Italian boats dominate in some of the closest and most contentious racing in La Maddalena

When the last race finished in fading light just after 8:00 pm local time, Mascalzone Latino was the top scoring Italian boat with a 2-1 record after losing today to All4One in a race that saw the umpires impose a red flag penalty on the local boat for a collision just before the weather mark. However she may be assessed a further scoring penalty – redress hearings are scheduled for Monday night. The Italian boat Azzurra won her first race of the series, beating Luna Rossa, and now has a 1-2 record. Luna Rossa’s loss today puts her on 0-2.
Francesco Bruni, Azzurra’s young skipper reported: “It felt very exciting. I did struggle a little bit on the start line today, but we drove the boat fast and kept the game close. I’m very happy because it was a group win, not down to one single department on board, but a team effort. We did a very beautiful Sambuca [tack, gybe, set] and the match was open again.
The cleanest record of any of the ten international teams competing in matched America’s Cup boats is the Swedish team Artemis with two wins and no losses.
Sardinia today offered up warm, sunny and windy conditions. The problem was not a lack of wind but a lack of consistent wind direction. Crews waited all day until the first of six match races started at 4:00 pm, local time.  
Flight Seven, Race One: TEAMORIGIN def BMW Oracle Racing, 01:03 – Ben Ainslie steering TEAMORIGIN herded Oracle’s James Spithill in to the pin corner of the start box with time running out before the start.  The America’s Cup winner struggled to escape but earned a penalty in the process.  They split with Ainslie starting at the gun on port and eking out an early lead in a 6-8 knot breeze. At the first cross the British boat led by two boat lengths. Spithill kept it close for the first two legs but Ainslie stretched out to finish 160 metres in front.
Flight Seven, Race Two: Synergy Russian Sailing Team def All4One, 00:35 – Karol Jablonski sailed the Russian boat to victory in a race that saw multiple lead changes. Sebastien Col won the split start and the right. Jablonski initially prevailed on a long lead out to the port tack layline but the French/German boat led by 10 seconds at the top mark in shifty conditions. Synergy controlled into the bottom mark, forcing All4One to the unfavoured gate. With both boats on starboard Synergy was ahead by 60 metres and never relinquished the lead. All4One was requesting redress on Monday night.
Flight Eight, Race One: Azzurra def Luna Rossa, 00:29 – Baird controlled the start until Bruni got clear and pushed the 2007 America’s Cup winning skipper into coffin corner. Baird gauged his escape perfectly and started on port at the pin with Bruni below him on port. Luna Rossa enjoyed a 35 to 45-metre lead and rounded the top mark with a seven second margin only to surrender the lead early after a tack-gybe-set that cost time and speed.
Flight Eight, Race Two: Artemis def ALEPH Sailing Team, 01:12 – After an initial dialup, Terry Hutchinson on the wheel of Artemis chose the left and took it. Bertrand Pace split away to the right. Artemis tacked and followed out to the right into an early four boat-length lead.  Pace fought back but never really threatened the Swedish boat around the next four legs.
Flight Nine, Race One: All4One def Mascalzone Latino,  00:43 – Gavin Brady went for the left side and won it but All4One split away on port. Both boats level-paced on port but All4One enjoyed the starboard tack advantage in two close tacks approaching the mark. Mascalzone made two lee-bow tacks but there was contact the second time with the safety wand from Brady’s boat hooked into the bow of All4One.
Flight Nine, Race Two:  Emirates Team New Zealand def TEAMORIGIN, 00:15 – Ben Ainslie seized the left and an early advantage in a split tack start that saw an 850 metre split before the British boat tacked to follow the Kiwis on port.  Dean Barker bided his time to take over the lead approaching the weather mark. Ainslie closed on the run but the Kiwis led as they rounded opposite gates at the bottom mark.
Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Flight Nine (redress hearings are pending):
=1.  Artemis, 2-0, 2 point
=1.  ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-1, 2  points
=1.  All4One, 2-1, 2 points
=1.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 2-1, 2 points
=5.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-0, 1 point
=5.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 1-0, 1 point
=5.  Azzurra, 1-2, 1 point
=5.  TEAMORIGIN, 1-3, 1 point
=9.  BMW Oracle Racing Team, 0-2, 0 points
=9.  Luna Rossa, 0-2, 0 points.

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