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Southern Spars - North Technology

Louis Vuitton Cup- Emirates Team NZ wins another point in Final

by Richard Gladwell on 24 Aug 2013
Emirates Team NZ hits peak speed of 29.2kts foiling upwind in Race 6 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final - as seen by Virtual Eye ARL Media http://www.arl.co.nz/

Emirates Team New Zealand took an end to end victory from the Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, winning Race 6, with a margin of 1m 57secs.

Sailing in moderate winds, the New Zealanders got the jump on the Italians at the start. Den Barker started to windward of Chris Draper aboard Luna Rossa, sailing faster over the top and putting the Italians in their disturbed air, maxing out their advantage.

Emirates Team NZ was never headed, leading by ten seconds on the first short reaching leg. With both bots sailing at speeds in the low 30kts downwind, and Emirates Team NZ expanded her lead to 50 seconds at the leeward mark for the first time.

Upwind the New Zealanders sailed a very precisely positioned race putting another 26 seconds on the Italians to lead my 1m 16 seconds at the top.

That lead was assisted by Emiartes Team NZ foiling for a period upwind, hitting speeds of just under 30kts. Whether that was actually a gain given the lower height was not immediately apparent. On later review the spectacular didn't appear to result in much of a gain, with Emirates Team NZ alwasy putting time on the Italians upwind on the leg, and only contined to gain margin at the same rate as they had during the earlier and latter stages of the leg. The benefit of the upwind foiling would appear to be purely tactical, to get over the top of a competitor, or to get to a boundary line more quickly, and force a tack - when the gains really do kick in.


After tearing down the final two off the wind legs, Emirates Team NZ went on to win by 1m 57secs. The tale of the statistics told the story of the day, with Emirates Team NZ sailing a massive 875 metres less than Luna Rossa on the five leg course which took around 28 minutes to complete. That telling statistic indicates the New Zealanders were sailing both lower downwind and higher upwind than the Italians.

After the match Luna Rossa's Chris Draper seemed resigned to the fact that the team had two races left in the regatta, and the Finals should conclude tomorrow afternoon. Draper lamented that the reasons for their losses to Emirates Team New Zealand were not so much caused by 'the mistakes we are making now, but the mistakes we made months and months ago'.

Today they sailed a much better race from a positional and tactical perspective, but were always slower, and sailed a greater distance. Neither issue can be fixed overnight, and the Italians would look to have one day's racing before being eliminated.

Only one race was sailed today, and what is expected to be the final races will be sailed on the San Francisco weekend.

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