The America’s Cup World Series has come to a close in Cascais with the completion of a final fleet race. Emirates Team New Zealand finished with a flourish on Sunday after taking the victory.
by Warren Douglas
The win gave the team the title of AC45 World Series fleet race champions- a fitting end to a great week for Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies, James Dagg and Winston Macfarlane.
They stumbled yesterday in the match racing final winning the preliminaries last weekend and three straight days of combined fleet and match-racing, but today they were back in form on a difficult race track.
Oracle 4 made a break at the start of the second leg and quickly got what looked to be a comfortable lead. Bu it was the sort of day when passing lanes could open suddenly for a team to make a big gain; or for a hole in the breeze to form equally suddenly with consequent bit losses.
For Barker, it was a classic come-from-behind win. For most of the race he was the patient hunter with Oracle 4 (James Spithill) in his sights after he had picked off Oracle 5 (Russell Coutts). They dramatically snatched the lead on the second down-wind leg and Barker immediately became the hunted with Artemis, Oracle 4 and Oracle 5 chasing hard.
Barker hung on and finished 21s ahead of Artemis and 34 ahead of Oracle 4. He paid tribute to the crew and their ability to bounce back from a bad day on Saturday.
He said tactician Ray Davies and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby made the right calls on the breeze as they moved on Oracle 4.
America's Cup World Series website
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7:33 PM Sun 14 Aug 2011 GMT
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