Emirates Team NZ: Only four boats score in in final race in Venice

Emirates Team New Zealand gets the inside line at the first mark in the final fleet race. America’s Cup World Series Regatta Venice.

Light winds ruled on the final day of the America’s Cup World Series regatta at Venice. The final fleet race – scheduled to take 35 minutes – took winner Energy 57m25s to complete.

The scoreboard will show five yachts did not finish because they ran out of time when they did not finish within 10 minutes of the winner. They get no points for their efforts in what was the most intense race of the regatta.

Oracle 4 was second, Artemis third and Emirates Team New Zealand was fourth after swapping places with Artemis three times in the latter stages of the race.

After five regattas in the 2011-123in the ACWS championship, Emirates Team New Zealand on 80 points is second overall, four points adrift of Oracle 4.

Emirates Team New Zealand in the final fleet race of the. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 20/5/2012
The finish was spectacular as Oracle 4 chased down the French team. even though it happened in slow motion. At one stage Oracle 4 was more than 5m behind the French. At the end the margin was only 9s.

The race wills he remembered for the second leg, where a jumble of bunched yachts searched desperately for some kind of air as the wind dropped to 1-2 knots. The traffic jam at the second mark involved all but Energy and Oracle 4, which somehow had managed to miss the melee.

Several 'contacts' occurred when the yachts stalled and crews had to fend off rival yachts. Emirates Team New Zealand, on the inside of the mark, managed to get away.

Had they not, the could easily have joined the yachts that went over time.

Emirates Team New Zealand started well and rounded the first mark in the lead – normally a strong position in the fleet races. But today was different.

On leg 2. the fleet closed and took our air. Energy escaped, took the lead, and held on to the end.

A 'speed trial' started the day -two timed runs over a 500m course for each yacht. The breeze was light as the first yacht started and got progressively softer.

The first three yachts on the first run achieved speeds of around 13 knots. After that, times for the 500m stretched in inverse proportion to the rapidly failing breeze which had fallen to 3-4 knots.

In the conditions it was hardly a speed trial; but it was a good test of getting maximum speed out of minimum wind. Crews achieved seven to eight knots of boat speed in 3-4 knots of breeze. Not bad.

The match race final followed, raced in 4-5 knots of breeze and won by Artemis, beating

The fleet in the laguna in the final fleet race. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 20/5/2012
America’s Cup World Series Championship leader board (after five regattas)

Oracle 4 38 match points, 46 fleet points, total 84

Emirates Team New Zealand 36, 44, total 80

Artemis Racing 43, 28, total 71

Energy Team 32, 33, total 65

Team Korea 30, 26, total 56

Oracle 5 29, 24 , total 53

Luna Rossa Piranha 18, 16, total 34*

China Team 15, 16, total 31

Luna Rossa Swordfish 11, 10, total 21*

Luna Rossa has competed in only three of the five regattas.

The fleet attempt to sqeeze between a mark and the sea wall in the final fleet race. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 20/5/2012

The fleet attempt to sqeeze between a mark and the sea wall in the final fleet race. America's Cup World Series Regatta Venice. 20/5/2012
http://www.sail-world.com/97476