Assurra wins its first match at the Louis Vuitton Trophy while Emirates NZ keeps perfect record

Italy’s Azzurra of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda won its first match of the Louis Vuitton Trophy yesterday (9 November) while Emirates Team New Zealand survived a hair-raising finish to keep its record perfect.

Azzurra scored the victory it was denied on Saturday when it defeated BMW ORACLE Racing. Two days ago the Italian crew, led by skipper Francesco Bruni, was 200 metres from the finish line when the 20-minute leg time limit expired. Yesterday the Italians scored an emphatic win of 2 minutes and 56 seconds to the pleasure of YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadero, who rode with his team as 18th man, and displeasure of BMW Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who was among his team’s afterguard.

“They got the first good shift and we were behind from there,” said BMW Oracle strategist Cameron Dunn (Aus). “We were happy coming off the line where we were, but the conditions were changing very quickly. When we came back at them the wind shifted right and they were wound up to layline. From there it was a soldier’s course, marching along. They sailed very well, so good on them.”

Emirates Team New Zealand entered its match against Russia’s Synergy Team with a perfect 2-0 mark while Synergy was 0-1. For a while it appeared that each team’s zero would be wiped from its scoreline. In the end this turned out to be the most exciting match of the regatta still in its early days. Synergy led Team New Zealand by four to five boatlengths within 10 lengths of the finish line in very light and shifty winds. Then the Kiwis found a private puff and rolled over the top of the Russian team, which was dead in the water, and won by 22 seconds. The Kiwis kept their record perfect at 3-0 and Synergy dropped to 0-2.

Today – Tuesday 10 November – there is consistent winds of around 10 knots, which has already produced some good match racing for Flight 3:

Match 1 summary: TeamOrigin d. TFS – Pages Jaunes – Delta in 33 seconds

TeamOrigin and TFS – Pages Jaunes took split tacks onto the racecourse: TeamOrigin on starboard and TFS – Pages Jaunes on port. TeamOrigin won the first cross on port tack about halfway up the 1.3-nautical mile leg and then applied covering tactics on TFS – Pages Jaunes to the mark. TeamOrigin led at every mark rounding to move to 2-0 on the scoreboard while TFS – Pages Jaunes fell to 0-3.
Match 2 summary: ALL4ONE d. Artemis – Delta in 28 seconds

This pair produced a proper match race, with covering tactics from the leading boat and attacking tactics from the trailing boat. In the end, the French/German team ALL4ONE scored its first win of the regatta in two matches in come-from-behind fashion. Artemis led the match around the first windward mark and through the leeward gate, where it chose to make a starboard rounding. That proved to be its undoing. ALL4ONE made a port rounding and took the lead as the mark was further upwind. ALL4ONE protected its starboard-tack advantage up the second beat, even dialing down Artemis at a crossing about three-quarters of the way up the leg.
It was the run to the finish that proved most exciting. Artemis trailed by 11 seconds at the windward mark and jibed to starboard soon after the rounding. It was the third convergence where the two were nearly bow-to-bow. Artemis had to jibe back to starboard to avoid fouling ALL4ONE, but hit a bad set of waves and the jibe went awry. The A2 spinnaker got twisted and ALL4ONE was able to open a three-boatlength lead, which it held to the finish. Both teams now stand at 1-1 on the scoreboard.

Tuesday’s schedule

Flight 3
M1: TFS – Pages Jaunes vs. TeamOrigin
M2: ALL4ONE vs. Artemis

Flight 4
M2: Artemis vs. Azzurra

Flight 5
M1: Azzurra vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
M2: BMW ORACLE Racing vs. TFS – Pages Jaunes

Flight 6
M1: Artemis vs. Synergy
M2: ALL4ONE vs. TeamOrigin

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