LV Trophy: Emirates Team NZ keeps rolling in RR2; BMW Oracle defeated by Synergy
[Source: Louis Vuitton Trophy] The two French teams gang up on Italy's Azzurra while Emirates Team New Zealand keeps pace at the top
France’s TFS – PagesJaunes scored its first win of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur today as the regatta began Round Robin 2. Other winners included fleet leader Emirates Team New Zealand, No. 2 TeamOrigin and the combined French/German team All4One.
A new wind direction blew across the racecourse on the Baie des Anges, northeast, but the strength remained light, between 4 and 8 knots. That put a premium on getting to the right side where there seemed to be more pressure. One knot difference in windspeed can add 10 degrees of heading.
Russia’s Synergy played the right side to defeat BMW Oracle Racing in the first match of the day. The showdown was the lone outstanding match of Round 1 and determined fourth, fifth and sixth in the standings.
Synergy and BMW Oracle were separated laterally by more than 1,400 meters (.75 nautical miles) when Synergy tacked to starboard. The Russian team led by skipper Karol Jablonski led by 56 seconds at the first mark en route to a 14-second victory.
Azzurra's Francesco Bruni had a tough day, being beaten twice. Nice, 14 November 2009. Photo copyright Stefano Gattini / Azzurra
Synergy’s win placed it in a three-way tie for fourth in Round 1 with Artemis and BMW Oracle, all at 3-4. Artemis won the tiebreaker by virtue of its win yesterday over TeamOrigin of the U.K. Synergy placed fifth because it beat BMW Oracle, and the U.S.-flagged crew placed sixth.
The standings proved important because the schedule for Round 2 has been amended from a full round robin. Due to time constraints the eight teams have been divided into two halves based on the Round Robin 1 standings. The top four teams will race each of the bottom four teams once. Wins will be worth 1 point.
Round 2 began with the previously winless TFS – PagesJaunes scoring a wire-to-wire win over Italy’s Azzurra, which finished second in the first round. Skipper Bertrand Pacé and his crew started to the right of the Italians to play the right side of the course, and when they tacked to starboard they opened an insurmountable lead. TFS – PagesJaunes led by 33 seconds at the first mark and kept increasing its advantage and scored a victory of 1 minute, 45 seconds.
TFS – PagesJaunes was formed just two weeks before the regatta and the crew went through some growing pains in the first round. But all of that was temporarily forgotten with the win.
“We knew we could win races, it’s just taken a while for the crew to come together,” said Pacé, a past match racing world champion. “The afterguard picked the right-hand side of the course, and since we had starboard tack in the pre-start it was easy to get to the right.”
Team Origin had an easy victory over French Spirit. Nice, 14 November 2009. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Team Origin
It was an afternoon for the French to beat up on the Italians. In the second flight of races All4One scored a 46-second victory over Azzurra. The match was close on the first beat, but All4One protected its early lead and led by 39 seconds at the first mark. All4One was the only crew to win today after starting to the left of its competition.
“We had two good starts today. First one was against Team New Zealand, but we didn't turn it into a point and we missed the opportunity to take the lead in this match,” said All4One helmsman Sébastien Col. “We refocused for the second match against Azzurra, where we more or less adopted the same strategy. The afterguard did nice job to keep the lead, knowing that in these light conditions it was not easy.”
In other Round 2 matches Emirates Team New Zealand defeated All4One by 47 seconds and TeamOrigin won over TFS – PagesJaunes by 2 minutes, 31 seconds.