Friday, 28 May 2010

LVT: TEAMORIGIN Move Up the Leaderboard After Race Win over Synergy

3 more races to go to complete Round Robin 1

TEAMORIGIN leads Synergy downwind. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

by Leslie Greenhalgh

TEAMORIGIN sailed a nail-biting race against the Russian Synergy team today: a difficult start, a sharp and confident first beat, a close run, a poor drop, some good tactics and patience led to another point on the scoreboard for TEAMORIGIN.

Port entry is considered by most as a slight disadvantage when attacking the pre-start. With an opponent as strong as Synergy team and their aggressive afterguard led by Pole Karol Jablonski the British team had their work cut out to escape from the Russian team’s clutches in time to make an even start and take the left hand side of the pair.

With 13-16 knots of wind blowing with significant gusts and direction changes rolling down the course the tacticians on both boats had different approaches to the first beat. Initially, on the right, the Russian team led away to the right and opened up a two boat length advantage over the British boat 700 metres away on the far side of the course. Slowly the gap grew and the advantage to the Russian expanded. The British team knew that at some stage their opponent would need to return to the centre of the course and kept their cool.

The wind advantage on the right ran out and when the Russians tacked back to the centre TEAMORIGIN started to win back the advantage and eventually crossed safely ahead to take up the right hand side of the pair approaching the top mark. But it was close on the last cross and once again skipper Ben Ainslie was required to engage in some slow speed match racing and pin his opponent out at the mark so as to increase the advantage from half a length to a length and a half as the pair bore away at the top of the first run.

TEAMORIGIN leads Synergy around the top mark #1. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN leads Synergy around the top mark #2. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN led down the first run with the Russian team breathing down their necks closing in to a threatening position when it came time to gybe. The British crew executed a dummy gybe and sent the Russian team off on starboard giving themselves some breathing space and the ability to set up for their final approach to the left hand gate mark looking downwind.

This buoy had a significant bias meaning that the boat that rounded this buoy would sail a couple of lengths less distance than the boat rounding the other buoy. TEAMORIGIN’s manoeuvre at the bottom mark was not the slickest and part of the spinnaker dropped under the bow and ripped. By the time the team had got the situation under control some of their advantage had been used up.

TEAMORIGIN leads Synergy up the beat. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

The second beat was easier than the first however and there were no opportunities for the trailing Russian team to attack. TEAMORIGIN led around the top mark again and set off down the last leg with a couple of lengths advantage. The Russian team kept it tight all the way down gaining in the last part of the race to cross the line just six seconds behind TEAMORIGIN.

Anthony Nossiter, Pit on TEAMORIGIN, added his thoughts on the day’s race, “Plenty of action on the race course today, we had a nice start and confident first beat and all was going to plan, then a few mechanical issues and problems with the drop. That said we recovered well and dealt with the heat from the Russians well and hung on to our lead. Not a very comfortable race for us but good to get another race win point.”

In the other races of the day, ETNZ gained two more race wins - first up victory against Azzurra where they managed to overtake the Italians and come from behind to take the win by 13 seconds and then they took on Aleph and beat them by 26 seconds.

Artemis suffered their first race defeat against Mascalzone Latino, lots of action with an exploding kite on board the Swedish team. Synergy beat Aleph in the second to last race of the day.

So with most teams now with three races to complete this round robin stage, ETNZ head the table with 4 wins and 1 loss and TEAMORIGIN move up the leaderboard to joint 4th place on 3 points along with ALL4ONE and Synergy. At the end of the Round Robin, the two teams with the lowest score will be eliminated and the elimination round starts with 1st ranked sailing 8th, 2nd sailing 7th etc.

Race Results Day Six, Thurs 27th May 2010, Round Robin One
Flight 1 : ETNZ beat Azzurra, 13s
Flight 6 : ETNZ beat Aleph, 26s
Flight 15 : TEAMORIGIN beat Synergy, 6s
Flight 14 : Mascalzone beat Artemis, 46s
Flight 16 : Synergy beat Aleph
Flight 22 : Luna Rossa beat BMW ORACLE Racing

Results to date (after day 6)
ETNZ : 4 wins, 1 loss
Artemis: 4 wins, 2 losses
Mascalzone latino : 4 wins*, 1 loss = 3 points
ALL4ONE : 3 wins, 3 losses
TEAMORIGIN : 3 wins, 3 losses
Synergy : 3 wins, 3 losses
Azzurra : 2 wins, 3 losses
Luna Rossa : 2 wins, 5 losses
BMW ORACLE Racing : 1 win, 4 losses
Aleph : 2 wins*, 4 losses = -2 points

Louis Vuitton Trophy