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Emirates Team NZ wins Louis Vuitton Dubai regatta

by Warren Douglas on 29 Nov 2010
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker and Tactician Ray davies after the 2-0 victory over BMW Oracle Racing in the finals of the Louis Vuiton Trophy Dubai. 27/11/2010 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand has taken the final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai with a 2-nil won over America’s Cup holders BMWOracle.

The win – the fourth of the five LV events held since February 2009 –caps a successful 2010 for the team, having previously won at Auckland and La Maddalena and also taking the MedCup season championship.

The Dubai regatta brings to an end the era of the IACC class yachts that have raced America’s C up regattas for 20 years.

The 34th America’s Cup which will be raced in 2013 in a new class of 72ft catamarans.

Conditions at Dubai today were tricky and afterguards were tested as they the coped with shifts of 30-40 deg and marked changes in wind velocity. The day started with BMWOracle as favourites – being the form team at Dubai.

Emirates Team New Zealand stormed from behind in a windshift and better pressure to snatch a win the first final match. Suddenly the odds and opinion, shifted in New Zealand’s favour.

Honours in this race were remarkably even. Barker forced a penalty on Oracle in the pre-start; Oracle got a lift in the right on the second beat and extended to six boat lengths and did the penalty turn right on the top mark.

Dean Barker charged on the run, gained overlap and rounded the mark first. Oracle wriggled out of trouble and extended down the run home. Separation was large and while Oracle’s lead increased in the left, New Zealand strategist Adam Beashel and tactician Ray Davies had faith in the right and waited for the shift they had seen coming.

Just as the smart money was writing off Emirates Team New Zealand and calling a BMWOracle win. Barker’s charge began, reeling in the opposition at an astonishing rate. There was no stopping New Zealand, overtaking Oracle and finishing 17s ahead.

That’s a healthy delta at this Dubai regatta and rather belies the closeness of the racing. Oracle led by 9s around the first mark, the second mark by 10. Emirates Team New Zealand led by 4s at the third.

The fickle breeze certainly called the shots for the entire race and New Zealand clearly benefitted from the shift that counted – the last one.

In race 2 the breeze was master of the first beat. Again racing was even, with Oracle rounding the first mark 11s in front. Oracle’s spinnaker was torn in the hoist; they peeled and maintained a slim lead as the yachts separated and Emirates Team New Zealand started to build a small advantage.

Dean Barker set up for the left side of the leeward gate, forcing Oracle to take the right. The margin was 28s to New Zealand. After rounding New Zealand extended and was never threatened. The margin at mark 3 was 56s and at the finish 1m37s.

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