Saturday, June 02, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup - Finals - Day 2: Emirates Team NZ dominate easily over Luna Rossa

Depending on whether you are a fan of Luna Rossa or Emirates Team NZ you are either concerned or plain relaxed, since it seems the kiwi sailors never get excited when they win.

Nevertheless, they are not here to have fun but win the America's Cup and what they achieved today was a demonstration they made another step towards achieving their goal. Their domination over Luna Rossa was clear from the beginning. The "majestic" James Spithill was left powerless against Dean Barker and he was not given a single opportunity to capitalize on his aggressive prestart skills.

Luna Rossa wanted the right side and got it but had to pay a heavy price that determined the outcome of the race. With 40 seconds to go before the start, Luna Rossa was on the right but as the two boats sped to the line, Barker made sure it was tough for the Italians squeezing them to the committee boat. Spithill was forced to slow down and Barker crossed the start line 1 second ahead, with greater speed and better positioned. Right after the start Luna Rossa had to tack to the right. This initial speed difference gave the kiwis an advantage of one boatlength they later used to takc to the right as well and cover Luna Rossa.

Halfway up the first beat Luna Rossa started a tacking duel, resulting in 22 tacks but to no avail. Not only didn't they manage to pass or threaten the New Zealanders but they gave them opportunity to built on their lead, rounding the top mark 25 seconds ahead.

In the run, the New Zealanders felt no threat at all and increased their lead again. Luna Rossa tried again to force errors on the kiwi boat by gybing but Emirates Team NZ answered to each and every gybe and rounded the leeward gate 35 seconds ahead of the Italians and their crew execution was impeccable. After 3 years in Valencia, the press on the media boat was still amazed by the speed the kiwi spinnaker dropped and disappeared in the yacht's sewer. Both boats rounded the right buoy and in the second beat New Zealanders kept covering their opponent to death. They gained an extra 4 seconds and rounded the top mark 39 seconds in advance.

The last leg did not offer any excitement and was one sided. Emirates Team NZ crossed the line 40 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa who probably learned the hard way that if you are behind NZL-92 you stay behind her till the finish line.

Prestart of the race between Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Luna Rossa get in a position to have the right side. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

With 40 seconds to go, both boats power ahead towards the start line. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

With only 8 seconds to go, James Spithill has no option but slow down ITA-94 and lose the advantage he held on the right side. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The start was apparently even, but the kiwis crossed the line one second ahead and, more importantly, with greater speed and better positioned. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing


Moments after the start of the race, Luna Rossa had to tack to the right. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The initial speed advantage pushed Emirates Team NZ to a boatlength lead. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Dean Barker took advantage of the lead and tacked to the right as well, closely following Luna Rossa. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Halfway up the first beat Luna Rossa started a tacking duel that resulted in 22 tacks. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Halfway down the first run Emirates Team NZ had already built a comfortable advantage. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

At the approach to the leeward gate Emirates Team NZ had increased their lead. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Once again, crew work was absolutely impeccable as Emirates Team NZ rounded the leeward gate. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Emirates Team NZ rounded the leeward gate 35 seconds ahead of Luna Rossa. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Luna Rossa's spinnaker drop was far from perfect. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Luna Rossa were given no opportunities to pass in the last leg. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Final stretch before the finish line and too late for the Italians to do anything. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Second win in a row for Emirates Team NZ. Valencia, 2 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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1 Comments:

At 12:13 AM, Blogger christopher said...

superb site; excellent photography-thankyou!
Following all the racing from poughkeepsie, ny usa.
"used to live in NZ"

 

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