The American team sailed a near-flawless race against Sweden's Artemis Racing to maintain margin at the top of the leaderboard
Everything didn’t go their way. Earlier in the day James Spithill and his team were defeated by the French/German team All4One whose helmsman Sebastien Col won the start and staved off determined American attacks, especially on the first three legs. It was only the second loss in the series for the American team.
Except for BMW, who have a four and a half point lead (13 points), the leaderboard at the Louis Vuitton Trophy remained tightly-packed after the second day of competition in the second round
“We got two points for that race today. It’s a big win,” said All4One’s skipper Jochen Schümann.
“BMW Oracle has been very strong so far, so I would say it’s almost ‘bonus points’. We now have a realistic chance to make it to the semis, which is our goal here.”
Sébastien Col, helmsman of the French/German boat said: “We achieved a really solid race. The key point was the first downwind leg, where we defended very well. We were leading at the first mark, and then we defended well with a few close jibes, which was kind of our weakness at the beginning of the event. After a day like this, we will really feel better controlling our competitor downwind.”
Ian Moore, navigator on board the American boat agreed that All4One had done an outstanding job. “It was a little disappointing to lose the first race, but give credit to All4One,” said Moore. “They started well and sailed impeccably well. We see a lot in these races that if you win the start it helps to go on and win the race, and that’s what they did.
“But you can’t let it get you down. You’re going to lose races in a tournament as long as this and we rallied in the second race. Jimmy got a fantastic start and our tactician John Kostecki did a nice job calling the race and picking the shifts.”
The hard luck story of the day was the Swedish team Artemis Racing which lost two races, each worth two points, to drop from third place overall to fourth. They had started the day in third place, just one and half points behind second-placed Emirates Team New Zealand.
Artemis lost first to the Synergy Russian Sailing team even though the Russians were penalized for a collision in the pre-start. In one of the closest races seen in Dubai this week, Synergy skipper Francesco Bruni attacked and gained the lead before surrendering it while unwinding his penalty. He then fought his way back to finish first, only to lose his two finish points with a two-point deduction for hard contact. In their second race Artemis was solidly defeated by BMW Oracle Racing.
Race organisers aim to complete the Round Robin competition on Tuesday (23 November). There will be a lay day on Wednesday followed by fleet racing on Thursday. The semi-finals and finals will be raced on Friday and Saturday (28 and 27 November).
Flight One, Race One, All4One def BMW Oracle Racing Team, 00:45:
This was only the second race the Americans have lost. Sebastien Col had the starboard advantage at the entry, went nose-to-nose in a protracted dialup above the line against James Spithill, and led back to start at the pin on starboard. Coming into the top mark Spithill was pressing hard but the French/German alliance held the Americans out above the mark and led by eight seconds. Oracle stayed close and on the attack but Col held his nerve and pulled away on the last two legs.
Flight One, Race Two, Synergy Russian Sailing Team def Artemis Racing, 00:26:
A collision before the start saw the Russian team facing a four point loss – two penalty points for hard contact in the collison and the prospect that Cameron Appleton and Artemis Racing would win the match and go up two points. Synergy’s Francesco Bruni sailed the race of his life to lead on the first beat, unwind the penalty at the top mark and hold off Appleton on the second beat to win the race and two points that were wiped out by a two point loss for hard contact.
Flight Two, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:10:
The Kiwis claimed the right at the start and despite early gains by Gavin Brady, steering Mascalzone Latino Audi, it was Dean Barker who led around the top mark. Brady remained in close contact as the breeze softened with the approaching sunset and it was only on the final run that the New Zealand team could feel comfortable about an imminent win.
Flight Two, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Artemis Racing, 01:03:
The presence of team owner Torbjorn Tornqvist onboard was not sufficient to save Cameron Appleton and the Swedish from a sound defeat at the hands of James Spithill. After a protracted dialup, Spithill returned to start on the left on starboard with Artemis trailing by a few metres at the committee and also on starboard. Spithill was able to cross his opponent on the port tack half way up the beat and extended from there on every leg.
Provisional Results after Day Two of RR2:
1. BMW ORACLE Racing, 11-2, 13 pts
2. Emirates Team New Zealand, 7-5, 8.5 pts
3. All4One, 5-7, 6 pts
4. Artemis Racing, 5-8, 5 pts
=5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-7, 4 pts *
=5. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-8, 4 pts *
* A scoring penalty has been assessed by the umpires
Follow us on twitter.