British team has made its mark in the LV Pacific Series, but there were big surprises in store. Matthew Sheahan reports from Auckland

The end of Round Robin One saw Team Origin and Emirates Team New Zealand progress to the next phase of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series undefeated.

Having beaten Alinghi on their second day of racing, the British team, skippered by Ben Ainslie went on to defeat Shosholoza and the Greek Challenge. Neither matches were pushovers, particularly the match against the least experienced Cup team, the Greek Challenge, who managed to keep the action tight for all of the first half of the race.

Also un defeated in its matches, Emirates Team New Zealand also progressed to the Gold Fleet in Round Robin 2, seeing off their opponents, China Team and Pataugas K-Challenge with ease.

But the real surprise of the day was to see Alinghi beaten, no, slaughtered by the South African Team Shosholoza.

The match started with one of the longest dial ups seen in Cup racing, both boats stationary and head to wind for all but the beginning and end of the pre-start period. Entering the box from the starboard side with the advantage, the South African team pinned Ed Baird and the Swiss to the left, holding them in a headlock until just a few seconds before the start.

A perfectly timed run back to the line, followed by a smooth round up onto the breeze that saw Team Shosholoza hit the line on time and at speed, left the current America’s Cup holders trailing in their wake. As the two boats headed up the first beat, Shosholoza extended its lead, cranking into a lift and climbing further away from Alinghi.

A tidy rounding at the weather mark and a smart slide downhill saw the South Africans, led by Paulo Cian at the helm, consolidate their lead.

At the leeward mark a handling error during the kite drop aboard Alinghi provided an uncharacteristically chaotic Kiwi drop and saw the experts losing even more distance half way around the two lap course. From there onwards the news only got worse with Alinghi trailing by more than a kilometre at the finish.

One can only imagine that the lure of inspecting their arch rival’s boat at close hand proved to be more distracting than they had bargained for.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a lay day. Racing resumes on Thursday with the fleet spit into gold and silver fleets. Gold will sail three races per day for five days, silver will race two races per day for three days.

Today’s results:

BMW Oracle Racing (USA) beat Damiani Italia Challenge (ITA)
Team Shosholoza (RSA) beat Alinghi (SUI)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) beat Pataugas K-Challenge (FRA)
Team Origin (GBR) beat Greek Challenge (GRE)

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
BMW Oracle Racing (USA)
Damiani Italia Challenge (ITA)
Team Origin (GBR)
Alinghi (SUI)
Luna Rossa (ITA)

Pataugas K-Challenge (FRA)
China Team (CHN)
Team Shosholoza (RSA)
Greek Challenge (GRE)



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Sky Sports TV – Round Robin 1

#5 3/2/09 1830 Sky Sports 2
*repeats stc 2130 Sky Sports 3
2330 Sky Sports Xtra
2600 Sky Sports 3
0900 Sky Sports 2

#6 4/2/09 1830 Sky Sports Xtra (NB RESERVE DAY)
*repeats stc 2130 Sky Sports Xtra
2330 Sky Sports Xtra
2600 Sky Sports 3
0900 Sky Sports 3