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Emirates Team NZ Report: Wind joins in at Alicante

'Emirates Team New Zealand race two. Trofeo Ciudad de Alicante. Audi MedCup'    Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©    Click Here to view large photo

Emirates Team New Zealand finished the third day of the MedCup Alicante regatta equal second overall only three points behind the leader.

The breeze finally came up and the scheduled three races were sailed. After four races, Quantum Racing (USA) leads on 13 points, with Emirates Team New Zealand and Matador (Argentina) second equal on 16.

Fourth placed Marazzi Sailing has 24 points.

The breeze off Alicante built to 17 knots, but even with the breeze filling in, the racing was never straightforward. The wind was still shifty and the capricious streaks of breeze so devastatingly evident on previous days were still making and breaking the running.

Emirates Team New Zealand’s results for the day were fourth, sixth and second which left the team happy enough with progress, but still looking for improvement.

Grant Dalton said the team was settling in well, and coming to grips again with fleet racing. 'Consistency is the key as one bad finish can really hurt the overall result. On these short courses concentration is paramount.

'In shifty conditions like today, it’s impossible to cover everyone. We saw that in the third race when we led around most of the track. We had the fleet tucked away nicely on the last run after rounding the mark in the lead. A Russian boat broke to the right, got some extra breeze and bolted across the line just ahead of us.'

Emirates Team New Zealand on the charge on Day 3 of the Audi MedCup at Alicante -  Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©   Click Here to view large photo

Skipper Dean Barker: 'A good day today, but not a great day. However we’re only three points shy of the lead, so we are very much in contention.

'Our speed is good and the boat feels as though it is going well so the game plan is to put together a really good day tomorrow.'

Tactician Ray Davies, the man who has to make sense of the breeze, described the day as interesting. 'The right hand side of the course was very strong in the first couple of races and then in the third it started trending back towards the left and there were some big gains down the run.

'All in all we had a pretty good day and we are happy to be just three points off the lead. It is never nice losing on the finish line but we had to protect our position from the boats behind; you can’t cover everyone and the Russians were sailing really well.'

'We feel like we go well downwind when the breeze is up a little bit. Upwind we are fine. The boat has great potential and we are still learning.'

TP52 Series Provisional standings after 4 races:

1. Quantum Racing (USA) 5,1,3,4=13 points
2. Matador (ARG) 2,5,1,8=16 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 4,4,6,2=16 points
4. Marazzi Sailing (SUI) 4,6,4,10 =24 points
5. Synergy (RUS) 11,11,2,1=25 points
6 Artemis (SWE) 7,2,9,7 = 25 points
7 Bigamist 7 (POR) 3,12,5,5 = 25 points
8 El Desafio (ESP) 8,7,10,3 = 28 points
9 Pisco Sour (Chile) 9,9,7,6 = 31 points
10 Audi (ITA) 6,8,8,11 = 33 points
11 Valars (RUS) 12,3,12,12 =40 points
12 Bribon (ESP) 10,10,11,9 = 40 points

by Warren Douglas


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6:21 AM Sat 16 May 2009 GMT

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