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Emirates Team New Zealand- Match racing champion of Plymouth

by Warren Douglas on 18 Sep 2011
Emirates Team New Zealand sailors Dean Barker, Ray Davies, Winston Macfarlane, James Dagg and Glenn Ashby receive their first place trophy and medals on stage at the presentation for the match racing stage of the America’s Cup World Series in Plymouth. Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand has won the final of the America’s Cup World Series at Plymouth, England, beating Team Korea in two straight matches.

The losses ended Team Korea’s five-race match racing winning streak on Plymouth Sound in which skipper Draper despatched, among others, Oracle Racing 4’s James Spithill and then his boss Russell Coutts.

Dean Barker won both races in the pre-starts with classic match-racing luffs that slowed the Koreans almost to a standstill then getting himself away cleanly and round the nearby mark 1 first.

New Zealand didn’t have it all its own way. The Koreans attacked and attacked and on a few occasions the on-board telemetry showed the Koreans in the lead.

But it never lasted long and New Zealand was always in a controlling position and led around every mark and through every gate in both races.

The match races at Plymouth give the large crowd that lined Plymouth’s many vantage points an insight into the differences between match-racing the monohulls and the catamarans.

Speed and speed of acceleration is one graphic example; the physical demands on the crew is another, as is the rapidity with which a 150m lead can dwindle to nothing when one boat has some breeze and the other does not.

Over the two days they saw lead changes that would not have occurred in the monohulls and learned that many of the old match racing tactics are still effective even if the crew have to take a different approach.

As noted sailing journalist Bob Fisher said that today’s final showed that classic match racing tactics are as applicable today as they ever were.

Tomorrow the team’s focus is on the final race of the regatta, a winner-takes-all fleet race.

Saturday’s Results

Team Korea defeated Artemis Racing 2-0

Green Comm Racing defeated China Team 1-0
Oracle Racing 4 defeated Energy Team 1-0
Artemis Racing defeated Oracle Racing 5 1-0

Emirates Team New Zealand defeated Team Korea 2-0

1. Emirates Team New Zealand
2. Team Korea
3. Artemis Racing
4. Oracle Racing 5
5. Oracle Racing 4
6. Energy Team
7. Green Comm Racing
8. China Team
9. Aleph

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