by Dean Barker
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, Oracle Racing’s James Spithill and Terry Hutchinson of Artemis racing fight it out with champagne at the fleet race prizegiving for the America’s Cup World Series Cascais regatta.
Dean Barker, Emirates Team NZ skipper and Director of www.kiwiyachting.co.nz!Kiwi_Yachting_Consultants_Nexus_AB, reports from Cascais after the America's Cup World Series, in which he is helmed Emirates Team NZ .
16 August 2011:
Nice way to finish in Cascais
We had the final winner take all fleet race in Cascais today to determine who would take the ACWS trophy. As was the case last Sunday we had one 40 minute fleet race to sort out the placings.
Having had what has been a very strong week for the Team we were determined to finish with a good result. We had a good start and were third around the first mark. We managed to pass Coutts on the run and set about trying to catch Spithill on the other Oracle boat. They had a good lead after getting out of the top mark on a nice puff but such were the conditions that there were plenty of opportunities. The first beat we sailed well to close in on the leader. Glenn and Ray did nice work working the pressure down the 2nd run to pull off a pass and hold the lead from there until the finish.
It was very satisfying to win this event for all the Team. It is nice to see the hard work all the guys have been putting in is rewarded. Today could have been much different as this format certainly does not reward consistency just a one off result.
I am now returning to NZ for some more sailing in the SL33's in Auckland before we head off again early September for the next AC45 event in Plymouth in the UK.
Not looking forward to the snow in Auckland!
Second in the Match Racing
Today was a really tough day for us on the water. We made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes which ultimately cost us any chance of winning the final against Oracle 4.
The day started well enough with a solid win over Team Korea in our sudden death semi. Team Korea had beaten Oracle Racing Coutts in their sudden death quarter which was a great result for them.
Race 1 of the final I made a mistake on the start line giving Oracle a good jump but by the bottom gate we had closed right in to be neck and neck. Up the next beat we swapped positions a couple of times until grabbing the lead just before the top mark. Due to a poor furl at the bottom as we went to deploy our gennaker around the top mark it 'wineglassed' itself and just would not come out. By the time we had it sorted Oracle had sailed off to a lead we could never challenge.
Race 2 and we took a nice lead off the start line to the first reach mark. What should have been a routine gybe at the mark became another foul up with the gennaker. By the time we managed to get it sorted and get going again Oracle had closed the gap and managed to roll over us. From there we could just not get back into the race.
I was pretty disappointed with the way we sailed in the final. Our strength has always been our boat handling over the years in the different classes we sail. What it has done has identified a number of things for us to work on for the next regatta in Plymouth. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the objective is 2013 not now. Yes we want to win but this is all about making us better for the AC72 in 2 years time.
Tomorrow we have the winner takes all fleet race. Again a tough format but the way the organisers want it. Should be a good spectacle!
To read earlier editions of Dean Barker's blog http://www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog!click_here