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Emirates Team NZ through to the Finals - America's Cup World Series    
Sat, 17 Sep 2011

Emirates Team New Zealand today won through to the finals of the America's Cup World Series Match Racing Championship, beating Oracle Racing 5 2-1.

The event is being sailed in Plymouth England. There are two more days racing left in the America's cup World Series which is sailed in AC45 catamarans

Emirates Team NZ's opponent in the finals will be decided tomorrow when top seed Artemis Racing races Team Korea in the second semi-final.

The pressure was on today. The breeze was in the 14-18 knot range, but was shifty and flat patches abounded.

Teams were out to perform. Team Korea played a blinder, despatching current holder of the America’s Cup James Spithill and then Energy Team to advance to the second semi-final.

Emirates Team New Zealand faltered in their first semi-final race today after leading until part-way through leg five. Oracle 5, skippered by Russell Coutts, incurred two penalties in the pre-start, once for crossing the boundary and a second for a minor collision.

On leg 5, Coutts picked up a wind shift on the right of the course and took the lead when he defended to the finish. The delta was 19s.

Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies, James Dagg and Winston Macfarlane came out firing in the second race but Oracle 5 made the early pace.

Barker kept handy and attacked, took the lead on leg 3 and worked hard to extend, covering Coutts’ every move and giving Oracle no opportunity to pass.

At the finish, Barker was 39sec ahead.

Barker started the third and deciding race with a clear advantage, and led from start to finish. Oracle 5 attacked and attacked again but could not break through.

The breeze was lighter and the holes more frequent and in the closing stages of the race, Emirates Team New Zealand picked up better breeze and sprinted to the finish, opening a gap of 200m.

Today’s results:


Green Comm Racing beat Aleph
Team Korea beat China Team
Oracle Racing 4 beat Green Comm Racing
Tem Korea beat Oracle Racing 4
Team Korea beat Energy Team

Semi-Final 1

Oracle Racing 5 beat Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Racing 5
Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Racing 5

by Warren Douglas

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