New Zealand Beats BMW Oracle Racing at La Maddalena

A hard-fought battle between Emirates Team New Zealand's Dean Barker and BMW Oracle Racing's James Spithill at the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena today went the Kiwis' way when the American team lost a penalty call in an aggressive luffing match approaching the second weather mark.
Louis Vuitton Trophy, La Maddalena, Italy, May 22nd-June 6th 2010. Race Day 9. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) vs Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
© Bob Grieser/outsideimages.co.nz/Louis Vuitton Trophy

Sailed in the blustery 18 to 20 knot winds of a building mistral, the match was the only one sailed Sunday as the wind continued to increase in intensity.
Racing was canceled for the day as crews prepared for a second race between the Kiwi boat and Sweden's Artemis.
The umpires penalized Oracle when Team New Zealand luffed their opponent, forcing them up head-to-wind, as the boats raced side-by-side towards the weather mark on port tack.
Louis Vuitton Trophy, La Maddalena, Italy, May 22nd-June 6th 2010. Race Day 9.Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
© Bob Grieser/outsideimages.co.nz/Louis Vuitton Trophy

"They made a gain to the left approaching the top mark," Barker said. "They were in a position where they probably would have led us around if we didn't make something happen, so we did a couple of luffs.
The first one, we were required to give them room to get clear but they didn't take the room straight away and make an attempt to keep clear so we luffed a second time and could easily have made contact with them if we hadn't avoided.
The umpires saw it the same way and penalized them."
Louis Vuitton Trophy, La Maddalena, Italy, May 22nd-June 6th 2010. Race Day 8. Synergy (RUS) vs Artemis (SWE): The Artemis genaker pole goes overboard during the takedown, breaks and drags the genaker under the boat.
© Paul Todd/outsideimages.co.nz/Louis Vuitton Trophy

The confrontation momentarily cost the New Zealanders the lead and gave the advantage to Oracle, so the umpires added a red flag calling for an immediate penalty turn.
The American boat circled before rounding the mark but was judged not to have completed a full turn. The umpires called for a second circle before clearing Oracle.
Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Sunday racing
=1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-4, 5 points
=1. Artemis, 5-2, 5 points
=1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-2, 5 points
=4. TEAMORIGIN, 4-3, 4 points
=4. All4One, 4-3, 4 points
=6. Azzurra, 3-4, 3 points
=6. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-1, 3 points *
=8. Luna Rossa, 2-6, 2 points
=9. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 1-6, 1 point
=10. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-4, -2 points *
* Penalties deducted by Jury/Umpires *
The forecast mistral raged at full force here in La Maddalena on Monday. With gusts well over 30 knots; the decision to cancel racing was certainly the right one.
Louis Vuitton Trophy, La Maddalena, Italy, May 22nd-June 6th 2010. Race Day 8. Artemis (SWE)
© Paul Todd/outsideimages.co.nz/Louis Vuitton Trophy

The forecast for Tuesday offers a measure of relief, with the winds expected to ease later this afternoon and overnight. By Tuesday morning, the wind should be back in a 'sailable' range. But it may build too much later in the afternoon.
The pairings for Tuesday are:
  • Mascalzone Latino Audi Team vs. BMW ORACLE Racing
  • Mascalzone Latino Audi Team vs. Aleph
  • Luna Rossa vs. Aleph
  • Azzurra vs. BMW ORACLE Racing
  • Azzurra vs. TeamOrigin
  • Artemis vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
www.louisvuittontrophy.com
New Zealand Beats BMW Oracle Racing at La Maddalena New Zealand Beats BMW Oracle Racing at La Maddalena Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, June 01, 2010 Rating: 5

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