Friday, 19 April 2013
by ETNZ media
The sole America’s Cup World Series event of 2013 began today in Naples with Emirates Team New Zealand looking strong.
Playing no part in the initial rounds of the match racing Dean Barker and his crew hit the start line of the first fleet race with pace and rounded the first mark just metres astern of the Oracle AC45. Their lead was short lived as Emirates Team New Zealand were right there to pounce on an unforced error of the Oracle crew on the fourth leg, who sailed outside the race course boundary and received a penalty.
“We thought we were close enough to have a crack at Oracle as we have a good jump on the third placed boat so we gave it a nudge, but in the end they blew it by going over the boundary in the gybe , so it was nice to be on the right side of that one.” said Barker
Once their nose was in front that was where it stayed walking the fine line of playing the shifts and covering the trailing boats until crossing the line just off the Naples foreshore to cheers of the growing local crowd.
“It was one of those days that if you get your nose in front you tend to have a few more options” was how wing trimmer Glenn Ashby saw it.
In the second race day of the day the Emirates Team New Zealand boat was caught up in the lee of two boats that were over the line early and held up getting away rounding the reach mark in 5th place.
The breeze continued to shift dramatically around the course and by the end of the final race had dropped from a start speed of 12 knots to a light 7 knots.
They team pushed hard and sailed fast all the way around the track and finished the final run with pace taking a big chunk into the lead of the boats preceding them, but ultimately finishing in 4th place with skipper Barker’s finishing comment, “Good Day guys”
This result sees Emirates Team New Zealand finish the first days racing in 2nd place over all just one point off the lead from BAR Ben Ainslie Racing setting a good foundation for a good weeks racing leaving skipper Dean Barker content, “Our objective when we left the dock today was to be top three when we came in, and it was a day where you almost had to survive more than try and win. The guys all did a good job.”
Match racing starts the day tomorrow with a quarter-final race against Luna Rossa Swordfish skippered by Francesco Bruni followed by two more fleet race.
Emirates Team New Zealand