Saturday, 31 January 2009


Ben Ainslie at the helm of TeamOrigin's boat, with Kiwi Mike Sanderson on the runners. Image copyright Ian Roman.

by Leslie Ryan

TEAMORIGIN vs. LUNA ROSSA was the 2nd race of the day, scheduled to start at 12pm. Near perfect conditions with about 10-12 knots, slightly overcast. The starting sequence got underway at 12.10pm and saw the two teams engage quickly and carry out quite a bit of ‘duelling’ ahead of the start gun. TEAMORIGIN headed for the line and crossed first but only 10m ahead of Luna Rossa.

They both headed off on starboard and stayed close together pretty much the whole way up the first beat. TEAMORIGIN extended to around 50m ahead but Luna Rossa stayed in close contact. Eventually by the first mark, TEAMORIGIN extended and rounded first with a nice set and a lead of 124m.

The first downwind leg saw TEAMORIGIN keep a close cover with three gybes apiece. Luna Rossa gained a good shift and closed up the gap to 45m by the leeward rounding gate.

The second beat saw the two teams split tacks with TEAMORIGIN taking the left side. About half way up the beat the two teams came together again and TEAMORIGIN managed to bounce Luna Rossa off two times. The gap did close up but then TEAMORIGIN pulled ahead nicely and by the 2nd windward mark they rounded with a lead of 240m.

The final downwind leg was pretty uneventful with TEAMORIGIN stretching out to a comfortable lead and took their first win of the regatta with a lead of 330m – nice work by Ben and the boys for day one.


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