A cracking albeit long days racing, the competition just gets hotter. Matthew Sheahan reports
Three races stood out today (Tuesday) in the last of the LVT Round Robin as must view matches despite two disappointing losses for the Brits.
With three postponed races pushed over from yesterday, today’s action saw seven races take place on the Waitemata. Among them Team Origin’s double billing, first against Mascalzone Latino, then against Artemis which saw some of the closest racing of the event so far. The two matches also resulted in more penalties dished out than we’ve seen before.
In Team Origin’s first match Gavin Brady and the Italians took the early lead around the first weather mark and held it around the course to take a win but it was close with just 5 seconds separating the pair by the finish.
But it was the second of the British matches, this time against Artemis, that provided the heart stopping moments. A tight start led to a tight first mark rounding with Artemis taking a slim 6 second lead. But by the bottom gate, Team Origin’s kite brushed against Artemis giving incurring a penalty on the Brits. Artemis then luffed the Brits out to one side of the gate and gybed to had back to the marks. Ainslie tacked and in doing so cleared their penalty.
Then the teams split as they rounded the gate for the second upwind leg with the Brits taking the favoured side. The move allowed Ainslie and Co. to take a slim lead. Just minutes later though and the lead returned to Artemis. By the weather mark Origin managed to get a penalty on Artemis and took a slim lead in the process, but the action was far from over.
As the pair approached the finish, with both boats initially on starboard, Team Origin gybed over onto port and headed towards starboard tack Artemis, believing that the Swedes had also gybed onto port – but they hadn’t. From there it a clear port and starboard incident looked likely until the Swedes crash gybed away to avoid a collision. The umpires dealt a red penalty, one that has to be taken immediately, to the British team. But, when they failed to do so Origin were handed a second penalty. It was game over for the Brits.
The Italian derby that followed between Mascalzone Latino and Azzura was another nail biting race although in the end it was Gavin Brady’s Mascalzone Latino that led all the way round to the finish.
Once again this event seems to ramp up each day with teams being put under increasing pressure on their boat handling, which is often where the cool game breaks down.
At the very least, listening to the onboard audio is choice.
HOW TO WATCH
** Watch out for the Beta version of Virtual Eye’s new player with stunning new graphics, due to be launched later this week **
Racing will be broadcast live online throughout the event and include TV from three cameras plus extensive Virtual Eye animations and audio off the boats.
10:00am (21:00 GMT): Opening trailer and welcome by Peter Lester
10:00 – 10:05 Weather, races of the day information, further news
10:05 Start procedure;
Approximately 16:30 (03:30 GMT) Finish live race broadcast
Approx. 18:00 (05:00 GMT) Press conference
Approx. 18:30 (05:30 GMT) Highlights of the races go on air
21:30 – 1:00 (08:30 GMT) Replay of the broadcast of the day
March 9 ‐ 15: Start of racing; Round Robin 1
March 16: Alternate Race Day
March 17: Elimination Round I
March 18 – 19: Elimination Round II; Semi‐Finals (best of three)
March 20 – 21: Semi‐Finals; Finals (best of seven)
Team Origin (Great Britain: Skipper Ben Ainslie)
Mascalzone Latino (Italy, Skipper: Gavin Brady)
Azzura (Italy, Skipper: Francesco Bruni)
All4One (France/Germany, Skipper: Jochen Schumann)
Synergy Russian Sailing Team (Russia, Skipper: Karol Jablonski)
Emirates Team New Zealand (Skipper: Dean Barker)
Artemis (Sweden, Skipper: Paul Cayard)
Aleph Sailing Team (France, Skipper: Bertrand Pace)
SKY TV COVERAGE IN UK
Louis Vuitton Trophy 16/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 16/03/10 23:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 16/03/10 26:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 17/03/10 09:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 2 17/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 2 17/03/10 22:00 Sky Sports 4
Louis Vuitton Trophy 2 17/03/10 23:30 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 2 17/03/10 26:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 2 18/03/10 09:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 3 18/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 3 18/03/10 23:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 3 18/03/10 28:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 3 19/03/10 09:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 4 19/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 4 19/03/10 23:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 4 19/03/10 26:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 4 20/03/10 06:30 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 5 20/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 4
Louis Vuitton Trophy 5 20/03/10 23:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 5 20/03/10 29:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 5 21/03/10 10:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 6 21/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 4
Louis Vuitton Trophy 6 21/03/10 23:30 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 6 21/03/10 29:00 Sky Sports 2
Louis Vuitton Trophy 6 22/03/10 10:00 Sky Sports 4
Louis Vuitton Trophy 7 22/03/10 18:00 Sky Sports 3
Louis Vuitton Trophy 7 22/03/10 25:00 Sky Sports 4
Louis Vuitton Trophy 7 22/03/10 28:30 Sky Sports 4