meaning that for the immediate future the regatta must be run with just one pair of yachts which puts further strain on the schedule.

Racing continued in the other pair of yachts pair of boats with Luna Rossa taking its first win of the regatta against the highly fancied Emirates Team New Zealand.

TEAMORIGIN sailing off Sardinia. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.


Chris Brittle, Grinder, gave his thoughts on racing so far, “Everything feels really positive within the team right now, a very positive vibe exists on board. For sure we need to cut down on some small mistakes but it is all coming good and we just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Matt Mitchell, Bowman, added his thoughts “A good day today and feels like we are getting better the more time we spend together on and off the boat. There is a great sense of humour amongst the team and I think that sets us apart from other teams. Onboard it feels settled and focused. All good.”

Race Results Day Four, Tues 25th May 2010, Round Robin One

Flight 10
Match 1 – Synergy beat Luna Rossa, 15s
Match 2 – Artemis beat BMW ORACLE Racing, 14s

Flight 11
Match 1 –TEAMORIGIN beat ALL4ONE, 5s
Match 2 – Azzurra beat Aleph (black flagged) - race abandoned

Flight 12
Match 1 – Luna Rossa beat ETNZ, 13s
Not sailed Synergy V Mascalzone

Results to date (after day 4)
Artemis: 3 wins
ALL4ONE : 2 wins, 2 losses
Synergy : 2 wins
TEAMORIGIN : 2 wins, 3 losses
Azzurra : 2 wins, 2 losses
Mascalzone latino : 2 wins*, 1 loss = 1 point
Aleph : 2 wins*, 1 losses – docked a point = 1 point
ETNZ : 1 win, 1 loss
Luna Rossa : 1 win, 2 losses
BMW ORACLE Racing : 3 losses

Louis Vuitton Trophy