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America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ - 'not easy to win, but easy to lose'

by Warren Douglas on 19 May 2012
America’s Cup World Series Venice 2012 - Racing Day 2 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

The America’s Cup World Series fleet moved close inshore at Venice today. The racecourse was tight (only 140m wide at its narrowest) and the breeze was light (6-8 knots) and shifty too.

These factors – and a very competitive fleet – conspired to make for a tricky day, where the only certainty was uncertainty. It was not easy to win, but easy to lose.

The tight course put additional strain on the crew. Skipper Dean Barker: ‘The boats are very physical and very hard on the guys.

'They train for that, but on these short courses they get a real flogging. By the end of a race they’re completely spent.'

Conditions today were unkind to some big names: Artemis (Terry Hutchinson) finishing seventh and Oracle 4 (James Spithill) was eighth in the first race.

Spithill recovered to claim third in the second race but Hutchinson’s run of bad fortune continued for another seventh.

Luna Rossa Swordfish won the first race and was sixth in the second.

Emirates Team New Zealand had a better day with a second in the first race and a fourth in the second.

Dean Barker: 'At the debrief last night we discussed a lot of small details where we had to do better. We knew we had not sailed to the best of our ability and were determined to do better.'

Barker and crew – Ray Davies, Glenn Ashby, Jeremy Lomas and James Dagg - got the start they wanted at the pin end of the course in race 1 and led into the first mark closely followed by Luna Rossa Swordfish.

First around at mark 2, the lead looked good, but in the light shifty conditions nothing was certain.

Luna Rossa got into some better breeze on this downwind leg and snatched the lead as they closed on the third mark. Carrying the breeze, Luna Rossa extended and led to the end.

Barker defended against Energy, which was pushing hard for second. Emirates Team New Zealand prevailed to finish second with Energy third.

Energy was having a good day. Sniffing out the best of the breeze they came back from far back in the field on race 2 to finishsecond to Luna Rossa Piranha. .Oracle 4 was second and Emirates Team New Zealand third.

Results and points – four fleet races

Energy Team third, first, third, second – 35 points
Luna Rossa Swordfish 4,2,1,6 – 31 points
Luna Ross Piranha 5, 5, 4, 1 - 29 points
Emirates Team New Zealand 6, 3, 2,4 – 26 points
Team Korea 1, 6 , 6, 5 – 26 points
Oracle 4 8,4,8,3 – 21 points
Artemis Racing 2, 7, 7, 7 – 21 points
Oracle 5 7,8,,5,8,3– 16 points
China Team 9, 9 ,9,9 - 8 points


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