Sunday, 8 February 2009

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series: Round Robin 2 Day Four

Damiani Italia Challenge beat Luna Rossa Challenge in the all-Italian derby. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Luna Rossa Challenge.

Alinghi beat BMW ORACLE Racing. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

TEAMORIGIN beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the evening (after 7pm). Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

by Louis Vuitton Pacific Series media

Race 1: Damiani Italia Challenge beat Luna Rossa Challenge, 1m 40s

The two Italian syndicates racing in Auckland met in the first race of the day. The veteran Luna Rossa with Peter Holmberg as its new helmsman sailed against the fast-rising newcomer Damiani Italia Challenge, skippered by Vasco Vascotto and steered by Francesco Bruni. A dialup after the five-minute gun stretched out for three minutes before Bruni, who had the starboard entry advanatage, broek it off. Bruni chose to start to leeward of Luna Rossa and carried a little more speed over the line, allowing him to push his opponent away. A long and even 12-tack duel up the weather leg saw Bruni always with just enough edge to tak to leeward and push Holmberg back to the right. Damiani led by 11 seconds at the first mark and the margin was the same at the leeward mark. Damiani broke clear on the second windward leg riding a big right shift to a 130 metre lead at the top mark and 300 metres when she took the gun.

Luna Rossa Challenge and Damiani Italia Challenge in their pre-start. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Luna Rossa Challenge.

Mark 1 - 0:11 Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 2 - 0:08 Damiani Italia Challenge
Mark 3 - 0:30 Damiani Italia Challenge
Finish - 1:40 Damiani Italia Challenge

At 1330 hours, NZ time, Postponement

A 90-minute postponement continued while the Race Committee waited for weather conditions to stablize. The southerly gradient wind faded as Auckland heated up under a clear and sunny blue sky. The only question was how fast the sea breeze would come in from the north, overcome the gradient breeze and permit the resumption of racing.

Race 2: Alinghi beat BMW ORACLE Racing, 27s

BMW ORACLE Racing and Alinghi in the pre-start of their match. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

After declining to race against Emirates Team New Zealand yesterday for tactical reasons, Alinghi came out loaded for bear in their race against BMW ORACLE Racing.

Alinghi leads BMW ORACLE Racing up the beat. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

Helmsman Ed Baird made a perfectly timed entrance into the start box from the burdened port side of the line and successfully crossed BMW ORACLE Racing's bow to gain the starboard tack advantage. After a couple of wary circles, both boats returned to the committee boat end of the line with Baird leading back. BMW ORACLE Racing skipper and helmsman Russell Coutts made a vain bid to get to weather of Alinghi only to be shut out. Sailing in a brisk 16-knot southerly right under the noses of spectators crowding North Head and the biggest spectator fleet seen to date, Baird used the right hand advantage to maintain his lead around the course.

BMW ORACLE Racing keeps it close with Alinghi downwind. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

Mark 1 - 0:13 Alinghi
Mark 2 - 0:08 Alinghi
Mark 3 - 0:10 Alinghi
Finish - 0:27 Alinghi

Race 3: TEAMORIGIN beat Emirates Team New Zealand, 6s

Emirates Team New Zealand chases TEAMORIGIN in pre-start circling. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN's Ben Ainslie scored a narrow victory over his old team mate Dean Barker in close racing in the Rangitoto Channel. Despite his port end entry, Ainslie did the circle dance out to the right with barker at the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand before both boats returned to make parallel starts. Barker had grabbed the right hand berth, but Ainslie hit the line with a fraction more speed than the Kiwi and quickly forced him away onto port tack before following. A long board out towards the starboard tack layline went in the Briton's favour and he controlled the rest of the first leg and subsequent legs. A gybing duel leading into the finish saw Barker close to just over a boat length, but it was TEAMORIGIN which got the gun.

Mark 1 - 0:14 TEAMORIGIN
Mark 2 - 0:10 TEAMORIGIN
Mark 3 - 0:17 TEAMORIGIN
Finish - 0:06 TEAMORIGIN

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

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