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Long day on the race course for Emirates Team NZ

by Warren Douglas on 14 May 2009
Emirates Team New Zealand NZL380 start the second race on day one of the Trofeo Ciudad de Alicante regatta of the MedCup circuit. The first race was canceled as the wind died away during the second leg. 13/5/2009 Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©

The first race day of the MedCup circuit proved to be a long day with only one of the scheduled three races completed.

The first race was abandoned as the fleet approached the bottom mark for the first time. Race 2 started about 4.30pm. By then the breeze had come in at four to six knots with an occasional puff to nine.

But it was still shifty and streaks of slightly better pressure could be seen across the course.

With only one race sailed, standings in the City of Alicante Trophy are: Matador 1, Bigamist 2, Emirates Team New Zealand 3.

Before the fleet left the dock, skipper Dean Barker said: 'We aim to start the series with a consistent day, start cleanly and avoid any mistakes and see what we get. It will be difficult because the forecast is not looking great.

'The practice races over the past few days have shown that there will be nothing between the teams and most of the boats are capable of winning races and winning events.'

'Everyone will have good days and bad days we will be trying to avoid having the really bad ones.'


'As a team we have had highs and lows together. We know how to deal with it and bounce back, take it race by race and be capable of coming back.'

On the water the day proved to be test of patience as the breeze came and went. The day’s scheduled third race did not start.

The breeze returned about 4.30pm and the second race got underway. The Emirates TP52 started in the middle of the line with good speed. Then a right shift came in and NZL 380 slipped several places.

Grant Dalton: 'We were deep in the fleet at the first mark…. From there it was a matter of keeping cool and sailing smart.

'We had a really good second beat and picked up a shift in the left of the course. That got us back to fourth and we held that to the finish.

'All-in-all it was not a bad first day – in the conditions it could have been a lot worse.Today’s race reminded us – if we needed to be reminded – that it’s not hard to be stuck at the back of the fleet. '


Dalton said he was happy that NZL 380 had finished ahead of last year’s series winner Quantum and the new Artemis sailing with Russell Coutts as tactician. 'Matador was second across the line. I think that is a fast boat and it is being sailed extremely well. We’ll have to keep an eye on them.'

Marazzi Sailing (SUI) winner of today’s race was penalised three places for a crew weight violation, exceeding the allowed 1273 kilos.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is a stronger and less shifty breeze.

Today’s finishing order:

1.Marazzi Sailing (SUI)

2.Matador (ARG)
3.Bigamist 7 (POR)
4.Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
5.Quantum Racing (USA)
6 Audi TP52 (ITA)
7 Artemis (SWE)
8 El Desafio (ESP)
9 Pisco Sour (ITA)
10 Bribon (ESP)
11 Synergy (RUS)
12 Valars lll (RUS)


City of Alicante Trophy, overall standings on points after one race.

1. Matador (ARG) 2pts
2. Bigamist 7 (POR) 3pts
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL 4 pts
4 Marazzi Sailing (SUI) 4pts
5. Quantum Racing (USA) 5pts
6 Audi TP52 (ITA) 6pts
7 Artemis (SWE) 7pts
8 El Desafio (ESP) 8pts
9 Pisco Sour (ITA) 9pts
10 Bribon (ESP) 10pts
11 Synergy 11pts
12 Valars lll 12pts

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