Sunday, 6 June 2010

LVT: Emirates Team New Zealand Through to the Final

by Warren Douglas

Emirates Team New Zealand has beaten Artemis 2-1 to win through to the final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta at La Maddalena.

Earlier, the team won the re-start of the second of its semi-final matches against Artemis, setting the stage for a must-win third match for both teams.

But as it turned out, Emirates Team New Zealand was untroubled in the third race sailed in the early evening in a light and shifty breeze.

The first attempt to race the second match was abandoned early on the second beat when the wind died away and both teams were preparing to hoist gennakers.

Emirates Team New Zealand rounded the second mark just ahead. Then the wind died almost completely and both yachts wallowed.

Strategist Adam Beashel found a small puff in the left and Dean Barker got underway again and got out to almost 100m ahead of Artemis. Both teams were preparing to fly gennakers when the race committee abandoned the race.

Earlier, Artemis had won the first semi-final after a 25deg wind shift on the first beat got Artemis back into the race. They were able to get inside Emirates Team New Zealand at the top mark and went on to win, crossing 48s ahead.

On the re-start Dean Barker won the start and got the left of the course. The breeze was 8-10 knots but shifty. Trimmers worked hard to keep the boat moving at maximum speed while up the mast Beashel was looking for breeze.

The crucial first cross was finely judged. Emirates Team New Zealand crossed in front of Artemis, but only just. The distance was only five metres but enough for Barker to take the right and reaffirm his control.

He led into the top mark by 18s, extended to 24s on the run, pushed out to 29s at the second windward mark. On the run to the finish Barker picked up some good breeze to the right of the course and finished a comfortable 1m01s in front.

On race 3, Emirates Team New Zealand took control early on the beat and led around the first mark by 18s. After the first run Dean Barker had extended to 57s, to 1m34s at the third and at the finish the delta was 1m31s.

Tomorrow, the other semi-final All4One v Synergy will be raced.

Emirates Team New Zealand
Louis Vuitton Trophy