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Louis Vuitton Cup Final- Emirates Team NZ - drama and damage in Race 1

by Warren Douglas, Emirates Team on 18 Aug 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand bury the bows in the bear away at the top mark in their first race of the Louis Vuitton finals against Luna Rossa Challenge. Rob Waddell and Chris Ward were lost over board.17/8/2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Drama and damage to both boats in the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals .... damage to Luna Rossa’s starboard daggerboard drama and damage to Emirates Team New Zealand when a big puff hit as they were bearing away.

The bows dug in as the boat rounded the third mark. The yacht approached the mark in 18-19 knots of breeze. The puff hit as they were going into the turn; the bows dug in, crashing water damaged the port fairings and two crew – Chris Ward and Rob Waddell – went over the side.

Dean Barker: 'My first concern was about the two in the water. They were all right so I checked the guys on board – only a few bruises. '

Ward and Waddell were picked up by chase boat, and Barker continued the race with nine crew and finished without further incident to take the point.

Barker said the incident looked much more dramatic than it was. The bows popped up, the boat settled, crew secured the damaged fairings and they were back in the race.

Luna Rossa was not so fortunate. They had a problem with the starboard daggerboard before the start, which was delayed 15 minutes because the wind was over the limit.

They started the race with the board apparently OK, but the problem resurfaced on the second leg and, despite frantic efforts to make repairs, they cold not finish the race.

At the end of the race Waddell and Ward were transferred back to the AC72. Crew cleared the damaged fairings and the boat was ready for race two.

Grant Dalton said he was impressed with the crew’s response. 'Had the second race gone ahead we were ready to go.'

The second race scheduled for Saturday was postponed because the wind limit was exceeded. Races two and three will be sailed on Sunday. Breeze and tide might again make themselves felt.

Louis Vuitton Cup Final Standings (first to seven points wins)

Emirates Team New Zealand – 1
Luna Rossa Challenge – 0

Upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup Final schedule (best-of-13 series)
Sunday, Aug. 18: Final Race 2 (1:10 pm SF Time), Final Race 3 (2:10 pm SF time) )
Monday, Aug. 19: Final Race 4 (TBD)
Wednesday, Aug. 21: Final Race 5 (1:10 pm), Final Race 6 (2:10 pm )
Saturday, Aug. 24: Final Race 7 (1:10 pm) Final Race 8 (2:10 pm if necessary)

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