America’s Cup World Series: Better day for Emirates Team New Zealand
Saturday, 25 August 2012
Emirates Team New Zealand had a much better day on the water on Friday at the America’s Cup World Series San Francisco regatta.
After emphatically winning the match race quarter-final against JPM-BAR, the team showed improved form in the fleet racing, taking a fifth and third place.
But skipper Dean Barker was still far from satisfied with the day on the water.
“The day started well. Winning the quarter-final against Ben Ainslie when we have not done much match racing lately was a good result.
“We are disappointed that we did not finish the job on the second fleet race. We had the opportunities to really nail it and we did not execute it well enough.”
The sun was shining and the breeze was up at San Francisco. The fog dissipated early creating ideal conditions for the breeze to strengthen as the day progressed.
Dean Barker and crew – James Dagg, Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies and Derek Saward – cleaned out Ben Ainslie in the start of the quarter-final and were never seriously threatened. ETNZ’s winning margin was 33sec.
Today’s first fleet race provided drama aplenty. A collision at the start – Oracle 5 slammed into the committee boat and retired – and many lead changes in the course of the 23-minute race.
Yesterday’s big winners finished down the field – Oracle 4 (Spithill) 7th, Artemis White 6th, Artemis Red 8th.
Emirates Team New Zealand improved finishing fifth, after having had a share of the lead at least twice.
All teams – fancied or not - made dramatic gains and losses, always in a remarkably short space of time.
On leg 3, Artemis White gained five places to round the mark in second place. Korea lost three and Oracle 4 lost five. On the next leg, Emirates Team New Zealand suffered the same fate, losing five places.
The drama continued in the second race of the day. Barker started well and led for a large part of the race.
But the lead was never comfortable. There were big gains – and big losses – to be had on the short-tacking upwind legs.
“The tidal currents make it a very one-way track and no lead is ever big enough.”
Tomorrow ETNZ faces Oracle 4 (Spithill) in the match race semi-final and Artemis White faces Oracle 5.
Two fleet races are scheduled.
Points after four fleet races
Oracle 4 (Spithill) 39
Team Korea 31
Luna Rossa Piranha 30
Energy Team 27
Artemis White 25
Artemis Red 24
Emirates Team New Zealand 23
Luna Rossa Swordfish 23
Oracle 5 (Coutts) 18
China Team 6
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Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 August 2012 )